Surgical Innovation at the Department of Surgery

SIDAC Impact

The Surgical Innovation Development Accelerator Course is the only one of its kind in the country. At Michigan Medicine, we expect our surgeons to not only operate but also shape the field of surgery. Supporting innovation allows our faculty to become leaders in developing technology that will change how we operate and care for patients.

During the course, 38 multidisciplinary proposals were submitted and 12 teams were selected to enroll in the course. At the end of the 8 month Surgical Innovation Development Accelerator Course (SIDAC), 6 teams were awarded a total of almost $500,000 in funding, and then 4 teams were selected to pitch at a Shark Tank-style Grand Rounds to outside investors. Awardees from the first round in 2017-2018 have already gone on to win another $650,000 in follow-on funding.

Over 40 surgeons, scientists, engineers, surgical residents, and medical students gained critical knowledge of the value and development of surgical technologies toward patient use and impact during the first Michigan Surgical Innovation Prize Competition and SIDAC course. Participants developed a thorough understanding of how to navigate their ideas through the university and into the market. The program created tremendous impact within the Department for faculty engaged in clinical and translational surgical problem-solving, and it catapulted Michigan’s Department of Surgery as a national leader in Surgical Innovation. 

2019 MSIA Program Results

RETREVA: A Novel Specimen Retrieval Device for Laparoscopic Surgery

  • RETREVA is a novel device that uses a special mechanical method to collect an organ/tumor specimen from a laparoscopic surgical procedure to more easily retrieve and extract the specimen from a tighter working space in the body to minimize trauma during extraction.
  • Team: Paul Gauger, W. James Melvin, Ton Wang, Jennifer Lee, Lindsay Janes

Continuous Non-Invasive Monitoring of End-organ Cellular Function with SuperContinuum Laser Spectroscopy

  • This project involves a novel non-invasive monitoring system that uses a transdermal laser spectroscopy system to continuously measure end-organ tissue perfusion as a means to improve resusitation and monitor organ function following trauma, head injury, or sepsis.
  • Team: Hasan Alam, Rachel Russo, Mohammed Islam

Using Mobile Technology to Identify Stroke and Save Patient Lives

  • This project is developing an app that uses machine learning algorithms and the high functionality of an i-phone, including camera facial recognition, eye tracking, and voice recognition software to help identify patients having a stroke with the goal of getting them to treatment and better outcomes in a more timely manner.
  • Team: Chandu Vemuri, Gloria Kim, Mollie McDermott

My Weight Loss Journey: A New Digital Health App for your Smart Phone

  • This project is developing and validating a novel smart-phone app that helps patients having bariatric surgery to better follow their pre- and post-operative instructions and connects them with important resources to improve their compliance and long term weight loss success.
  • Team: Amir Ghaferi, Rachel Ross, Alirio Correia de Meireles

A Synthetic Metastatic Niche for Early Detection of Metastatic Breast Cancer

  • This project involves a validation of a novel implantable synthetic scaffold that traps circulating tumor cells in breast cancer patients to create a metastatic niche of these tumor cells that can then be studied to help investigators better understand disease biology and progression as well as response to therapy. 
  • Team: Dr. Jaqueline Jeruss, Lonnie Shea, Liam Casey, Sophia Orback, Pridvi Kandagatia, Anthony Fici

2018 SIDAC Results

In August 2018, the finalists presented to our Oversight Committee. 6 teams were awarded a total of almost $500,000 in funding.

Ferroximend - A Novel Therapeutic Device for Bone Healing: $150,000

  • Ferroximend combines an angiogenic stimulant, deferoxamine, with an osteogenic (bone forming) tissue filler device, hyaluronic acid. This unique combination triggers the formation of blood vessels at the fracture site, at the right time, leading to a remarkable ability to heal difficult fractures and accelerate that healing process. The project received additional funding in 2018-2019 from the Michigan-Pittsburgh-Wyss Regenerative Medicine Consortium through NIH.
  • Team: Steven Buchman, Alexis Donneys, Chitra Subramanian

Michigan ENdoluminal lengthening Device (MEND): $100,000

  • MEND is a device technology therapy that uses the well-established medical principle of mechanotrasduction to induce growth of new intestine and is intended to safely treat short bowel syndrome unlike current available therapy. The project received additional funding from the Michigan Coulter Program and the GI Innovation Fund as well as formed a 503c non-profit. Also received BREAKTHROUGH-Designation for their device from the FDA.
  • Team: Matthew Ralls, Diann Brei, Jonathan Luntz

Minute Coaching System: $100,000

  • The minute coaching system is a proprietary software product that lets medical students get real time feedback from faculty. The goal is to sell/license this product out to other medical schools, either directly from University of Michigan or via an existing company with a franchise in the medical education market.
  • Team: David Hughes, Rishi Reddy, and Gurjit Sandhu

Surgical Asset Tracker: $95,000

  • Surgical Asset Tracker is a University of Michigan startup that develops and commercializes software solutions for tracking temporary implantable devices, providing automated, high fidelity device-tracking with alerts and works with any major EHR. The project received additional funding in 2018-2019 from the M-TRAC program in partnership with Fast Forward Medical Innovation and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. 
  • Team: Michael Englesbe, John Hollingsworth, and Mark Newman

Hot Spot - Using Thermochromic Material to Identify Areas at Risk for Ulcer: $25,000

  • This technology uses thermochromic liquid crystals that change color providing an obvious, early warning sign that patients may be at risk for ulcer formation
  • Team: Chandu Vemuri, MD, Catherine Gilbert, Brian Schmidt, Anthony Fici, Betsy VanWieren, Taylor Novice

MULT-EYE Laparoscopic Camera: $10,000

  • This project focused on a multi-camera based integrated imaging system for improved visualization during laparoscopic surgery. 
  • Team: Oliver Varban, MD, Abhinav Appukutty, Phillip Yang