Chancellor’s Innovation Fund Awards

A vaccine that prevents Salmonella, coatings that protect fabrics from ultraviolet (UV) rays, bandages that release medication to improve wound healing, and bait that lures bedbugs out of hiding—these four NC State technological breakthroughs are one step closer to becoming reality.

The researchers behind these inventions are the first-ever recipients of the Chancellor’s Innovation Fund award, which provides the funding to help bring these ideas to market.

1. Smart Bandages

We’ve all seen bandages that have antibiotic cream in them. But what about a bandage that can be “programmed” to deliver medications at a consistent rate? Biomedical engineer Dr. Elizabeth Loboa and fiber and polymer scientist Dr. Behnam Pourdeyhimi are developing fibers that could be woven into bandages to deliver drugs that promote healing and tissue regeneration.

2. Beating Bedbugs

Entomologist Dr. Coby Schal is all about the bedbugs. He raises them in his lab and occasionally hand-feeds (or arm-feeds) them by letting them drink his blood. But all this pampering has a purpose: He’s developing a simple bedbug control system that attracts the bugs by mimicking humans—and then it eradicates them. Schal hopes his invention will ensure that when bedbugs check into a hotel or your home, they won’t check out.

3. Stopping Salmonella

Chickens are one of the biggest culprits behind the spread of Salmonella, a nasty foodborne illness, to humans. Wouldn’t it be great if we could stop Salmonella at the source? Microbiologist Dr. Hosni Hassan and poultry scientist Dr. Matt Koci are developing a vaccine for poultry and other animals to prevent them from spreading the disease to each other—and to your kitchen.

4. Sunproof Fabrics

Outdoor fabrics that last in the sun and don’t cost a ton? They’re on the horizon, thanks to work by chemical engineer Dr. Greg Parsons, textile engineer Dr. Jesse Jur and postdoctoral researcher Chris Oldham, who are developing nanocoatings that protect fabrics from UV rays. The work goes beyond building better beach umbrellas—the researchers believe these coatings can also be used to produce UV-protective clothing.