Houghton, Mich. – April 1, 2017 — MicroDevice Engineering, Inc. (MDE) has been awarded a $750,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for further development of its blood typing and hematocrit device, which will provide blood donor centers easy, accurate readings in a single test that takes just minutes to run. Using a single test will help to reduce labor costs, enable blood type informed donations, and allow donor centers to efficiently utilize blood components based on hospital need.
Blood products are a critical component of U.S. health care delivery. Organizations that provide vital resources to hospitals, such as blood services, are seeking new and innovative approaches to improve patient outcomes, while improving quality of service and reducing overall costs. Learning a donor’s blood type prior to donation helps them do this.
U.S. blood donor centers collect 14 million units annually which are used in hospitals for interventions in trauma situations, surgeries, organ transplants and births, and to treat cancer patients and burn victims. 70% of all blood collections occur at community (mobile) blood drives, and nearly 40% of donations are made by first time donors. Shifting donor demographics have and will continue to complicate a donor centers’ ability to efficiently match blood supply and demand. With the ability to determine blood type at the point of donation, donor centers will be able to optimize donation types to better serve hospital and patient needs. This device has the potential to provide donor centers the tools to reduce waste, increase efficiency, and decrease their costs.
This highly competitive grant is the third that MDE has received from the National Science Foundation, and the second phase of the NSF Small Business Innovation Research / Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) grant. The SBIR/STTR program seeks to transform scientific discovery into societal and economic benefit by catalyzing private sector commercialization of technological innovations. This Phase II grant validates both MDE's technical approach and the societal need of better blood typing and hematocrit detection. The award will allow MDE to accelerate research and development of the blood typing and hematocrit device, as well as deploy the first units into testing in 2017.
MDE is collaborating with Indiana Blood Center, part of Versiti, on the evaluation of the prototype device as part of the research and development phase of this project. Indiana Blood Center has state-of-the-art blood screening capabilities at its laboratories in Indianapolis.
Founded in February 2013 as MicroDevice Engineering LLC and incorporated in 2016, MDE is working to create a blood typing and hematocrit device based on the research of the Medical micro-Device Engineering Research Lab (M.D.-ERL) at Michigan Technological University. MDE received funding from the National Science Foundation's Small Business Technology Transfer program, with a Phase I grant in 2014. MDE is the first company to simultaneously receive both the NSF STTR and the NSF Partnership for Innovation: Accelerating Innovation Research-Technology Transfer (PFI:AIR-TT) grant. This follows multiple members of MDEs management team earning Top Honors in NSF's I-Corps Manhattan Cohort in May 2013. In September 2016, MDE was awarded the STTR Phase II grant, which will allow continued development and the first deployment of the device.
Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana Blood Center is Indiana’s largest independent blood center serving 70 percent of the state. Established in 1952, Indiana Blood Center was one of the original life science organizations in Indiana. Indiana Blood Center employs 350 dedicated staff and supplies blood services, blood products, and specialty services to more than 60 hospitals throughout Indiana. It operates eight donor center locations in the state and sees more than 100,000 donors annually at both donor centers and mobile blood drives collecting over 150,000 blood products. They also have an AABB accredited Immunohematology laboratory, an ASHI (American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics) accredited HLA and DNA laboratories serving transplant programs in Indiana, and a regional donor testing laboratory. For more information, visit www.indianablood.org.
Versiti is an organization of successful healthcare organizations whose vision is to improve the health of patients as the national leader in providing innovative transfusion solutions for healthcare systems. We provide value-added solutions to meet the unique blood related needs of each of our customers. Working together, Versiti offers hospitals a more comprehensive range of services, including transfusion medicine, transplantation, stem cell and cellular therapies, hematology, oncology and genomics. At Versiti, we are passionate about improving the lives of patients by helping our healthcare partners solve their toughest challenges. Versiti’s expertise and resources lead to new products, solutions and services to meet patient and hospital needs. For more information, visit www.Versiti.org.
MicroDevice Engineering Inc.
1401 Sugar Maple Lane
Houghton, MI 49931