Aspero Medical Inc., a medical device startup focused on developing solutions and applications for the field of gastroenterology, has received a $225,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop an advanced intraoperative endoscopic balloon overtube to use in gastrointestinal and endoscopy procedures.
Aspero Medical is a spinoff of the University of Colorado Boulder and a graduate company of Innosphere Ventures’ commercialization program.
The NSF grant funds will be used to further develop Aspero Medical’s C-Tube product line that incorporates its proprietary Pillar micro-texture technology. “This investment will allow us to finalize an entirely new balloon and overtube design that will enable consistent and complete colonoscopy procedures,” Mark Rentschler, Aspero Medical CEO, said in a written statement. “We are extremely grateful to have received this grant from the National Science Foundation.”
Balloon endoscopy has become the standard of care in the drive to diagnose and treat small bowel disease. However, the current balloons used in these procedures are smooth and round making them prone to slippage. These ineffective balloons result in an estimated $100 million in increased annual costs for health-care providers and patients. Every year in the U.S., more than 51.5 million gastrointestinal endoscopies are performed.
The project will be led by Rentschler as principal investigator and supported through Prospect Life Sciences. Rentschler is also a professor of mechanical engineering at CU.
“NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by thinking beyond incremental developments and funding the most creative, impactful ideas across all markets and areas of science and engineering,” said Andrea Belz, director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. “With the support of our research funds, any deep technology startup or small business can guide basic science into meaningful solutions that address tremendous needs.”
“The National Science Foundation grant combined with previous investment from Innosphere Ventures and the state of Colorado OEDIT Advanced Industries grant program will enable the next stage of development for this novel technology,” said James Willett, senior strategic advisor and Aspero Medical board member. “We look forward to carrying this project to full commercialization and expanding the options currently available for endoscopic gastrointestinal procedures.”
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