MIT's Deshpande Center Announces Fall 2009 Research Grants

Eight Research Teams Receive Over $600,000 to Develop New Technological Innovations

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (October 7, 2009) -- The Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at MIT today announced it is awarding $600,000 in grants to eight MIT research teams currently working on early-stage technologies. These projects have the potential to make a significant impact on our quality of life by revolutionizing composite materials, diagnostics, disease therapies, drug discovery, diabetes treatment, high power electronics, energy efficient displays, and sensors.

Acting as a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship, the Deshpande Center awards grants that fund proof-of-concept explorations and validation for emerging technologies. “We are excited about the new technologies that continue to emerge from the researchers at MIT,” said Leon Sandler, the center's executive director. “These grantees have unique and innovative technologies to solve significant problems and create value. ”

The fall 2009 grant recipients are:

MEMS for Large Area and Flexible Applications: Vladimir Bulovic
A flexible paper thin micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) array that can be used for sensing and actuation over large surfaces.

Device for Treatment of Cerebral Edema: Michael Cima
A drug delivery device to treat brain edema with reduced systemic side effects typical of conventional treatments.

Stable Inorganic-Organic Hybrid Light Emitting Diodes: Karen Gleason
Long-lived LEDs on flexible substrates providing energy efficient portable displays. (Renewal from 2008)

A Novel Device for Label-free Cell Rolling Separation: Rohit Karnik and Jeffrey Karp
A device for separating cells that could be used for the monitoring and diagnosis of a wide variety of diseases. (Renewal from 2008)


A Wearable Sensor for Continuous Glucose Monitoring for Diabetics: Michael StranoA carbon nanotube based, minimally invasive, tissue implantable, glucose sensor.  The sensor will allow continuous glucose monitoring for diabetes patients, resulting in improved glucose regulation and better health.

Chemical Production of Functionalized Graphene for Enhanced Composite Materials: Timothy Swager
The development of a chemical process to produce graphene at a very reasonable cost, leading to the industrial use of new composite materials.

Nano-engineered Surfaces for Ultra High Power Density Thermal Management: Kripa Varanasi
Heat needs to be removed rapidly from high power electronics or the semiconductors will fail. This project will develop a system to very rapidly dissipate large amount of heat from such devices.

New Antibiotic Target: Graham Walker
A project to attempt to isolate lead compounds to develop a new antibiotic. (Renewal from 2008)

The Ignition and Innovation grants help recipients assess and reduce the technical and market risks associated with their innovations. In addition to financial support, the Deshpande Center's network of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and academic and legal experts helps recipients assess the commercial potential of their innovations and make decisions that accelerate progress toward the development of business plans or licensing strategies.

About the MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation

The Deshpande Center is part of the MIT School of Engineering and was established through an initial $20 million gift from Jaishree Deshpande and Desh Deshpande, the co-founder and chairman of Sycamore Networks. It is supported by gifts from alumni, friends and sponsors. The center serves as a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship by supporting leading-edge research and bridging the gap between the laboratory and marketplace.