Biomedical startup acquired by global medical technology firm

A medical device company founded by two University of Colorado Denver and CU Anschutz Medical Campus professors was recently acquired by Stryker, one of the world’s leading medical technology companies.

Shandas_Robin
Dr. Robin Shandas, chair and professor of bioengineering

Dr. Omer Mei-Dan, a sports surgeon and associate professor of orthopedics at the CU School of Medicine and Dr. Robin Shandas, chair of bioengineering in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus collaborated on the Pivot Guardian, the industry’s first post-free hip distraction system, designed to mitigate groin complications and heel slip associated with hip arthroscopy.

Working with Dr. Jacob Segil, Instructor in Engineering Plus at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Brett Schumer, an orthopedic device consultant, Drs. Mei-Dan and Shandas created MITA LLC to bring Dr. Mei-Dan’s novel hip distraction technique to market. The terms of the sale were not disclosed.

The acquisition shows the impact of pairing clinical faculty with bioengineers to bring promising ideas to market. The total time between initial discussions and company exit was less than two years.

“The fact that our Bioengineering Department is located on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus really facilitates such multi-disciplinary interactions,” said Professor Shandas, founding chair of the department who has co-founded several other companies with clinical faculty. “We built a technical team very quickly to execute on Dr. Mei-Dan’s vision to help his patients, while at the same time building the startup company to carry the idea into commercial reality.”

Dr. Mei-Dan agreed.

“Having biomedical engineers as in-house partners who can quickly understand the clinical need, assemble a business-savvy technical team, and iterate through multiple prototypes efficiently is a huge great asset we have here on campus,” he said. “This great success gives me much confidence for future endeavors.”

###

About the Department of Bioengineering, College of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus

The Department of Bioengineering at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus performs interdisciplinary research and training at undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels in bioengineering, focused on catalyzing technology development to cure and prevent disease. One of the few cross-campus programs in Colorado, Bioengineering also partners with clinicians and entrepreneurs to bring products to market efficiently and quickly. More information is available at http://www.ucdenver.edu/bioengineering

About Sports Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine

The CU Sports Medicine division treats competitive and recreational athletes of all types and ages across the Colorado Front Range, encompassing care for hip, knee, hand, foot & ankle, elbow & shoulder, and spine. CU Sports Medicine physicians lead their field performing groundbreaking procedures including stem cell therapies, orthobiologics, innovative devices and clinical trials. They are also the head team physicians for the Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Mammoth as well as NCAA teams at the University of Colorado and the University of Denver.

Yakacki’s tech startup wins big at NFL 1st and Future competition

Impressio_1standFuture
Associate Professor Chris Yakacki, far right, receives a $50,000 check for winning the technology category in the NFL’s ‘1st and Future’ competition. Pictured from far left are Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks quarterback; Carl Frick, Yakacki’s co-founder of Impressio; NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell; Chairman of NBC Broadcasting and Sports Mark Lazarus; President and CEO of the Mayo Clinic John Noseworthy; and Yakacki.

Chris Yakacki, associate professor of mechanical engineering, and his tech startup company Impressio, Inc. won the Advancements for Protective Equipment category at the NFL’s “1st and Future” competition last Saturday for inventing a liquid-crystal foam technology to improve the safety of football helmets. The advanced material is better than legacy materials at absorbing forces of impact that can cause concussions and brain damage, a major issue for the league. He and his colleague Carl Frick, University of Wyoming, won $50,000 to support their research and tickets to the Super Bowl.

Read the NFL press release.
Read the CU Denver Today story.
Read the C|NET story.
Read the Denver Business Journal story.
Watch the Fox31 report.

Congratulations!

Golkowski discusses the science of sparking veggies with NPR

Golkowski (9-12)-WEBMark Golkowski, associate professor of electrical engineering, recently spoke with NPR about why veggies sometimes spark while being cooked in the microwave.

According to Golkowski, “The sparking happens because of a local field enhancement. A very specific kind of geometry leads to this effect, so you could have one set of beans that does it and one that doesn’t.”

Read the story here.

CU Denver students help flood-damaged bridges

Along Cherry Creek, there are 22 foot bridges, many of which were damaged by high waters from last week’s flood. CU Denver engineering students are helping the city inspect the bridges for any structural damage, by doing hands-on exams. “We don’t always get a chance to get out of the classroom,” said Eric Petrie, a junior. “This allows us to get real experience working with professionals and it looks good on our resumes when it comes time to looking for a job.”

bridge-student