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Five competitors will vie for funding at M2D2 Medical Device Innovation competition

UMass Chan hosts the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center’s annual pitch and networking event Nov. 9

Novel biomedical devices proposed by five teams of clinicians, scientists and biomedical engineers will be evaluated by a panel of expert judges at the 2017 Medical Device Innovation competition. Presented by the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2), the event will take place Thursday, Nov. 9, from 5 to 8 p.m. at UMass Medical School in Amphitheater III.

Products under consideration for seed funding awards of up to $10,000 each are:

      • A patented cervical balloon to improve the experience of labor induction for both patients and obstetrical caregivers;
      • A noninvasive chest shield that can be placed on premature infants’ sensitive skin while undergoing phototherapy to prevent a common complication;
      • A device utilizing fluorescence polarization imaging that can detect cancer in single cells to improve early diagnosis of breast cancer with fine needle aspiration biopsies;
      • A portable helmet to deliver transcranial magnetic stimulation to stroke patients recovering at home, which can improve arm weakness, speech impairment and difficulty swallowing; and
      • A hybrid dressing to improve healing at the donor site from which skin has been taken for grafts, the most common site for complications following grafting procedures.

Each project team comprises investigators from UMass Medical School and UMass Lowell, who have collaborated on the M2D2 initiative since its inception in 2006. The M2D2 Medical Device Innovations Programis designed to identify pressing health care problems and bring together cross-campus colleagues with engineering or technology expertise to create multidisciplinary teams to solve the need with a medical device.

M2D2 offers inventors and small medical device companies coordinated access to research, engineering and clinical investigation at the two campuses. UMMS brings medical expertise and resources, from initial assessments of device proposals to supporting inventors and manufacturers through the complete life cycle of clinical studies. UMass Lowell contributes its world-renowned engineering expertise and plastics laboratories, as well as incubator facilities, business analysis and planning support for medical device entrepreneurs.

The UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science and the Office of Innovation and Business Development at UMass Medical School, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at UMass Lowell lead the M2D2 Medical Device Innovation grant program.

This year’s judges are:

          • Brendan M. O’Leary, PhD, executive vice chancellor for innovation and business development at UMMS;
          • Jack Wilson, president emeritus of the University of Massachusetts and the University Distinguished Professor of Higher Education, Emerging Technologies, & Innovation at UMass Lowell;
          • Steven F. Tello, EdD, senior associate vice chancellor for entrepreneurship & economic development at UMass Lowell; and
          • Max Rosen, MD, chair and professor of radiology at UMMS.

Each team will make a 5-minute presentation to the panel of judges followed by one minute for questions and answers. Funding decisions will be based upon the scientific merits, potential clinical impact and commercial feasibility of the proposals.

Registration, networking and a poster session will take place from 5 to 6 p.m., followed by pitches from 6 to 7 p.m. Additional networking opportunities will continue from 7 to 8 p.m., with tours of M2D2’s new lab facility at UMMS available. The event is free and open to the public, with preregistration requested. Email Nate Hafer, PhD, director of operations and co-director of pilot translational and clinical studies for the UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science and assistant professor of molecular medicine, for additional information.

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