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Two Veterinary Medicine Faculty Showcase Their Innovations
The TechColumbus Innovation Awards showcased 50 startups and innovators to more than 1,000 attendees on February 7 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, and two of those innovators are veterinarians at the Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine: Dr. Christopher Adin and Dr. Gustavo Schuenemann. Drs. Tony Buffington and Jean Schelhorn also attended the event.
"We are proud to have such large representation from veterinary medicine," said Dr. Jean Schelhorn, director of commercialization and industry collaboration at the college. "These faculty members represent very different areas of technology, and demonstrate the breadth of research being conducted in this college."
Drs. Adin and Buffington have developed technologies with potential to impact human as well as animal health, and Dr. Schuenemann’s model will assist decision-making on dairy farms of all sizes. Details are below.
Dr. Gustavo Schuenemann has developed a "Dynamic Cow-based Dairy Herd Model." Many factors influence the performance of dairy herds and their profitability. Decisions made on one area of the farm will have impact on other areas of the farm and vice versa. The collaborating researchers from three academic centers and with 70+ years of applied dairy management experience (Dr. Klibs N.A. Galvao, Dr. Albert De Vries, and, Dr. Paula Federico and Dr. Schuenemann) have developed a state-of-the-art dynamic model to simulate a dairy herd. The model allows individual and herd performance information to be derived and visualized over various time intervals. Information can also be exported from the model for other types of analyses. The model was developed to simulate events (e.g., pregnancy) associated with multiples variables at the same time (e.g., dairy herd) and to understand the complexity and interconnection of various factors of the system. This allows decision makers (e.g., dairy producers, veterinarians, animal scientists, dairy consultants, students, farm managers and commercial participants in the dairy industry) to make informed decisions based on various aspects of the production system. Novel components of the model include: a) user-friendly interface to set up strategies and parameter values, and to visualize herd outcomes at selected frequencies; b) implementation of various production parameters; c) effectiveness of program implementation (e.g., accuracy and compliance with protocol or program); and d) dynamic tracking of all events (e.g., milk yield, pregnancy proportion, replacements purchased, birth rates) that occur based on probability distributions. To the best of our knowledge, no such dynamic model is available today.
Dr. Christopher Adin and his colleague Dr Jim Lee in the College of Engineering have developed a "Dual Nanoporous Islet Encapsulation with Local Drug Delivery for Pancreatic Islet Transplantation." Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) is a debilitating disease that results from lack of insulin production by pancreatic beta cells. Approximately $1 in $10 health care dollars is spent on diabetes related medical expenses, with a national cost of over $174 billion in the United States in the year 2007 (ADA, 2008). The collaboration between the OSU research laboratories of Drs. Chris Adin in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Jim Lee in the College of Engineering has resulted in the development of a novel dual encapsulation technique for transplantation of pancreatic islets. They have demonstrated protection of the islets from the host immune system and this opens the possibility of safe transplantation of xenograft islets (pig islets). Use of porcine islets would relieve the organ shortage that has prevented advancement in this field by using animal tissue donors. With successful immunoisolation, the recipient will not require immunosuppressive drugs, removing a second major hurdle. Finally, the microenvironment provided by dual encapsulation appears to improve islet survival, minimizing cell losses and increasing the likelihood of a functional implant. The device also incorporates a nanoporous gate and drug delivery chamber to deliver the incretin hormone exenatide to islets during cell transplantation and through this have demonstrated improved islet survival. Exenatide is an FDA approved injectable drug that is currently used to improve the management of human type II diabetics. This team along with additional new collaborators is poised to carry out product development with a clear path to introduction of a clinical technique for use in human diabetics, including pre-clinical testing in dogs with naturally occurring diabetes mellitus (no FDA approval required) through appropriate steps that lead to human clinical trials through the Ohio State Comprehensive Transplant Center.
Dr. Tony Buffington and his colleagues have developed an "Infrared Analysis for Diagnosing Central Sensitivity Syndromes." Central sensitivity syndromes are a group of overlapping disorders characterized by physical symptoms without an obvious organic explanation, established biochemical abnormality, or demonstrable structural changes. These disorders include, but are not limited to, interstitial cystitis, fibromyalgia, irritable bowl syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Researchers at The Ohio State University led by Drs. Tony Buffington and Luis Rodriguez-Saona have developed a platform technology capable of correctly diagnosing two of these syndromes: interstitial cystitis and fibromyalgia, with greater than 90 percent diagnostic accuracy.