Pitt Innovation Challenge Awards Prizes to Creative Thinkers
A project to develop a portable sensor that monitors a condition called ketosis was recently awarded a $100,000 prize in the second Pitt Innovation Challenge (PInCh). McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member David Finegold, MD, professor of pediatrics, medicine, and human genetics at the University of Pittsburgh, is a member of the winning team named Nanoketo.
In the team’s 2-minute video presentation, team member Mr. Gregory Morgan describes the ketosis diagnostic problem and the nanotechnology solution. Currently, monitoring ketosis is determined either through a urine or blood test. Nanoketo proposes to use breath acetone sensing which will be “reliable, noninvasive, cheaper-than-ever, and available in the comfort of your own home.”
More than 60 teams participated in PInCh, which was sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), the Office of the Provost, and the Innovation Institute. During the first phase of the competition, which began in September, each team submitted a video entry to answer the question, “From cell to community: How can we individualize solutions for better health(care)?” Twenty teams were then asked to provide a written description of their projects, and 10 finalists were chosen to present during the showcase.
“PInCh is a celebration of the pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit of some of the brightest, most enterprising teams of visionary thinkers in and around the Pittsburgh region,” said CTSI director Steven E. Reis, MD, associate vice chancellor for clinical research, Health Sciences, and professor of medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “This approach is leading to the implementation of some amazing ideas.”
In addition to the cash prize, Dr. Finegold and the team will also get the assistance of a project manager to begin implementing their ideas.
Illustration: 2-mm microchip contains 4 devices. –Nanoketo.