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Challenge Seeks Method to Connect Tissues Without Sutures

Transplant surgery (NIH)

(National Institutes of Health)

A new challenge on InnoCentive seeks a method for surgically connecting fluid-bearing tissues without using sutures. The competition, sponsored by the Cleveland Clinic, has a maximum prize of $30,000 and a final submission deadline of 12 August 2012. InnoCentive in Waltham, Massachusetts conducts open-innovation, crowd-sourcing competitions for corporate and organization sponsors.

The Cleveland Clinic notes that some surgical procedures, such as radical prostatectomies, require the severing tissues in order to proceed with the repair. When the severed tissue is a fluid-carrying tube such as the urethra, it can be difficult to reconnect the severed urethra to the bladder.

Participants in the challenge are asked to devise a better method than sutures to reconnect a bladder or other fluid-bearing vessels to their connecting conduits, such as the urethra, after the two have been severed during surgery. Contestants need to submit their ideas in a written proposal.

The Cleveland Clinic that sponsors the challenge can provide an early evaluation of participants’ ideas. Participants may send in an abstract of their idea — no more than one page — by 7 July to receive an evaluation from the sponsor. Participants can then decide whether or not to proceed with a full proposal, due on 12 August.

The challenge has a maximum award of $30,000. To receive the award, the winning participant must transfer to the sponsor exclusive intellectual property (IP) rights to the solution. The sponsor will consider a reduced award of $20,000 if full IP rights cannot be transferred.

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