State program helps transform faculty ideas into new biomedical devices

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A nanoparticle-based sunscreen and new method to detect bloodstream infections are just two projects inspired by Yale faculty that will receive support from a $1 million Connect Innovations program designed to spur creation of new biomedical device businesses from laboratories of the state’s universities and colleges.

Projects at Yale, the University of Connecticut, and Quinnipiac University have received funding under first round of grants, and state officials are soliciting funds for new proposals before the April 22 deadline for new applications.

“We are thrilled to work with Connecticut Innovations, UConn, and Quinnipiac to pursue a shared vision of improving patient care while creating innovative start-up companies in Connecticut,” said Christopher Loose, executive director of the Center for Biomedical and Interventional Technology (CBIT).

The state program encourages collaborations between institutions. For instance, Yale neurosurgeon Ryan Grant has joined forces with researchers at UConn and the University of North Carolina to develop a non-invasive way to measure pressure during brain swelling.

At Yale, Mark Saltzman at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and dermatologist Michael Giradi have engineered a safer, more long-lasting sunscreen based on nanotechnology.  Graduate student Shari Yosinski and faculty adviser Mark Reed at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have devised an electronic means of detecting blood infections.

Other projects underway at Yale include efforts by a team of experts in the medical, business,  and engineering schools to develop a device that can reduce pain during bone marrow donation procedures.

Connecticut Innovations strives to be the leading source of financing and ongoing support for Connecticut’s innovative, growing companies.