Wednesday, April 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Heart valve replacement process wins prize

A new approach to tissue preparation that makes heart valve replacements less likely to be rejected by the body’s immune system — potentially giving transplant patients longer, healthier lives swept top honors at UC Davis’ 13th annual Big Bang! Business Plan Competition.

ViVita Technologies, a team comprising a UCD veterinarian and three biomedical engineering doctoral students, took home a total of $12,000 in the  $10,000 for first place, decided by a team of judges, and $2,000 for the People’s Choice award, decided by a vote of the approximately 150 people who attended the awards ceremony Thursday at the UCD Conference Center.

MBA students in the Graduate School of Management run the competition.

ViVita Technologies was driven to create its product to address the current shortage of organs. “But unlike with current heart valve transplants, the patient would be free from a lifetime of (anti-rejection) drugs,” said Maelene Wong, chief executive officer of the nascent company.

The ViVita process removes substances that trigger patients’ immune response while preserving the structural integrity and functional properties of the replacement valve tissue. The method has been successfully tested on small animals, they said.

The proprietary process allows the patient’s own cells to join and grow with the transplant tissue — a process that the team says could eventually be used for any organ transplant. It would also allow for better transplant methods for children, who often need new transplants, and additional surgeries, when their bodies grow, Wong said.

She and two fellow biomedical engineers teamed with Leigh Griffiths, an assistant professor of cardiology and cardiac surgeon in the School of Veterinary Medicine, to develop the technology. Last summer, they honed their business development skills through the Biomedical Engineering Entrepreneur Academy at UCD’s Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Second prize of $5,000 went to Davis Chem, a team of part-time MBA students that is working to commercialize a sustainable method of producing isobutryaldehyde: a common base chemical used in everything from paint to cosmetics, with genetically modified E. coli bacteria rather than with the petroleum products currently used in production.

The patent is held by Shota Atsumi, an assistant professor of chemistry.

— UC Davis News Service

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    UC Davis biodigester hungers for food scraps

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    Council votes to look at reducing water bills

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    New mosaic mural reflects Peña family history

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Penalty decision looms in Winters homicide case

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Hay bales burn east of Davis

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Woman killed by train ID’d

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Pro-Russian insurgents hold journalist captive

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Bible fun featured at Parents’ Night Out

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Davis businesswoman presides over conference

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Birch Lane sells garden plants, veggies

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Team Blend hosts fundraiser for Nicaragua project

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3

    Davis Arts Center: See ceramics, join the Big Day of Giving

    By Erie Vitiello | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Fire damages Woodland home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

    Register to vote by May 19

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Sign up for enviro organizations during Earth Week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Sunder hosts campaign event for kids

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Church hosts discussion of mental health needs, services

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    UCD to host premiere of autism documentary

    By Cory Golden | From Page: A4

    UFC hears from two local historians

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Fundraiser benefits Oakley campaign

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Fire crews gather for joint training

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Odd Fellows host culinary benefit for nonprofit

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    400 bikes go up for bids at UCD auction

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    UCD professor to talk about new book

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Fly Fishers talk to focus on healthy streams, rivers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Train to become a weather spotter

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Learn survival skills at Cache Creek Preserve

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Veterans, internees may receive overdue diplomas

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    UC Davis conference showcases undergraduate research

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Conservation District celebrates its stewardship efforts

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Slow Food tour showcases area’s young farmers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Forum

    Even a safe house needs boundaries

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    My votes reflect city values

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    A plea on the Bard’s birthday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    I support Sunder for board

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Will anyone notice?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    Davis gets to Grant ace and rolls in DVC crucial

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Walchli is under par in another Devil victory

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Seniors send Blue Devil girls past Broncos in a lacrosse rout

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    DHS thunders back to win an epic DVC volleyball match

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    DHS/Franklin I goes to the Blue Devil softballers

    By Chris Saur | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
     
    Baseball roundup: Rangers rally to beat A’s in the ninth

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Sharks go up 3-0 with OT win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    Field to fork: El Macero’s chef offers spring tastes

    By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

     
    Five Three Oh! featured at April Performers’ Circle

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Celebrate spring at I-House on Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Music, wine flow at Fourth Friday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Biscuits ‘n Honey will play at winery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Catharine ‘Kay’ Lathrop

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6