NTAC Challenge Winners

NIH has awarded a total of $1 million to six winners of the NIH Technology Accelerator Challenge for the design and development of non-invasive, handheld, digital technologies to detect and diagnose sickle cell disease (SCD), malaria, and anemia. Winners are listed below. For more information about this Challenge see the NTAC page

First Prize

$400,000

Young Kim

Intravital mHealth spectroscopy of microvascular blood analysis for anemia and sickle cell disease

First Prize

The proposal aims to develop a non-invasive, smartphone-based spectroscopy platform to detect anemia and SCD by analyzing photos of the microvasculature of the inner eyelid.

Young Kim

Purdue University

Lafayette, IN

Second Prize

$200,000

Bala Raja, Andrew Paterson, Rhoel Dinglasan

Rapid, smartphone-based salivary diagnostics for malaria, anemia, and COVID-19

Second Prize

Saliva will be non-invasively collected and analyzed by multiplex lateral flow tests for detection of SARS-CoV-2-specific antigens, ferritin (a marker of iron deficiency), and a malaria parasite protein, PSSP17.

Bala Raja, Andrew Paterson, Rhoel Dinglasan

Luminostics

San Jose, CA

Third Prize

$100,000

Nicholas Durr, Gregory McKay

CapCyte: a mobile phone capillaroscopic cytometer for non-invasive blood analysis

Third Prize

The smartphone-based Capillaroscopic Cytometer will non-invasively image thousands of capillary blood cells for cell classification, morphology, counting, and measurement of flow from a single video dataset.

Nicholas Durr, Gregory McKay

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Third Prize

$100,000

Peter Galen, Ran An, Paul Addison, Jake Dove

Affordable non-invasive and minimally invasive diagnosis of anemia, malaria, and sickle cell disease

Third Prize

Disease diagnosis is performed using a finger cuff to detect hemoglobin variants related to anemia and SCD, and hemozoin, a marker for the malaria parasite in blood.

Peter Galen, Ran An, Paul Addison, Jake Dove

HEMEX Health, Inc.; Medtronic; Case Western Reserve University; University of Nebraska

Portland; Cleveland, OH; Lincoln, NE

Third Prize

$100,000

Saurabh Mehta

Mobile-based assessment of iron deficiency, inflammation, and malaria infection in saliva

Third Prize

A smartphone app and 3D printed attachment will be used in a saliva lateral flow assay using gold nanoparticles to capture markers for iron deficiency (ferritin), inflammation (CRP), and malaria (PSSP17).

Saurabh Mehta

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Third Prize

$100,000

Erika Tyburski, Robert Mannino

AnemoCheck Mobile: A noninvasive smartphone app for anemia diagnosis and underlying etiology screening

Third Prize

The technology uses a picture of the fingernail beds and a smartphone app to evaluate anemia and screen for SCD with a novel algorithm.

Erika Tyburski, Robert Mannino

Sanguina, Inc

Peachtree Corners, GA

Honorable Mention

James Y. Suen

Cytophone for rapid noninvasive label-free screening of global diseases

Honorable Mention

This proposal will employ a smartphone-based device that uses laser pulses on the skin and ultrasound to detect rare circulating malaria and sickle cell disease-related cells.

James Y. Suen

CytoAstra, LLC; University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; Yale

Little Rock, AR; Fayetteville, AR; New Haven, CT