USC Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program

Clinical Care/Rehabiliation

Movn for Cardiac Rehab Compliance - Moving Analytics, Inc.
(G. Sukhatme, PhD & M. Fong, MD)

Clinical Need: Compliance with prescribed cardiac rehabilitation programs after cardiac events is low, mainly due to limited accessibility
Current Standard of Care:
Technology Solution: Hospital-based rehabilitation centers offer programs where patients visit 3 days per week for 12 weeks. Adoption is low due to travel and life commitments and so few hospitals offer programs, making adoption even more difficult such that compliance is only 20%.
Project Status:
Clinical feasibility study underway to inform design of larger pilot study
Company Website: Moving Analytics

Medical Devices

Non-invasive Control of Hypertension: BaroFlex, Inc. (J. Yen, PhD & M. Nadim, PhD)

Clinical Need: Non-invasive treatment of drug refractory hypertension

Current Standard of Care: Implantable & ablative devices target vascular control elements (renal artery nerves or baroreceptors)

Technology Solution: Wearable, ultrasound-based device that modulates the baroreceptor complex & controls blood pressure

Project Status: Early prototypes built focus ultrasound energy on 1cm3

Completed pre-clinical pilot and successfully demonstrated ability of ultrasound energy to lower blood pressure

Micropacemaker for Complete Heart Block & Adult Micropacemaker
(R Chmait, MD; Y. Bar-Cohen, MD; & G. Loeb, MD)

Clinical Need: Complete electrical heart block in fetuses

Current Standard of Care: No interventions currently available; often fatal

Technology Solution: In utero implantation of novel micropacemaker device to pace fetal heart long enough to allow delivery

Project Status: Developed prototype and currently testing in pre-clinical models

Exploring Applications for adult micropacemaker platform of percutaneous implantation

Implantable Drug Pump for Leptomenigeal Metastases (LM): Fluid Synchrony, LLC (E. Meng, PhD & H. Tran, MD)

Clinical Need: Maintaining effective drug concentration in the CNS over meaningful time periods to treat leptomenigeal metastases (LM)

Current Standard of Care: Systemic and/or IT bolus administration of drugs

Technology Solution: Implantable pump for metronomic drug infusion to CNS

Project Status: Testing prototype in pre-clinical models

                                Pursuing pediatric scalability

Funding: Total funding of $282K

Follow-on Funding: USC Grants=$1.127M Start-up SBIRs=$1.646M Sales to preclinical market

Company Website: Fluid Synchrony

Biocompatibility of EPIC Electrodes: Platinum Group Coatings, LLC (J. Weiland, PhD & M. Liker, MD)

Clinical Need: Deep brain stimulators (DBS) are large, costly, inefficient and limited lifetime

Current Standard of Care: DBS implants for chronic management of neurological diseases

Technology Solution: Novel electrode coating reduces size and costs while improving power efficiency and efficacy. Broad applications for any implantable electrode

Project Status: Prototype electrodes bench-top testing

Pursuing in vivo studies of efficacy and biocompatibility with industry partners

Funding: Total funding of $192K

Follow-On Funding:  -Start-up SBIR= $189K -Sales to industry Company Website: Platinum Group Coatings

Antimicrobial Coating Material (Urinary Tract Quatheter) (P. Holtom, PhD & M. Humayan, MD, PhD)

Clinical Need: Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (UTIs) account for ~30% of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs)

Current Standard of Care: Few prophylactic measures are taken to prevent UTIs caused by urological catheters

Technology Solution: Novel, antibacterial surface coating technology with broad-spectrum bactericidal activity, long activity lifetime, at low cost

Project Status: Demonstrated ability to reproducibly prepare QAC coatings on catheter materials

Demonstrated bench-top bactericidal activity Funding: Total funding of $30K

Self-Aware Hydrocephalus Shunts: Senseer LLC (E. Meng, PhD, G. McComb, MD & M. Krieger, MD)

Clinical Need: Rapid, accurate detection of CSF shunt failure to initiate timely intervention and avoid prolonged suffering in hydrocephalus patients

Current Standard of Care: Invasive lumbar puncture and costly medical imaging to verify CSF shunt failure

Technology Solution: Wireless-operated, multi-sensor module to measure physiological parameters real-time

Project Status: Prototype sensors with bench-top testing demonstrating shunt obstruction monitoring Initiating clinical study with sensor module integrated into external CSF drainage shunt Funding: Total funding of $78K Follow-On Funding: USC Grant= $2.0M

Medical Imaging/Monitoring

Hemodynamic Monitor and Recorder: Viderics, Inc. (J. Yen, PhD & P. Lumb, MD)

Clinical Need: Real-time monitoring and detection of cardiac dysfunction in critical care patients

Current Standard of Care: Intermittent assessments using standard ultrasound-based sonography

Technology Solution: Continuous cardiac visualization in Critical/Intensive Care Units and Emergency Departments and in telemedicine applications

Project Status: Developed early prototype and currently bench testing with phantoms

                                IRB submission under review

Funding: Total funding of $198K

Company Website:

Myocardial Perfusion Imaging Without Contrast Agents
(K. Nayak, PhD & R. Pai, PhD)

Clinical Need: Safe and effective heart health monitoring for the patients with kidney failure (~340,000 in U.S.). These patients require frequent testing and cannot tolerate contrast agents.

Current Standard of Care: Minimally effective stress echocardiography, and contrast-based nuclear medicine and X-ray techniques that cannot be performed frequently.

Technology Solution: Novel, MRI-based technique that does not rely on contrast agents.

Project Status: Ongoing clinical study demonstrating effectiveness

                                Developing technology for broader use and for complete heart coverage.

Funding: CTRA funding Year 1-4

                    Total funding of $60K

OCT/Ultrasound-directed Biology for Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) Diagnosis
(J. Van Dam, MD & Q. Zhou, PhD)

Clinical Need: Current brush cytology-based diagnostics for CCA have 50% sensitivity resulting in serial biopsies and late diagnoses leading to poor prognosis

Current Standard of Care: Repeat biopsy procedure until positive diagnosis is made so that treatment can be pursued

Technology Solution: Dual probe for high resolution imaging of surface features (OCT) and deep ductal layers (US) to direct surgeon to appropriate biopsy site

Project Status: Prototype being refined, pre-clinical feasibility and ex vivo studies with human tissue planned

Funding: Total funding of $240K

MRU Cluster Software
(R. Moats, PhD & R. Lestz, MD)

Clinical Need: Early diagnosis and intervention is needed for congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract

Current Standard of Care: Measurement of glomerular filtration rate, which is often inaccurate and cumbersome

Technology Solution: Automated method for medical imaging analysis of quantitative assessment of renal function and morphology from a time series of MRIs

Project Status: Software developed and ready for clinical validation
Funding: Total funding of $30K


CleftCorrect: SWIFT Health Systems, Inc InBrace (B. Khoshnevis, PhD & S. Yen, MD)

Clinical Need: Effective, hygienic, aesthetic, and easier to use device for cleft palate corrections that is widely accessible for doctors

Current Standard of Care: Standard orthodontic and orthopedic movements requiring highly specialized training to perform.

Technology Solution: Novel "behind the teeth" comfort braces integrated with expander bars based on shape memory wire technology, computer programming and advanced robotics to achieve desired movements, and to reduce doctor interventions and training.

Project Status: Prototypes tested in ex vivo models

                                Clinical studies pending

Funding: Total funding of $145K

Follow-on Funding: Investor competitions= $80K

Company Website: InBrace

Pilot Program - award period July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015

Chitosan Amelogenin-based Hydrogel for Tooth Enamel Repair (J. Oldak, PhD & J.H. Phark, DDS)

Clinical Need: Effective repair of white spot and erosive lesions in teeth to preserve healthy tooth structure

Current Standard of Care: Re-mineralization approaches such as fluoride can promote re-mineralization but do not rebuild enamel with robust attachment and with effective anti-microbial properties

Technology Solution: Biomimetic enamel reconstruction formulation that effectively rebuilds enamel that robustly mimics the natural structure of tooth enamel

Project Status:

  • Ex vivo demonstration of the ability of the formulation to effectively rebuild enamel under simulated oral conditions
  • Clinical study in planning stages

Funding: Total funding of $195K

PLENTi for Diabetes and Obesity: CaliVive, Inc./AnaVive, Inc.

(E. Beale, MD & T. Williams, PhD)

Clinical Need: Non-invasive treatment for diabetes and obesity that mimics the beneficial hormonal effects of bariatric surgery

Current Standard of Care: Invasive, permanent bariatric surgery for which patient eligibility is very limited

Technology Solution: Oral delivery of GRAS stimulus that bypasses the foregut and induces hormonal spike (GLP-1 and PYY)

Project Status: Proof-of-mechanism clinical study demonstrated the ability to mimic the beneficial hormonal effects of bariatric surgery acutely

Proof-of-concept clinical study underway to demonstrate invoking hormonal effect translated into improved glucose control/weight management over time Company Website: CaliVive, Inc.

TESI Kit to Support Intestinal Tissue Regeneration (T. Grikscheit, MD)

Clinical Need: Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in premature infants; small intestine replacement

Current Standard of Care: Surgical removal of necrotized tissue with lifelong management of nutritional insufficiencies (transplant and/or arterial line feeding)

Technology Solution: Device-based kit for processing salvaged small intestinal tissue during surgery to create bowel segments for implantation

Project Status: Proof-of-concept obtained in non-clinical models

                                Pursuing pediatric scalability in non-clinical studies

Funding: Total funding of $103K

Published on August 7th, 2017

Last updated on March 29th, 2021