April 1, 2015 – The University of Memphis Research Foundation (UMRF) has been granted United States patent No. 8,993,540, “Compositions and Methods for Delivering an Agent to a Wound.” It is the 20th patent granted to UMRF. The product covered by this patent was invented in the University of Memphis Herff College Of Engineering’s Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME). The inventors are Dr. Warren Haggard and Dr. Joel Bumgardner, both professors of BME, and Dr. Scott Noel of Bionova Medical, who earned his PhD under Haggard’s supervision.
The patent is exclusively licensed to Bionova Medical, a privately held medical device company in Germantown, Tenn. The company’s flagship product, Sentrex BioSponge MPD, covered by this new patent, has received two clearances from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use as a local wound management device that is also compatible with Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT).
“We are very pleased to receive a patent on this exciting technology that is based on cutting-edge science from our researchers,” said University President M. David Rudd. “It validates the real-world impact of the work of our researchers in the Herff College of Engineering, and demonstrates the leading role played by the FedEx Institute in bridging the gap between the lab and the marketplace.”
Dr. Jasbir Dhaliwal, executive director of the FedEx Institute of Technology and chief innovation officer of the University, said, “The FedEx Institute has been hard at work building up its portfolio of technology patents and intellectual property by supporting basic research and development of proof-of-concepts underlying innovations such as this would care device. We are now ready to work with regional biomedical partners to commercialize these innovations.”...
A grant to Dr. Joel Bumgardner, professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Memphis, will not only help educate students in a number of fields, but will ultimately be of benefit to persons who are mobility-impaired.
The $111,490 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will partially fund undergraduate student design projects that aim to assist people with general or age-related mobility disabilities. Other U of M professors who worked with Bumgardner in obtaining the grant and who will be instrumental in organizing student design projects are Dr. Amy Curry, Dr. John Williams and Dr. Warren Haggard.
The project will involve biomedical, mechanical or electrical engineering students, as well as clinicians and healthcare providers, who will work together to design or improve, and construct, custom devices to aid persons with mobility impairments. Special emphasis will be placed on persons who require assistive devices that might otherwise be cost prohibitive or not available....
In a dimly lit room the size of a boxcar, a patient at Fort Sam Houston in Texas lay on a U.S. Army gurney. A split in the skin over his knee revealed a nasty wound: broken shin, muscles bruised and burned, protective membranes shredded. On top of all that, it was infected. His doctors stared down at the wound, perplexed. Bacteria infection had returned to the wound, though most of the infection had been eliminated when the wound was cleaned two days earlier.
When Drs. Warren Haggard and Joel Bumgardner, biomedical engineering professors in the Herff College of Engineering at the University of Memphis, went looking for an answer to a problem plaguing U.S. Army doctors, one couldn’t help but think of the clever marketing jingle from the 1950s: “Plop plop, fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is.”
“What the Army was looking for,” Haggard says, “was a way to improve their treatment of infection. They were looking for a way to decrease the contamination in the wound by adding an adjunctive therapy.”
Herff College of Engineering professors Joel Bumgardner (left) and Warren Haggard (right) have developed a fast-acting dissolvable pellet that can deliver antibiotics to wounded soldiers in war zones, thus decreasing or eliminating infection.
About two years ago, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the U.S. Army lobbied Congress to fund research designed to accelerate progress in the area of complex injury care. Haggard, attending an Academy meeting, found out about the availability of grant money and submitted a proposal for research.
What Haggard and Bumgardner would eventually provide the U.S. Army with was a delivery mechanism of antibiotics that resembled the action of an Alka Seltzer: drop a rapidly dissolving pellet loaded with antibiotics directly into a soldier’s complex, contaminated wound. The result? Better management of the wound and less loss of limb or even life....