reconstructive surgery. Those stories keep her going when the
road to entrepreneurship seems especially rough, she indicates.
Soriano says TeVido’s technology is worth the investment. “These folks are trying to help women who have gone
through serious surgery after cancer. Women oftentimes are
left disfigured, and they need breast reconstruction. This is
an engineering solution that will take a long time but will
help many, many people,” he offers.
The NSF also supports the development of a material that is
similar to natural bone and can foster healing of serious inju-
ries when a filler material is needed. The more conventional
treatment is to use transplanted bone,
OrteoPoniX LLC uses collagen and
hydroxyapatite, both of which are found
in natural bone, to create a bone graft
substitute scaffold. The artificial mate-
rial mimics the composition of bone
and allows the body’s own bone cells to
infiltrate the scaffold. Over time, natural
bone replaces the synthetic graft.
Another project, from LambdaVision Inc., promises to help people who
have lost their sight through either
retinitis pigmentosa or age-related
macular degeneration. Both conditions
involve the loss of photoreceptor cells,
commonly known as rods and cones.
According to information the NSF
has provided online, a LambdaVision
implant is inserted behind the retina
to replace the function of the damaged
cells. The protein-based retinal implant
captures and converts light into electrochemical signals in a method similar
to photoreceptor cells. The light-acti-vated protein in the implant provides a
higher resolution than other solutions.
“We’re hoping to see this probably
within five to 10 years in the mar-
ketplace,” says LambdaVision CEO
Nicole Wagner in a You Tube video the
foundation provided. “The challenge
for us is that ... you don’t want to put
them in the eye and then take them
out the next day. A lot of the studies
we’re going to be doing are going to be
While most of the NSF-backed technologies likely will
take years to develop, Soriano says there are exceptions.
Three companies already have gained Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) approval to bring their products to
market. “I started this program only three or four years ago,
so for us to have already three approvals, that’s pretty crazy.
Normally the technologies we are funding are so compli-
cated and difficult, they are going to take years to reach the
market,” he declares. “[These companies] are almost like an
exception, but it demonstrates that if we do our jobs prop-
erly, we can start helping people very soon.”
One of those companies, HealthMyne, in Madison, Wis-
consin, provides radiologists and oncology clinicians with
an informatics system that combines imaging and elec-
tronic health record information for use in evidence-based
analytics and decision support. At the heart of the system is
an image analysis engine that generates information such as
tumor size and other advanced quantitative metrics.
“This is fascinating technology. They are using machine
learning and imaging recognition to create a system that
is able to read magnetic resonance images,” Soriano elabo-
rates. “If I am the oncologist or the radiologist, and I have
in front of me an image of a patient, the system is going to
diagnose that and annotate it, and it will tell me the chances
that this is a particular disease.”
In addition, PuraCath Medical received FDA approval in
January for its FireFly Peritoneal Dialysis Connector Disin-
fecting System. Peritoneal dialysis is an at-home treatment
for kidney disease patients. It uses the patient’s peritoneal
Remedium Technologies is developing a product called
Hemogrip, a handheld, lightweight canister that delivers
an expanding hemostatic biopolymer foam for the rapid
treatment of heavy bleeding within a body cavity.
Nanofiber Separations LLC
makes hybrid nanofiber
materials that provide better
filtration for products such as
biopharmaceuticals, blood and
blood products, water and air.
The materials allow for improved
cell viability, more efficient nutrient
transport and enhanced rates of
tissue formation for tissue engineering
and regeneration applications.