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CTL eNewsletter: July 2012

Cornell Spins Out Three New Companies this Spring

Based in Philadelphia, PA, Optofluidics, Inc., is developing microfluidic and biophotonic technologies for single molecule analysis and point of care medical diagnostics. Their initial products include the “Molecular NanoTweezer” which is a protein discovery tool that can handle the smallest forms of matter and the “Molecular Medic” which detects changes in blood-borne biomarkers to diagnose late phase hemorrhagic shock and traumatic brain injury. The company is based on technology invented by Professor David Erickson of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering.

Seraph Robotics, Inc., is a personal robotics company born out of the Fab@Home project developed in the lab of Professor Hod Lipson of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering. The company’s platform takes all the power of an industrial manufacturing plant and puts it into a tabletop device – the Seraph ONE™. Using simple software, ideas can go from concept to products in seconds. Anything from custom cakes, to toys, to consumer goods whose image and specifications can be downloaded from the Internet as easily as music, can be created into products at home with Seraph ONE™. The device has even been used to fabricate living human tissues. Seraph is located in Ithaca, NY.

NOHMs Technologies, Inc., based in Ithaca, NY, is a battery materials developer and manufacturer (for uses in anodes, cathodes, and electrolytes) with a vision to improve and commercialize promising new nanoscale chemistry for better batteries. NOHMs platform materials offer flexibility, light weight, long life, low price, improved safety, and zero toxicity. NOHMs Technologies is based on inventions made by Professor Lynden Archer of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering.

Cornell Startups

Cornell Startup is Developing an Improved Laparoscopic Bag

In recent decades, laparoscopic surgical techniques, whereby surgery is performed with specialized instruments through small incisions, have gained popularity because of decreased post-operative complication rates, shorter recovery times, and reduced procedure times. Excision of diseased or damaged soft tissue is often the goal of laparoscopic surgery. Tissue removal must be accomplished in specimen retrieval bags to prevent contamination of adjacent tissue. Unfortunately, the laparoscopic surgeon often encounters difficulty during removal through the small dermal incision, when the tissue specimen bunches up in the bag inside the patient.

A Cornell startup, Boa-Bag LLC, is developing an improved laparoscopic bag. Their product, the Boa-Bag, will compress the tissue in the extraction bag into a narrow cigar shape that will slide through small incisions. Use of the Boa-Bag will improve patient safety by reducing bag breakage, minimize post-surgical pain, scarring and other complications (such as the herniation that can arise when incisions are enlarged), and decrease overall surgical time.

Boa-Bag was initiated by Cornell alumnus Michael Nelson and is based on technology invented by Dr. Christopher Towe during his surgical residency at Weill Cornell Medical Center. Mr. Nelson is being assisted by Cornell alumna Dr. Vasundhra Kashyap and CCTEC intern Dr. Karl Zhang. Mr. Nelson can be reached at (646) 494-8432.

Functional Assay for Human Male Fertility

There are over 73 million infertile couples globally, with 40% of the infertility attributed to the male partners. Current tests for male fertility rely on sperm count, sperm motility, and sperm morphology with limited sensitivity leaving half of the potential male infertility undetected prior to assisted reproduction procedures. These patients are only identified when repeated efforts at assisted reproduction fail. Functional assays that can more reliably detect male fertility therefore are critically needed. If clinicians had the ability to diagnose sperm functional defects, they would be able to better manage their choices of assisted reproduction procedures to minimize the incidence of failed procedures that are both financially and emotionally draining to the patients.

A biomarker that can be used to assess the sperm function has been identified by Alexander Travis, Associate Professor of Reproductive Biology at Cornell’s Baker Institute for Animal Health. An ejaculated sperm is not immediately able to fertilize an egg. It must undergo a process of functional maturation. By examining the redistribution pattern of this specific biomarker, the ability of a male patient’s sperm to actually fertilize an egg can be assessed. This practical test has applications in human medicine, veterinary medicine, and the production of agricultural animals.

Professor Travis recently won a BioAccelerate NYC Prize to further develop this male fertility test. The BioAccelerate Prize aims to help scientists translate their research results to practical beneficial uses. Professor Travis will be working with Professor Peter Schlegel, Professor Gianpiero Palermo, and Professor Darius Paduch, all from Weill Cornell Medical College, to perform trials in human.


Upcoming Events

Cornell Intellectual Property Workshop

Date: July 30, 2012
Time: 2:00PM-3:30PM
Location: 3rd Floor Wilson Commons, Wilson Lab

Join CCTEC, CHESS, and CLASSE for a discussion on Cornell's Policy on Inventions & Related Property Rights.

For more information, contact Amanda at

BayHelix Reception

Date: September 27, 2012
Time: 6:30PM-9:00PM
Location: Cornell Club, NYC

CCTEC and the BayHelix group (an organization of Chinese-American executives in the life sciences) will hold a networking reception at the Cornell Club in New York City. This reception is sponsored by Scully Scott Murphy & Presser.

For more information, contact Amanda at

Startup Boot Camp

Date: October 23, 2012
Time: Day-long event
Location: Ithaca Campus

Financing and management are important to a successful startup. Come and learn how to organize a startup and make a pitch to investors from our experts.

For more information and to register, click here.

Cornell Technology Venture Forum™

Date: October 25, 2012
Time: Day-long event
Location: Ithaca Campus

The 2012 Cornell Technology Venture Forum will showcase emerging technologies and new Cornell businesses from the Ithaca campus, Weill Cornell Medical College, and New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva.

For more information, click here.

Recent Events

Seminar & Social Hour™

Date: June 29, 2012

Attendees learned about a new Cornell technology over drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Samie Jaffrey, Associate Professor of Pharmacology at Weill Cornell Medical College, presented his RNA tagging technology.

Click here to view photos from the event.

Inventions Roundtable™ - Therapeutics for Stroke, Spinal Cord Injury, and Neurodegenerative Diseases

Date: June 28, 2012

This event featured presentations on emerging therapeutics for stroke, spinal cord injury, and neurodegenerative diseases. Invited guests provided feedback in the areas of marketability and applications.

Click here to view photos from the event.

Cornell Technology Road Show

Date: June 21, 2012

Investors and entrepreneurs gathered to review selected Cornell biomedical technologies. Hors d'oeuvres and drinks were served after the presentations.

Click here to view the presentations and photos from the event.

Cornell Reception at BIO 2012

Date: June 19, 2012

Cornellians, including alumni, business partners, and friends, joined CCTEC professionals for a night of fun over drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Attendees strengthened their "Cornell Connections", and learned about technology opportunities at Cornell University. This event was sponsored by Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, MacMillan Sobanski & Todd, LLC, and Cornell Entrepreneur Network.

Click here to view photos from the event.

Medical Device Development Boot Camp™

Date: May 10, 2012

Attendees learned the keys to building a competitive medical device. Medical device entrepreneurs received information and expert advice from industry veterans, investors, and FDA and patent advisors.

Click here for more information and to view photos from the event.

Inventions Roundtable™ - Electronics, Computing & Communications

Date: May 3, 2012

This event featured presentations on emerging electronics, computing, and communications technologies. Invited guests provided feedback in the areas of marketability and applications.

Click here to view photos from the event.

IP & Pizza™

Date: April 23, 2012

CCTEC manages, markets, patents, and licenses innovations from Cornell research. Attendees learned about how CCTEC manages inventions and how inventors can protect their inventions and the importance of claims and supporting data. Pizza, salad, and drinks were served. This event was sponsored by Bond Schoeneck & King, PLLC.

Click here to view photos from the event.

CCTEC New Business & Emerging Technology Showcase™

Date: April 19, 2012

This event highlighted new Cornell businesses and emerging technologies from the Ithaca Campus, Weill Cornell Medical College, and New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. This showcase was part of the Entrepreneurship@Cornell Celebration event.

Click here for more information and to view photos from the event.