The team are winners in the biomedical category. The winning NJIT team is composed of:
- Treena Arinzeh, a professor of biomedical engineering
- George Collins, an adjunct professor,
- Alumna Yee-Shuan Lee, Ph.D. ’10, now a researcher at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, a Center of Excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Their patent describes a novel strategy for combining a piezoelectric scaffold with neural cells to regenerate nerve tissue in spinal cord injuries. Piezoelectricity is an electrical charge created by mechanical force that is also used in sonar and sound technologies, among others.
The technology does not rely on an external energy source or electrodes for electric stimulation, and can be fabricated into a fibrous form to provide additional contact guidance for cell attachment and axonal growth.
The scaffold supports neural cell growth and attachment, which can promote axon regrowth and achieve integration with the host synaptic pathways.
The NJIT team is among 14 winners in a number of categories who received their awards at the 38th Edison Patent Awards Ceremony & Reception held at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City.