Pitt contest awards $100K prizes for projects targeting asthma, diabetes, ACL injuries |

Pitt contest awards $100K prizes for projects targeting asthma, diabetes, ACL injuries

Three University of Pittsburgh projects addressing individualized approaches to health care each won $100,000 Wednesday in the second Pitt Innovation Challenge.

The contest’s grand prize winners included: Nebukin, software that helps children take asthma medication; Nanoketo, a sensor that helps users measure a common problem in diabetes; and ACL Interaction, a way for doctors to tailor treatment for knee injuries. The theme for the challenge was “From cell to community: How can we individualize solutions for better health care?”

About 60 teams entered, and 10 finalists presented their projects during the Wednesday showcase at the University Club in Oakland. Tim Corcoran, associate professor of medicine and bioengineering, submitted Nebokin, an interactive app that children can use to properly take nebulized drugs. Corcoran said in his team’s entry video that children have trouble with prolonged breathing therapies for asthma and related diseases.

“If it’s not done correctly, all the drug can end up in the mouth and throat,” he said.

James Ellis, a bioengineering graduate student at Pitt, submitted Nanoketo, which helps monitor through the breath a condition called ketosis. Excess ketones are a marker for mismanaged diabetes and poor nutrition.

Dr. Michael McClincy in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery submitted ACL Interaction, which provides a real-time treatment analysis for people with anterior cruciate ligament injuries.

The Office of the Provost and the Pitt Clinical and Translational Science Institute financed the contest. Previous winners tackled smoking cessation, home-based therapy for diabetic ulcers and Parkinson’s disease.

Megha Satyanarayana is a Trib Total Media staff writer. She can be reached at 412-320-7991 or [email protected].

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.