OSU researcher's technology helps students win
two major entrepreneurial competitions

A team of Fisher and Ohio State graduate students offering a new approach to medical imaging for detecting breast cancer that would replace painful biopsies and the stress-inducing mammography won two major entrepreneurial competitions.

Terahertz Diagnostic Systems (TDS) team won the $3,000 first-prize in the nation’s most prestigious technology business start-up competition, the 2007 Materials Research Society (MRS) Entrepreneurship Challenge in April. Last month, the team won the 2007 Deloitte Business Plan Competition hosted by Fisher’s Center for Entrepreneurship.

“These were extraordinary wins because this team’s effort was an example of students leveraging research expertise and resources across Ohio State to develop a project that impressed international and national scientists and business executives,” said Michael Camp, academic director of the Center for Entrepreneurship. Camp was the team’s advisor for the MRS challenge.

TDS consisted of physics doctoral students H. Lee Mosbacker and Michael Hetzer, mechanical engineering graduate student Arindam Ghatak and MBA students Jeff D. Martin and Erwin Grabisna and Lawrence Burr Zimmerman, a chemical engineering doctoral candidate. Columbus entrepreneur Brad Beasecker advised the team for the Deloitte competition.

The team presented a business plan for new medical imaging technology, Advanced Digital Imaging System. The system, still under research and development, would eventually have the capability of detecting cancer without painful compression that accompanies mammography, according to the team. The business case forecasts that the new technology could increase revenue streams for hospitals and clinics and reduce billions of dollars in biopsy costs and treatment for late stage cancer treatment for patients.

The technology utilizes an array sensor for medical imaging based on a spintronic functional polymer. It was developed by Arthur Epstein, Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Physics and the Department of Chemistry. Epstein’s technology was patented through the Office of Research’s Technology, Licensing and Commercialization (TLC) team and was made available by the office to the Center for Entrepreneurship. The Technology Entrepreneurship Commercialization Academy also provided support to the students.

“This is an excellent team of students and entrepreneurs who identified a technology and came up with an exciting new paradigm and identified a business application that was in reach of realization,” Epstein said. “They chatted with me directly to understand the technology on a deeper level. They met with people at the Technology Licensing and Commercialization group and found out what would be the potential market.”

The graduate students joined forces in Fisher’s Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Academy, a graduate specialization program under the direction of Camp and the Center for Entrepreneurship.