Pitt Innovation Challenge  
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PInChTM 2016:
What is your bold solution to a vital health problem?

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute is sponsoring the 4th Pitt Innovation Challenge. This year’s challenge is focused on bold solutions in health. CTSI aims to move health-related research projects along the translational spectrum, not just to commercialization. Ideas and solutions do not need to be a products ready for commercialization - basic science projects are encouraged to apply! In addition, the program encourages new connections within the academic community, and among universities and community organizations, to foster an ecosystem of innovation.

The following teams will compete for up to $100,000 in awards

Aeronics Inc

Team Information:

Alec Kaija, Blake Dube, Christopher Wilmer, and Mark Spitz

Description: This portable oxygen device uses porous materials to store medical oxygen at low pressure in a standard 12oz aluminum can—making oxygen therapy more portable than ever before!


Team Information:

Maliha Zahid, Timothy Feinstein, Yijen Wu, and Cecilia Lo

Description: A novel peptide for delivering radioisotopes, therapeutic small molecules or proteins specifically to heart muscle.


Team Information:

Juan Diego Naranjo, Lindsey Saldin, and Stephen Badylak

Description: Minimally invasive treatment for Barrett´s Esophagus causing disease regression and mitigation of cancer risk.


Team Information:

Jes Klarlund, Robert Shanks, Nicholas Stella, and Kimberly Brothers

Description: A new generation of eye drops that allow current advanced biological drugs to act on the surface of the eye


Team Information:

Bryan Brown

Description: For those seeking better ways to treat and recover from nerve injuries, NeuroGel is an injectable solution that provides a simple and effective method for enhancing nerve reconstruction.


Team Information:

Jingyao Wu and Prashant Kumta

Description: Novel Magnesium alloy based robust, biocompatible and absorbable vascular stents can minimize current complications caused by commercial stents, improving safety and efficacy of stents technology.

The following teams will compete for up to $25,000 in awards


Team Information:

Jingyao Wu, Prashant Kumta, and Abhijit Roy

Description: Alveogen is a new product that is regenerating smiles by providing a revolutionary treatment for periodontitis, a common form of gum disease.


Team Information:

David Rabin, Shan Gao, Erik Loraas, Kathryn Fantauzzi, Raghav Sharma, Greg Siegle, and Lorenzo Soletti

Description: Emoto is a convenient, wearable, and intuitive tool that detects stress on the rise and empowers you to effortlessly control it before it controls you.


Team Information:

Jonathan Duvall, Anand Mhatre, Jeffrey Deely, and Jonathan Pearlman

Description: A passive weight monitoring system

Fetal Brain Surgery

Team Information:

Stephanie Greene, Stephen Emery, Youngjae Chun, and Puneeth Shridhar

Description: A ventriculo-amniotic shunt to treat fetal hydrocephalus will prevent the progressive brain injury that occurs in utero until conventional treatment can be instituted following birth.


Team Information:

Amit Sethi, Chip Hanlon, and Ervin Sejdic

Description: I-HITS is an individualized hand improvement and tracking system, which allows patients with stroke to monitor their hand movement and enables therapists to deliver treatment outside therapy.

Innovative Use of Technology: Early Mood Diagnosis

Team Information:

Rasim Diler and Leming Zhou

Description: We aim to develop a novel automated way of early identification of depression and mood swings by linking subjective mood ratings with objective activity measures of any smart phones or smart watches.

Microbubble as Dark-field X-ray Contrast Agent

Team Information:

Flordeliza Villanueva, Bruce Whiting, and Bin Qin

Description: Our patented polymer microbubble contrast agent for x-ray darkfield imaging provides tissue structure information and a non-nephrotoxic alternative to iodinated contrast in diagnostic radiography.

Resistance to Disease: Paradigm and Application

Team Information:

Michael Vanyukov, Steven Knopf, Galina Kirillova, Marie Cornelius, Maureen Reynolds, Ralph Tarter, Natacha De Genna, and Levent Kirisci

Description: Methodology for and development of continuous measures of resistance to disease, facilitating the discovery of factors with high potential for translation into prevention and treatment.

ThreadRite IV

Team Information:

Cameron Dezfulian, Dennis Wist, Alec Kaija, Brian Lupish, and Jingyao Wu

Description: A novel technology which notifies users when they have entered a vein then provides several adjuncts to improve the likelihood of successful and durable intravenous catheter placement.


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For technical difficulties with PInch submissions, please email ctsitech@pitt.edu.
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