Austin Technology Incubator new member company NanoLite Systems, Inc. was recently featured in an article, “Conquering Breast Cancer” by Marjorie Smith for the UT Austin Cockrell School of Engineering on June 28.
“Cancer is the top disease that is killing people,” said Dr. John Zhang, a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Cockrell School. “And right now, we know biopsy is the standard. Doctors are removing tumors in the breast without having anything to tell them if the whole tumor has been removed … patients wait through a 24-hour time cycle to learn whether the cancer tumor is still there.”
The facts are that breast cancer affects nearly one out of eight American women during their lifetime and around 40 percent of patients undergo more than one surgery to remove malignant breast tissue.
Zhang has developed a new technology that acts like a GPS device for cancer surgeons. The instrument guides doctors during surgery, enabling them to see in real time whether all of the cancerous tissue has been removed. The key innovation behind the technology is a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) laser scanner. This handheld device — which uses a microchip that was created in his lab — generates real-time 3-D images of surface cell tissue, or more technically, ‘confocal images of epithelial tissue.’
Read the full Cockrell School of Engineering article HERE.
Since 2006, Zhang has continued to receive funding from the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health (NIH), National Instruments and others. Recently, Zhang received nearly $1 million from NIH’s National Cancer Institute to fund his research initiatives over the next three years.
Zhang licensed his microchip technology with the UT Austin Office of Technology Commercialization, and created a spin-off company called NanoLite Systems Inc. The company was co-founded with Dr. Ting Shen who received her Ph.D. from Stanford University and later worked for McKinsey & Co. and Cisco Systems, but she left to become CEO of NanoLite.
“If we can take this [technology] to market and reduce that redo rate for cancer surgery by just a few percent, we are moving the needle in a lot of people’s lives,” Shen said.
Other NanoLite Systems News:
On June 15, 2011, NanoLite Systems presented at the “LSI Q2 2011 Emerging Medical Technologies (EMT) Spotlight” event. Read the Businesswire PR that LSI released HERE.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) commercialization partner Larta Institute also highlighted NanoLite Systems as an alumnus of the NSF SBIR program HERE.