Upstate Medical University

CNYBAC Selects Medical Device Innovation Challenge Teams

Story Provided by Darryl Geddes, Upstate News 7/27/22

Upstate Medical University’s CNY Biotech Accelerator (CNYBAC) has selected its 2022 Medical Device Innovation Challenge (MDIC) teams.

The MDIC teams will participate in the Empire State Development grant-supported program, now in its sixth year. Teams are chosen by the MDIC Review Committee, a select group of subject matter experts. 

New this year, in addition to the four later-stage teams selected, an expansion program is being piloted due to the large number of applications received from Upstate students and faculty. These early-stage applicants were invited to attend the SUNY Summer Startup School and upon graduation will be accepted automatically into the MDIC program—which means the program will be supporting nine teams.

“We are very excited about the teams selected,” said Kathi Durdon, MA, CCRP, executive director of the CNYBAC. “These are medical device innovators working to commercialize exciting technology with the intent to positively impact how patients are diagnosed and treated.

“We have graduated 28 teams to date with many of our graduates generating significant milestones, such as receiving grant awards, winning competitions, partnering with Upstate researchers, and being accepted into accelerator programs,” Durdon said.  “We have wonderful mentor support in areas such as regulatory, product development, startup company commercialization, intellectual property protection and funding support. Our mentors are the key to the program's success.”

Not only do the MDIC participants receive intensive targeted mentorship and a wealth of matched resources from a strong New York state innovation ecosystem, they also receive student-based commercialization research through NYSTAR asset partner, the Innovation Law Center. Teams are offered workspace and access to prototyping equipment in the CNYBAC Creation Garage as well as coordinated connections to Upstate Medical University research and clinical expertise and CORE facilities throughout the six-month program.

The 2022 Medical Device Innovation Challenge selected participants are below: (Descriptions of devices were provided by participants):


At SurgiVance, we aim to bring rapid diagnosis to the point of care by developing diagnostic imaging technologies using advanced optics. SurgiVance is advanced surgical pathology to digitize the pathologist at the point of care with advanced imaging hardware and new AI insights. Our core value as a company: to honor tomorrow's doctors who want to work differently and better today, and to provide the technology they need to do it.

Team Lead:  Dan Gareau

Team:  Aneka Pradhan, Kazi Faiaz, Rumana Huq, Jaroslav Rakos, Alan Curry


Spinal disorders are among the most common cause of severe pain and disability across the globe, with enormous direct and indirect costs from physical impairment. Management of patients with spinal deformity poses major challenges due to the individualized complexity of their anatomy, high-risk neurological involvement, and prevalence of comorbidities. 3D printed modeling of patient-specific imaging using automated segmentation has the potential to improve preoperative planning of complex correction procedures, resident training programs, and spine-related research. A workflow for creating an anatomically and biomechanically equivalent 3D spine prototype will be developed to further investigate the capabilities 3D printed modeling has in the treatment of adult spine deformity.

Team Lead:  Dr. Jeffrey Mullin

Team:  Dr. Ciprian Ionita, Alexander Aguirre, Marissa Kruk


Obesity and associated Type-2 diabetes are epidemic and associated with significant morbidity, mortality and healthcare costs. EndObetes’ goal is to bring to market endoscopically placed devices to treat epidemics. Our device mimics the anatomic and physiologic changes of gastric bypass surgery which has shown dramatic weight loss and remission of diabetes. EndObetes has an issued patent, a working animal model, has received and completed work on an SBIR Grant from the NIH, has a strategic partnership with a device manufacturer and recently completed a pre-submission meeting with the FDA. EndObetes offers surgical results without the surgery.

Team Lead:  Marc Bessler, M.D.

Team:  Ryan Hanlon, Carolyn Myers


Papeasy's vision is for every woman to be empowered with an effective, private, and comfortable cervical self-screening option, in order to increase global accessibility and cervical cancer survivability rates worldwide.  Papeasy's mission is to develop user friendly self-testing methodologies for the most common STI & gynecological tests and screens, providing critical technological and user experience upgrades, bringing the OB-GYN standard-of-care model into the 21st century.  At home (or in the field) cervical cancer sample collection is possible with very low cost and accuracy equal to in office visits by designing a device at a price point woman are willing to pay for the convenience. Beyond retail and clinical applications, PapEasy can be deployed in environments doctors cannot, and will provide clinical level screening efficacy.

Team Lead:  Kamran Ayagh

Team:  Arian Shahmar, Dr. Carlos Conde, Eduardo Arroyo, Dr. Francisco Davila

SUNY Upstate Medical University Innovators

Anthony Feghali, MD

The device being developed is a unique expandable catheter that can be used to assist in the removal of blood clots more effectively. Currently there are various size catheters to remove clots depending on the location and size. This innovative catheter will be able to expand and change shape in order to remove the clot in a more clinically and cost-effective manner. The distal portion of the catheter will change luminal size to address the vessel and clot size appropriately. A prototype has been built and we are working the filling for a patent.

Ronald Miller (MD/PhD Program)

Diabetic foot ulcers remain a significant disease burden in the growing diabetic population. Diabetic patients are often unable to complete the daily foot exams necessary to ensure prevention of foot ulcers. We have conceived of a device to monitor the surface of the foot to detect early signs of tissue disruption. Our digital imaging-based solution can be used independently by patients at home without any assistance where data can be initially processed within the device as well as uploaded to the cloud for further analysis by a medical professional. Using this assessment tool, a change in the patient's foot health can be detected prior to significant tissue damage.  We developed a prototype which we plan to field test with patients.

Carlos Muniz, MD MSc

Nonconvulsive status epilepticus is a neurological emergency that requires prompt diagnosis and treatment. Performing standard EEG is a time consuming and resource intensive procedure and most hospitals in the US do not have EEG technicians available 24 hours a day. Our solution is a point-of-care EEG device for rapid screening of patients in the emergency department or ICU by having the physician mount the EEG device on the fingertips and performing the study (as a cardiologist uses a stethoscope). We have obtained a patent for the method, system and device used by this technology and are currently in early stages of development. 

Arvydas Matiukas, PhD

FDA mandates screening of each new drug for cardiac safety because it may introduce a life-threatening reaction. Currently, it is mostly performed on animals (and patients during final testing in clinical trials) using classical EKG-like electrical measurements that have not significantly been innovated during the last 100 years. This approach is costly and slow. Our innovation offers switching from electrical to modern contactless optical detection of the electric activity of cells. This approach has several innovations: 1) provides a universal method compatible with multiple test models: isolated cells, 2D/3D cell structures, tissues - allowing selecting optimal quality/price ratio; 2) is compatible with existing modern high-throughput imaging systems, allowing fast results; 3) is compatible with other optical measurements of toxicity and/or physiological condition that can be performed simultaneously (or for low additional cost/time).

Hesham Masoud, MD & Andrew Decker – Apis. Limited Liability Company

Our startup is centered around service improvements to healthcare processes utilizing technology to create an IoT to assist providers and resource allocation decision-makers through use of device integrated analytics. Our flagship technology is a coupled rotating hemostatic valve (RHV) and Tuohy-Borst adapter (TBA) for use with catheter-based procedures. Integrated sensors provide operative feedback on forces applied and positioning of tools currently in use. The display is paired with specialized heads-up display in the form of personal radiation safety protective goggles with integrated communication applications. These products constitute the foundation for an IoT that can be harnessed for a training, quality improvement and resource allocation management tailored to the unique provider practice and operative technique.

For more information on the MDIC, contact Kathi Durdon at The 2023 MDIC program will accept applications Jan. 1 to March 31, 2023.