President’s Innovation Prize Winner 2018: Visiplate

(soft music) – [Rui Jing] We’re building
a product called VisiPlate. This is a nanotechnology
based medical implant for patients with glaucoma. – Glaucoma is a disease
that affects the optic nerve and causes progressive damage over a period of
months to years. – There’s no current
cure and no way to restore their vision loss, so there’s a pressing need for
patients who are going blind and we thought we could
really help them out. – I think I’m really
excited and motivated by the idea that this
technology can really improve quality of life for patients. – We want to be able to stop
the progression of blindness and help people
preserve their vision. – Rui Jing, Adarsh, and
Brandon are developing a startup company that offers a revolutionary
nano-scale ocular implant. Their goal is to
transform the paradigm for treating glaucoma and
preventing vision loss. – VisiPlate is specifically
using a technology that’s been developed
in our lab here at Penn to take a material
and scale it down to nanometers in thickness. – VisiPlate is 10
thousand times thinner than these existing implants, which means a shorter
procedure time for surgeons and also more
comfort for patients. – [Rui Jing] I’m most
proud about the fact that we took a risk in
building something. Something that I hope
will be very impactful. – [Eydie] What makes Rui Jing,
Adarsh, and Brandon stand out is their enthusiasm
and their creativity. – Both of my teammates
Brandon and Adarsh are absolutely brilliant. – [Brandon] Adarsh is a
really good critical thinker. He always knows the
right questions to ask. Rui Jing is a great
leader because she’s so good at motivating us,
but also external people to support our project. – A big part of our
success was being able to leverage the people
and the resources from all the different schools. So Penn Engineering,
Wharton, and Penn Medicine, even Penn Law. – [Brandon] We asked healthcare
professors in Wharton who knew about the
economics of it. Then we talked to
doctors in Penn Medicine, and then we talked to
researchers across the school especially in engineering
who understood all these different properties. – And so it’s that
ability to be nimble, be across disciplinary, that’s
really made them a success. – What we as an institution do is provide them with just an
incredible array of resources. And it’s up to the
students to pick and choose what they need and
what’s gonna help them. This was a team that
tapped into everything that was available to them
to move the venture forward. – For any Penn
student out there, I’d say be curious
and stay curious. Do things that make
you feel uncomfortable. Go out there and do something
and don’t regret it. (soft music)

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