Engineers, clinicians join forces to earn innovation funding

Posted: August 31, 2023
collage of 4 headshots
(clockwise from top left) Parthasarathy, Malara, Higuita-Castro and Ramnath

Three engineering faculty members and the director of the Medical Modeling, Materials and Manufacturing (M4) Division have earned pilot grants from The Ohio State University Center for Medical and Engineering Innovation (CMEI) to accelerate interdisciplinary research projects.

The $35,000 pilot grants support collaborations between Ohio State researchers that initiate promising ventures at the medicine-engineering interface, involving at least one faculty member from the College of Engineering and one faculty member from a health sciences college.

“Funds will be used to assist the awardees in obtaining preliminary data that will result in a collaborative grant application for the NIH, or another agency or foundation, or lead to an entrepreneurial endpoint such as a patent,” said Dr. David Eckmann, CMEI director and a professor in the Department of Anesthesiology.

Computer Science and Engineering Professor Srinivasan Parthasarathy and Clinical Professor Rajiv Ramnath team up with Optometry Associate Professors Nathan Doble and Stacey Choi to explore application of artificial intelligence and machine learning to analysis of retinal scans. Their plan is to eliminate intermediate processing steps and markedly shorten the time required for reconstruction of retinal images critical to diagnosing various eye and central nervous system disorder.

M4 Division Director Megan Malara and Dr. Kyle VanKoevering, M4’s clinical director and an otolaryngologist, will use bioprinting and coaxial techniques to create a proof-of concept platform for vascularized printed tissue used in custom-fit bony scaffolds in head-and-neck cancer surgery. This work will provide a new pathway to eliminate the need to harvest a free-flap for surgical repair, thus reducing surgical morbidity.

Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor Natalia Higuita-Castro and Nephrology Assistant Professor Nicholas Ferrell will develop a cell-based gene delivery system for nanoengineered extracellular vesicles to target the kidney following acute injury. By preserving tissue function, this could reduce the high morbidity and mortality resulting from acute kidney injury and may become a platform for treatment of other renal disorders.

The next request for applications will be shared on the CMEI research webpage.

Article by the College of Engineering, August 30, 2023

Categories: ResearchAwards