Alper Yilmaz and fellow faculty earn funding for novel technology commercialization

Posted: June 3, 2022

Four projects led by College of Engineering faculty – Perena Gouma, Judit Puskas, Jonathan Song and Alper Yilmaz – will receive funding via The Ohio State University Accelerator Awards.

The Accelerator Awards program is designed to spur the advancement of cutting-edge innovations from The Ohio State University into the marketplace. It provides grants of up to $150,000 to support external validation and de-risking activities to demonstrate commercial viability of a technology with the intent to license to an Ohio-based startup. Administered through the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship, the program is funded by the university with matching funds from the Ohio Third Frontier Technology Validation and Startup Fund.

“The recent Accelerator Award cycle saw another group of exciting technologies. We are delighted to be able to offer this critical, early-stage funding to our PIs, allowing them to perform proof of concept studies or create prototypes to quickly demonstrate the effectiveness of their technologies,” said Cheryl Turnbull, senior director of the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship at Ohio State. “By performing more of this work prior to a license agreement, we hope to increase the value and level of startup creation at Ohio State.”

Since the program launched in 2015, the Accelerator Awards have distributed over $5 million to 78 unique projects. These projects have led to 22 startup companies.

Perena Gouma

Perena Gouma | Professor, Materials Science & Engineering

Desktop High-Throughput Electrospinning System

Standard electrospinning, a nano-manufacturing process of fibrous materials, is currently limited by the low production rate and technical problems associated with the available equipment. This project is developing a turnkey, user-friendly, scalable processing equipment that offers high-throughput production of non-woven fibers (random or aligned) which can be used to manufacture a wide range of products, from photocatalytic blankets (nanogrids) to skin gas sensing diagnostics and smart textiles. The Accelerator Award funds will be used to fabricate and validate a desktop prototype design for commercialization.


JuditJudit Puskas

Judit Puskas Judit Puskas | Professor, Food, Agricultural & Biological Engineering


Current face masks have limitations, and lower compliance has been an issue. This project is developing a face mask to address these problems – discomfort, moisture absorption and impeded breathing – by prototyping a recyclable and comfortable face mask that outperforms current disposable masks, while having the filtration efficiency of KN95 masks. Funding will be used to fabricate prototype masks and test them with users at meat processing facilities, as well as de-risk scaled-up manufacture of the material required to make the masks.


Jonathen Song

Jonathan Song | Associate Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Induced Electric Field (iEF) Therapy for Treatment of Metastatic Cancers

Metastasis of cancer cells is associated with a poor patient prognosis and is the foremost cause of cancer-related death, with approximately 90% of patients who succumb to cancer dying of metastatic disease. While current standard of care therapies, such as chemotherapy and radiation treatment, can sometimes shrink or slowdown metastatic tumors, their therapeutic effects are most often temporary and are commonly associated with side effects and co-morbidities. There is a need for novel, safe and cost-effective anti-metastatic therapies that can either replace existing treatments or make current treatments more effective. The project has developed an induced electric field technology as a non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical method for limiting and preventing cancer metastasis. The Accelerator Award funds will enable development of a prototype for a device-based solution for treating metastatic cancer leading ultimately to human clinical trials.


Alper Yilmaz

Alper Yilmaz | Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering

Machine Learning Tool Detection and Monitoring of Stroke (co-led by Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology Deepak Gulati, MD)

Timely recognition of stroke along with follow-up monitoring remains a challenge. Major pain points include failure to timely detect and assess severity of stroke, monitoring patients during hospital and post-discharge for secondary prevention. Using stroke scales are correlated with better patient outcomes and reporting of stroke scales has an impact on reimbursement and stroke center certification. This project has developed a technology to deploy an automated machine learning agent for detection severity and monitoring of stroke. The Accelerator Award funds will be used to complete a market research study to support and validate development of a mobile application that detects and monitors stroke through an audio-video-haptic interface in prehospital, hospital and posthospital settings.

In 2021, Professors Carlos Castro, Asimina Kiourti, Alan Luo, Boyd Panton and Shaurya Prakash earned Accelerator Awards.

- by College of Engineering Communications

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