A vaccine that prevents Salmonella, coatings that protect fabrics from ultraviolet (UV) rays, bandages that release medication to improve wound healing, and better bed bug bait – these four NC State technological breakthroughs are one step closer to becoming reality.
The researchers behind these inventions are the first ever recipients of the Chancellor’s Innovation Fund award, which provides the funding to help bring these ideas to market.
Beating Bed Bugs
Entomologist Dr. Coby Schal is all about the bed bugs. He raises them in the lab and occasionally hand (or arm) feeds them by letting them drink his blood. But all of this pampering has a purpose: He’s trying to develop a simple bed bug control system that attracts the bugs by mimicking humans, then eradicates them. Schal hopes that his invention will ensure that when bed bugs check into a hotel or your home, they won’t check out.
Sticking it to Salmonella
Chickens are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to the spread of Salmonella – a nasty food-borne illness – to humans. Wouldn’t it be great if we could stop it at the source? Microbiologist Dr. Hosni Hassan and poultry scientist Dr. Matt Koci are working together to develop a vaccine that could be given to poultry and other animals to prevent them from carrying and spreading the disease to each other – and to your kitchen.
We’ve all seen bandages that already have antibiotic cream on them. But what about a bandage that could be “programmed” to deliver medications at a consistent rate? Biomedical engineer Dr. Elizabeth Loboa and fiber and polymer scientist Dr. Benham Pourdeyhimi are working on fibers with these properties that, when woven into bandages, could deliver drugs that promote healing and tissue regeneration.
Not Fade Away
Outdoor fabrics that last in the sun and don’t cost a ton? These are on the horizon thanks to work by chemical engineer Dr. Greg Parsons, textile engineer Dr. Jesse Jur, and post-doctoral researcher Chris Oldham, who are developing nano-coatings for fabrics that protect them from UV rays. The work goes beyond building better beach umbrellas – they believe these coatings can be used to produce protective clothing as well as in other applications.
The Innovation Fund was established in 2010 by Chancellor Randy Woodson as a means to provide additional support to faculty, staff and students who develop technologies or ideas with commercial potential. Fifty-six applicants applied for funding this year, from which 12 finalists were selected. A selection committee composed of NC State personnel with technological and entrepreneurial expertise, as well as external partners, chose the four winning projects.