Medical Device Licensing Opportunities

Tufts possesses distinctive capabilities in medical device development. Therapeutic areas include diagnostic imaging, ophthalmology, and medical device coatings. TTIC has been receiving an increasing number of medical device disclosures and has a proven record of medical device start-up creation. Below are select medical device innovations available for licensing.

  • Software for Detection of Vulnerable Plaques During Angioscopy

    Sector

    Angioscopy

    Description

    Researchers at Lahey Clinic Foundation developed a new angioscopy-based method for the detection of lipid cores underneath thin fibrotic caps and thin-cap fibroatheromas in patients evaluated for risk of having vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques, thrombosis, and acute coronary syndrome.

    Routine angioscopy is minimally invasive and widely used for the analysis of large arterial vessels. This inexpensive and informative method allows direct visualization of the inner surface of the arteries but does not offer quantitative analysis of the risks associated with atherosclerotic abnormalities.

    Software developed by the inventors allows for highly sensitive and specific detection of vulnerable plaques and plaques at risk of disruption during routine angioscopic procedures. The new computer algorithm allows specific detection of several conditions associated with atherosclerotic plaque formation and quantitative analysis of the risk associated with these conditions. This information provides considerable advantages over existing systems and will significantly improve the process of designing optimal treatment strategies and improve patient outcomes.

    The sensitivity and specificity of the new colorimetric method of detection of atherosclerotic plaques is similar or better than that of other, often more expensive and less available techniques. The present system works in visible light, which simplifies  image analysis by the cardiologists performing the angioscopy.

    The potential market for the technology is very large and may include hospitals in metropolitan areas and small rural or suburban health care centers where angioscopy continues to be a method of choice for cardiologists.  One of the advantages of the technology is its compatibility with numerous commercially available angioscopic systems and fiber-optic catheters.

    Lead Investigator(s)

    Sergio Waxman and Fumiyuki Ishibashi, Lahey Clinic Medical Center, Burlington, Massachusetts

    Key Publication

    Inami, S. et al. Circ J. (2008) 72: 399-403

    Milestones

    US patent application 12/675,439 (publication number 20100278735)

    Contact

    John Cosmopoulos

  • Silk-Based Food Sensors

    Sector

    Wireless sensors

    Development Phase

    Proof of concept demonstrations testing sensors on bananas, eggs, apples, cheese, and milk

    Description

    Tufts investigators recently published a method to make wireless passive antennas on silk substrates across multiple regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.  Silk flexible sensors are created by embedding gold antennae in a purified silk film that can be easily applied to curved objects and adhere conformally.

    The devices were tested for function by monitoring their resonant responses continuously during the spoilage process to assess potential to monitor changes in food quality.  Proof-of-principle demonstrations were performed by monitoring fruit ripening with an RFID-like silk sensor transferred onto fruit skin, and spoilage of dairy products through surface contact or immersion.

    Pure-protein silk film substrates can be used as inexpensive, edible, and eco-friendly sensing platforms that safely interface with consumable goods and provide in situ monitoring of food quality.

    Lead Investigator(s)

    Fiorenzo Omenetto, David Kaplan and Hu Tao, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tufts University

    Key Publication

    Tao, H. et al. Adv Mater (2012). 24: 1067–1072

    Milestones

    US Provisional Patent Application (61/583,131)

    Contact

    Martin Son

  • Dynamic Silk Coatings for Implantable Devices

    Sector

    Medical device coatings

    Development Phase

    Proof of concept demonstrations

    Description

    Silks are fibrous proteins with remarkable mechanical properties produced in fiber form by silkworms and spiders. Regenerated silk solutions have been used to form a variety of biomaterials for medical applications, such as gels, sponges, and films.

    Silk fibroin is biocompatible, sterilizable, and available in a variety of formats. Long-standing FDA regulatory approval of silk sutures, its abundance as raw fiber material, and its controlled proteolytic degradability in vitro and in vivo establish silk fibroin as an important biomaterial.

    Recent studies demonstrate that silk coatings improve the mechanics and biocompatibility of implantable devices. Silk coatings can be applied before implantation, as a means of providing mechanical strength to a flexible device, or formed renewably in situ on conducting surfaces post-implantation. These coatings can be loaded with bioactive agents to promote tissue growth and control inflammation at the site of implantation.

    Lead Investigator(s)

    Fiorenzo Omenetto, David Kaplan, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tufts University

    Key Publication

    Serban M.A. et al. J Biomed Mater Res Part A (2011), 98:567–575

    Milestones

    Dynamic Silk Coatings for Implantable Devices: US Provisional Patent Application 61/477,484

    Contact

    Martin Son

  • Apparatus and Method for Noninvasive Absolute Oximetry of Brain Tissue

    Sector

    Brain oximetry

    Development Phase

    “Bench prototype” able to take measurements in humans

    Description

    This  invention involves a novel consolidation of data collection and processing approaches to achieve measurements that are currently not feasible, namely the noninvasive assessment of oxy- and deoxy-hemoglobin in the extracerebral tissue (scalp/skull/dura) and in cerebral tissue. The overall objective of this invention is to improve the accuracy and diagnostic value of brain oximetry and provide reliable measurements of absolute cerebral blood volume.

    More accurate brain oximetry measurements will improve efforts in early detection of cerebral ischemia, vascular cognitive impairment, assessment of recovery from strokes, and functional brain studies.  This invention could enhance the potential of brain oximetry in predicting the clinical outcome of a variety of surgical procedures.

    Lead Investigator(s)

    Sergio Fantini, Bertan Hallacoglu, and Angelo Sassaroli, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tufts University

    Milestones

    Provisional patent application 61/706,275 (filed 9/27/2012)

    Contact

    Colm Lawler

  • Adaptor for Standard Fundus and Fluorescein Angiography

    Sector

    Ophthalmic and optical devices

    Development Phase

    Working prototype

    Description

    A digital single lens reflex adaptor for fluorescein angiography imaging that can be attached to any digital camera and provide an inexpensive alternative for imaging both the anterior and posterior segments of the eye.  The adaptor has the potential to drastically cut the total cost of ophthalmic diagnostic imaging. This innovative adaptor could revolutionize the digital imaging of the eye in animals and humans.

     

    Lead Investigator(s)

    Chris Pirie, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University

    Key Publication

    Pirie, C. et al. J Visual Comm Med (2011), 34:146–155

    Milestones

    PCT application (PCT/US2011/0151352)

    Contact

    Nina Green