HEMI Fellow Sung Hoon Kang Receives Cohen Fund Grant for Work on a 3D-printed Medical Device

Aug 20, 2020 | No Comments | By Michelle Pagano

Congratulations to Sung Hoon Kang, HEMI Fellow and assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, on being named a recipient of funding from the Cohen Translational Engineering Fund for a project to develop a 3D-printed medical device that simplifies a complicated surgical procedure.

Established through a generous multi-year gift from the Neil Cohen ’83 and his wife, Sherry, the Cohen Translational Engineering Fund provides up to $200,000 seed funding to support the initial stage of innovation that moves research out of the laboratory, including the development of new WSE patents, and a range of critical needs — from materials and supplies to graduate student stipends and tuition.

Kang’s project titled, “Vaso-Lock: A 3D Printed Coupling Device for Microvascular Anastomosis,” addresses microvascular anastomosis, a highly specialized surgical technique of hand-sewing together blood vessels in plastic and reconstructive surgery. While a common procedure, it requires years of training and practice, and hours to complete in the operating room. Kang, working with a team of vascular and microvascular plastic surgeons, used 3D printing to create Vaso-Lock, which holds together free vascular ends instead of requiring stitches. The stent is made from materials approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and it is biocompatible.

By simplifying a complex surgical technique, the inventors hope to reduce operative time while allowing for more vessel coupling during the procedure, improve patient outcomes and safety, and make microvascular and vascular anastomosis more globally available.

Kang was one of two faculty members from the Whiting School of Engineering to receive funding this year. Since its inception six years ago, the Cohen fund has granted nearly $1 million for 24 projects. This year, the fund changed its grant cycle to an annual award, raised the maximum application budget to $100,000 and increased the project length to nine months.

Click here to learn more about Kang’s project and the Cohen fund.

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