Meet the MIF Teams

After a thorough process including written submissions, video presentations and pitching to panels of judges with a variety of business backgrounds, the following teams were selected as the first recipients of MIF funding in 2021.

Blastoff ($100,000)

PhysioBiometrics logo PhysioBiometrics Inc. Every person at one point in their lifetime will experience change or deterioration in capacity to move owing to illness, accident, injury, or aging. Our premier product targets walking, the most valued activity contributing to quality of life. The Heel2ToeTM sensor (Class I Medical Device) helps improve the quality of a person’s gait, giving verbal instruction and feedback to place the heel first when walking. The sensor combined with supporting educational products in our Walk-BESTTM line (BEtter, Faster, Longer, STronger) will make self-management of walking challenges a reality and support remote monitoring and rehabilitation of gait related impairments by therapists. For details see www.physiobiometrics.com

INViCARE logoINViCARE develops an innovative biomedical technology to address infections around implants, with a two-fold approach to include prevention and more effective treatment. The company's core technology is a proprietary two-dimensional nanocrystalline hydrogel; the outcome of seven years of collaborative research between McGill scientists and researchers from Harvard Medical School and the University of Montreal. For details, see www.invicare.ca 


Launchpad ($50,000)

Professor Allen EhrlicherPattern based Contractile Screening (PaCS) led by Professor Allen Ehrlicher. Cells are not only biochemical entities, but exert significant contractile forces. Defects in these forces are associated with a broad range of pathologies, from cancer and heart disease to asthma. PaCS offers a dramatically simpler, faster, and higher-content approach for contractility quantification. This represents the first industrial translation of cell forces methodologies to a practical and readily implementable approach.

BioOptic logoBioOptic device, led by Professor Mark Driscoll. BioOptic™ seeks to offer a quick and easy way to measure one’s intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) which is shown to influence spinal stability and hence linked to back pain. Specifically, the device design and methods employed will be refined towards improving the accuracy, reliability, and usability of the device to get fully ready for market.

Professor Sara MahshidSalivera, led by Professor Sara Mahshid. The project is targeted for molecular diagnosis of respiratory infections like COVID-19 and Influenza A/B via colorimetric detection of RNA in the saliva of the patients in a multiplex and automated fashion. The team's vision is to maintain the accuracy of the gold standard (PCR), while reducing the cost (15$ customer price), time (5 min turn around) and complexity (fully automated sample collection, preparation and detection). More can be seen in this video.

Professor Timothy KennedyPolyglycerol dendrimer-based coating, led by Professor Timothy Kennedy. A major challenge for long-term cell culture is that specialized proteins used to coat the cell culture substrate are susceptible to degradation by proteases secreted by the cells. This destabilizes the culture, and typically results in cell death. Our coating provides game-changing support for long-term cultures, in particular for cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). The team has demonstrated the improved health and long-term stability of cells cultured on this new coating


Prelaunch ($25,000)

HisTurn logoHisTurn, led by Dr. Sarah Kimmins. There is an urgent need to treat fertility and infertility diagnosis in men given that sperm counts have declined at an alarming rate in the last 40 yrs.. HisTurn will fill a technology and health needs gap by accurately diagnosing infertility in men and providing clinicians with actionable information to allow them to streamline fertility treatment pathways. The team aims to make the clinical journey for couples inclusive of men and to increase the births of healthy children. You can find out more by watching this video.

portrait of Changhong Cao‘Multimeter’ of the nano-age, led by Professor Changhong Cao. As silicon-based innovations have almost reached their physical limitations, the class of ultra-thin films is one of the most promising alternative building blocks for next-generation electronics to support a range of disruptive technologies including augmented reality (AR), autonomous vehicles (AV) and Internet of Things (IoT). However, evaluating the physical properties of 2DM-based devices has been a major obstacle because of their delicate nature. Our product enables the first discovery of the fracture toughness of functionalized graphene. More information is available in this video.

Professor Reza Sharif NaeiniIdentification of an Ion Channel Target, led by Professor Reza Sharif Naeini, Department of Physiology. Activation of peripheral pain sensing neurons (nociceptors) is central to the experience of pain, and several chronic pain conditions are caused by the sensitization of nociceptors to mechanical stimuli, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis pain. We have identified an ion channel expressed in nociceptors and involved in sensing mechanical pain which represents a potential therapeutic target in chronic inflammatory pain. Determining a small molecule inhibitor to specifically target this ion channel would prevent the pain signal and may have valuable therapeutic potential in OA and RA patients, as well as other inflammatory pain conditions. To learn more watch this video.

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