2013 Innovation Award Series- CEAS Professor Recognized for Innovative Technology

By: Desiré Bennett

For his innovative research and partnerships, College of Engineering and Applied Science professor, Chong Ahn, PhD, and his affliated company Siloam Biosciences, Inc., are named a finalist for a 2013 Business Courier Innovation award.

Chong Ahn, PhD.

Chong Ahn, PhD.

UC College of Engineering and Applied Science professor and founder of Siloam Biosciences Inc., Chong Ahn, PhD, has been advised that Siloam Biosciences, Inc. has been nominated for a 2013 Business Courier Innovation award.

The Innovation Awards celebrate innovative people and companies “that show how new ideas can be developed into fuel for the Tri-State’s economic engine.” The award is being presented by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber and Community Partner, the Business Courier and CincyTech.

In 2004 Ahn launched Siloam Biosciences Inc. to develop products using microfluidic polymer lab-on-a-chip that helped point-of-care testing (POCT) based clinical diagnostics.   Subsequently, Siloam Biosciences, Inc. developed what their website states is “the first ever microfluidic immunoassay platform designed to provide the dramatic benefits of microfluidics in a product that is as easy to use as an innovative POCT platform.”

Ahn, who is M. P. Kartalia Chair Professor of Electrical Engineering and the Director of the Microsystems and BioMEMS Laboratory at UC, holds six U.S. patents, filed ten patents, and has published over ~300 journal and peer-reviewed conference papers related to microfluidics and smart lab-on-a-chip (LOC) technology.  This state-of-the-art technology has opened a new door for point-of-care (POCT) in vitro diagnostics (IVD) to quickly analyze a person’s health condition and status.

These faster diagnoses and more immediate test results are the desires of many patients and physicians. “Polymer smart LOC with microfluidics is one of the most innovative platforms for a better analysis of biochemical molecules,” said Ahn.  “The microfluidics and lab-on-a-chips can be applied to in vitro diagnostics (IVD), ELISA, and point-of-care testing (POCT) clinical diagnostics and a couple of lab-on-a-chip and microfluidic platforms developed in this lab have been transferred for commercial products.”

Image of TROVA™

Image of TROVA™

Recently, Siloam Biosciences has launched the first-ever “open source” Point-of-Care Test (POCT) platform product, TROVA™ with its marketing campaign “Your Quantitative POCT within 3 Months in TROVA™.”    “This is the first-ever ‘open source’ Point-of-Care Test (POCT) platform product.  The product development team of Siloam, who are mostly composed of UC graduates, is very proud of the product,” said Ahn.

TROVA™ is currently under processing for its pre-clinical trial first and then full clinical trial for a couple of IVD targets with a regulatory team from the College of Medicine at UC.

Ahn has been a member of the UC family for nearly 20 years.  He earned his PhD in electrical and computer engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1993. After receiving his PhD, he worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Electrochemical Technology and Microfabrication at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in New York. He then joined the UC faculty as an assistant professor of electrical engineering in 1994.  He is currently serving as an Editor of the IEEE/ASME Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems (JMEMS) and also Editorial Boards of the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering (JMM) and Journal of Microfluidics and Nanofluidics (JMN).  He is now a Fellow at the Institute of Physics.

Nominees for the third annual Innovation Awards are categorized based on what they believe their project best exemplifies: Outstanding Emerging Innovation, Bioscience Innovation, Information Technology Innovation, Marketing Innovation or Advanced Engineering Innovation.

Winners will be recognized at an awards reception on April 25, 2013 and featured in a Courier supplement to the April 26 weekly print edition.