AKRON (Feb. 19, 2009)—University of Akron professors Joseph Kennedy and Mukerrem Cakmak have received the 2009 NorTech Innovation Award in the biosciences category for their artificial pancreas technology.
Kennedy, distinguished professor of polymer science and chemistry, and Cakmak, professor of polymer engineering, collaborated to make a biocompatible, polymer-coated nanofiber tube populated with insulin-producing cells from a pig. This implantable device could become the first long-term cure for diabetes.
Kennedy won the ACS Rubber Division's Charles Goodyear Medal in 2007.
The university's Judit Puskas, professor of polymer science, was one of 20 innovators from throughout Northeast Ohio who made the semifinalist list for her development of a carbon nanocomposite based on thermoplastic rubber and silica. This biomaterial is targeted to become a safer breast implant material than the present-day silicone shell.
Steven Chuang, UA professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, also was a semifinalist for awards, which were presented Feb. 18. Chuang was selected for his carbon sequestration, or CO2 capture, which could significantly reduce greenhouse emissions.
The NorTech Innovation Awards recognize meaningful innovations originating from universities, companies, nonprofit organizations and entrepreneurs throughout the region. They are presented by Crain's Cleveland Business, a sister publication of Rubber & Plastics News..