The Novel Squid Glaucoma microShunt

Karanjit Kooner, Orlando Auciello, Walter Voit, and Yanliang Zhang,
University of Texas Southwest Medical Center
Dallas, TX
Winner of an HP Workstation.

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness, affecting 80 million patients globally including 3 million patients in the U.S. Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is an important risk factor in the pathogenesis and progression of glaucoma. It is caused by gradual blockage in the eye’s drainage channels that drain the aqueous humor (AH) from the eye’s anterior chamber (AC) resulting in pressure increase in the AC, optic nerve damage, and blindness.

Currently, a glaucoma drainage device (GDD) is implanted after medical treatments fail to control IOP by providing a conduit to drain AH from the AC to the sub-conjunctival/sub-Tenon space. Unfortunately, current GDDs have major drawbacks. Large volume of AH is released abruptly causing serious vision-threatening complications. Prolonged inflammation and fibrosis lead to 50 percent premature device failure over five years.

By comparison, the proposed Squid Glaucoma microShunt (SGS) is 90 percent smaller and can provide a slow and controlled release of AH through a narrow tube and then further slowed by a channel placed between the chambers. Thus, the SGS would require minimal surgical dissection and the AH can be released in a slow sprinkle-like fashion, minimizing inflammation, fibrosis, and complications.

Current GDDs are made of materials that provoke inflammation and fibrosis often leading to intense encapsulation and elevated IOP. The SGS device will be coated with a patented low-cost ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD) film, which exhibits super-hydrophobicity and superb biocompatibility. Two built-in retainers will provide stability, eliminating the need to suture the device to the sclera. Finally, a pair of patented micro forceps would facilitate quick and easy insertion of the SGS promoting a 50 percent reduction in surgery time enabling surgeons to perform faster and more efficient surgeries.

At present, due to the complexity of the procedures, complications, and invasiveness of the bulky GDDs, only 40 percent of glaucoma patients undergo surgical interventions. The less invasive SGS implant would make early surgical intervention an option to wider sections of the glaucoma population with presumably better outcomes, thus preventing blindness.

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Honorable Mentions

Wearable Continuous Blood Pressure Monitors

Xina Quan, Zhenan Bao, Keith Drake, Doug Halperin, Weyland Leong, Junjun Liu, Art Muir, Peter Noymer, Dave Richardson, Thomas Roxlo, and Will Sutherland,
PyrAmes Inc., Cupertino, CA

The wearable device provides timely data to treat patients at risk of rapid changes in BP, which can lead to stroke or multiple organ failure, while removing the pain and risk of the current standards of care at lower cost and increased patient compliance. It uses paper-thin capacitive sensors to capture pulse waveforms processed with neural networks to produce BP values that meet the FDA’s accuracy guidelines.

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AI-Supported Robotic Diagnostic Treatment System for Vertigo

M. Haluk Ozkul, Tarik Ozkul, and Burhan Ozmen,
SYG Medical, Istanbul, Turkey

A precision maneuvering system enhanced by AI is designed to assist physicians to diagnose and treat Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) patients in a single session. The patented AI system is designed to diagnose multi-canal patients as well as those patients that show no nystagmus at all. These are traditionally the hardest BPPV cases to treat.

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Continuous Predictive Respiratory Monitoring

Richard Hughen and Ronen Feldman,
Linshom Medical Inc., Annapolis, MD

Linshom (“to breathe”) delivers continuous predictive respiratory monitoring to the patient bedside and home. Its patented and FDA-cleared device provides an operating room quality respiratory profile including Respiratory Rate (RR), Tidal Volume (TV), Minute Ventilation (MV), Inspiratory-Expiratory ratio (I/E), and Apnea detection that are all delivered continuously and in real time.

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Smart Orthopedic Implant to Enhance Bone Growth

Ben Hertzog, John Zellmer, Martin Larsson, Erik Zellmer, and Rory Murphy,
Intelligent Implants, Houston, TX

SmartFuse active simulation can increase the quantity and quality of new bone growth. The technology platform combines a therapeutic benefit (i.e., accelerated bone growth and healing) with sensor technology to measure the amount of new bone growth remotely. The smart implant incorporates a regular orthopedic implant connected to wireless antennae for controlling electrodes that graft fresh bone tissue into the body.

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See the rest of this year's winners: