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CATER trainee Alexis Nolfi, doctoral candidate in the lab of McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member Bryan Brown, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Bioengineering with secondary appointments in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, is a member of the research team developing a silicone-hydrogel-based contact lens that has been coated with natural biopolymers containing an immune modifying drug for the treatment of dry eye disease.  The project is named CyteSolutions Lens and the project’s video is here.

Ms. Nolfi explains, “Dry eye is an exceedingly common condition and it’s very prevalent.  It’s only going to increase as the population continues to age.  However, there are currently no effective treatments.”

McGowan Institute affiliated faculty member Mangesh Kulkarni, MBBS, MTech, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Bioengineering Department at the University of Pittsburgh, along with other members of the CyteSolutions Lens team is excited that their project has advanced to Round Three of the Pitt Innovation Challenge 2019 (PInCh 2019), competing for $100,000 in awards. Their project answers this year’s PInCH challenge:  What is your bold idea to solve a health-related problem?

The PInCh is a competition supported by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute. The PInCh competition is designed to generate innovative solutions to challenging health problems by mitigating risk and providing financial and administrative support to move ideas forward. The PInCh program stimulates the translation of novel problem-focused research into the community by giving researchers a venue to be creative, develop new ideas, and work with people beyond their usual sphere of collaborators.

Illustration:  CyteSolutions Lens video (Ms. Nolfi).

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YouTube:  CyteSolutions Lens

PInCh 2019 Advancing Projects