William Federspiel, PhD, Director of the Medical Devices Laboratory at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, is the recipient of the 2020 Marlin Mickle Outstanding Innovator Award.  Dr. Federspiel will be presented with this prestigious honor during the pre-recorded awards ceremony being held virtually by the Innovation Institute on April 22 at 4:30 p.m.

The Innovation Institute established the Outstanding Innovator Award in 2016 to recognize the lifetime achievements of Pitt faculty who have made an impact through the commercial translation of their research. It is named for Marlin Mickle, who holds the University record for invention disclosures filed, patents issued, and startups formed.

At the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Federspiel is the John A. Swanson Professor in the Department of Bioengineering with secondary appointments in Chemical Engineering, Critical Care Medicine, and the Clinical Translation Institute. He is also the Founder of ALung Technologies, a Pittsburgh-based medical start-up company, for which he serves as the head of the scientific advisory board.

The major research theme of the Medical Devices Laboratory is the development of medical devices whose therapeutic function stems from biotransport and bioseparation processes and which can be translated for near-term clinical use in critical care medicine.  A span of Dr. Federspiel’s research interests include:

  • Design and development of novel artificial lung devices, including respiratory support catheters and paracorporeal assist lungs, for near-term clinical use in the treatment of respiratory failure in patients with acute, acute on chronic, or chronic lung insufficiencies.
  • Design and development of membrane and particle-based blood purification devices for the selective or semi-selective and patterned removal of pathogenic antibodies, inflammatory mediators, and other blood borne solutes for near-term clinical use in critical care settings.
  • Advancing the development of novel artificial lung platforms for future applications by combining microfabrication and fiber technology with cellular and biomolecular components to create biohybrid artificial alveolar capillary units and bioactive hollow fibers with improved gas exchange efficiency and capacity.
  • Developing improved transport models and understanding of polymer degradation and drug delivery from nanoparticles and microparticles.
  • Advanced application of fluid mechanics and mass transport principles to model and optimize artificial lungs and other membrane-based medical devices where functional performance depends on underlying transport or separation principles that dictate the device characteristics.
  • Development of mathematical and computer simulation models related to respiratory and cardiovascular fluid mechanics and mass transport.
  • Development of oxygen depletion devices for  blood storage systems that will extend the shelf life of red cell units and deliver red cells of higher efficacy and lower toxicity for transfusion therapy.

Dr. Federspiel is the fifth recipient of this award named for the late Marlin Mickle, who from the Swanson School of Engineering is known as the pioneer of the field of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). Dr. Mickle is the University’s all-time leader in most categories that measure innovation commercialization, including issued patents and licenses. Dr. Federspiel is among the top handful of faculty in those categories.  Previous McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty members winning this prize include:  Rory Cooper, PhD (2016), Joseph Glorioso, PhD (2017), and Stephen Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD (2018).

Congratulations, Dr. Federspiel!

Read more…

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University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering News Release