A total of $475,000 in prizes were awarded at the Pitt Innovation Challenge (PInCh®) final event, in which teams competed with projects aimed at improving human performance, which was defined broadly as benefitting physiological or psychological functioning of healthy people or those with chronic disease.
The challenge, which is in its fifth year, was sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). Three of the eight $25,000 project finalists who competed in a poster session involved affiliated faculty members from the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine on the winning teams. These awarded projects include:
Team Leaders: Nitin Sharma
Team Members: Ashwin Iyer, Kang Kim, and Thomas Hinds
Description: A wearable device that detects muscle tremors in real-time using ultrasound sensors, then provides muscle stimulation to alleviate the tremor.
Team Leaders: Jeffrey Gusenoff and Beth Gusenoff
Team Members: MaCalus Hogan, Kentaro Onishi, and William Anderst
Description: A novel insole designed to reduce post-operative pain, maximize healing, and encourage early ambulation and return to function.
Quantitative Ultrasound to Prevent Tendon Injury (QUPTI)
Team Leaders: Richard Debski
Team Members: Kang Kim, Volker Musahl, and Gerald Ferrar
Description: A novel ultrasound technique to instantly assess location-specific tendon damage and weakening, informing instantaneous clinical and sports decisions.
“The PInCh competition is designed to provide teams of researchers, innovators, clinicians and community collaborators with a venue to create novel solutions to important clinical and public health problems,” said CTSI director Steven Reis, MD, who also is associate vice chancellor for clinical research, health sciences, and a professor of medicine at Pitt.