TAKE HEART: Every year, millions of adults worldwide are diagnosed with heart failure. Vectorious’ V-LAP, the world’s first direct heart pressure monitor located on the heart’s left atrium, is allowing physicians to get unprecedented access to the earliest indication of heart pressure changes before the patient feels any symptoms, in order to manage the disease and to live a better life.
Vectorius co-founders, Oren Goldshtein and Dr. Eyal Orion, are both Technion Alumni.
Technion technology behind revolutionary new device
“Patients receiving oncology therapies are immuno-compromised and susceptible to infection,” says Dr. Avishay Bransky, CEO of PixCell Medical. “A hospital environment presents a major risk, due to potential contact with other patients, staff and for hospital-acquired infection. As such, we believe that enabling the shift to home care settings for oncology, in particular, is a crucial evolution in cancer care.”
PixCell Medical offers a new technology that enables rapid, at home blood tests that could enable remote the administration of remote chemotherapy treatment for cancer patients. Their patent-protected device uses an underlying technology known as viscoelastic focusing (VEF), which was first discovered at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology.
Technion and Rambam Health Care Campus scientists present a novel method for testing more than 60 patients simultaneously
Researchers at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and Rambam Health Care Campus have successfully tested a method that will dramatically increase the current COVID-19 testing capacity using existing available resources. This method, known as pooling, enables simultaneous testing of dozens of samples. Its implementation has the potential to greatly accelerate the rate of testing and detection of COVID-19 infected patients in the population. The trial was completed in a matter of days thanks to the support of the Ministry of Health and the close collaboration between Technion and Rambam.
Testing for COVID-19 is currently being conducted in Israel with the focus on people with specific symptoms. The current rate of testing – about 1,200 a day – does not allow for monitoring of asymptomatic carriers in the population, which is vital to curb the epidemic.
COVID-19 is diagnosed with PCR testing, which is common for virus monitoring. This test examines the presence of a unique genetic sequence of viruses in a sample taken from the patient. The test takes several hours thus generating a bottleneck in identifying COVID-19 infected people in Israel and around the world. According to Dr. Yuval Gefen, director of the Rambam Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, “Today, we receive approximately 200 COVID-19 test samples a day, and each sample undergoes individual examination. According to the new pooling approach we have currently tested, molecular testing can be performed on a “combined sample,” taken from 32 or 64 patients. This way we can significantly accelerate the testing rate. Only in those rare cases, where the joint sample is found to be positive, will we conduct an individual test for each of the specific samples.”
According to Professor Roy Kishony, head of the research group in the Faculty of Biology at Technion, “This is not a scientific breakthrough, but a demonstration of the effectivity of using the existing method and even the existing equipment to significantly increase the volume of samples tested per day. This is done by pooling multiple samples in a single test tube. Even when we conducted a joint examination of 64 samples in which only one was a positive carrier, the system identified that there was a positive sample. Although there are some logistical challenges in implementing the method, we expect that it will greatly increase the volume of samples tested per day so that we can identify the asymptomatic carriers. This approach should reduce the chance of infection and flatten the infection curve.”
Director of the Rambam Virology Lab, Dr. Moran Szwarcwort-Cohen estimates that, “implementing pooling in the final stage of the PCR test will make it easier for us to shorten the entire process and significantly increase the test rate.”
President of the Technion Professor Uri Sivan said: “This experiment conducted by Technion and Rambam researchers is complex, and under normal circumstances would take months. This is a remarkable example of the mobilization of an outstanding team in a time of crisis. The initial experiment was completed in less than four days. This achievement emphasizes the importance of the close relationship between Technion and Rambam and between medicine and engineering. Technion researchers have been enlisted in the war against the Coronavirus and this is one of the many activities currently underway at Technion to combat the spread of the disease.”
General Director of Rambam Health Care Campus Prof. Michael Halberthal said, “This collaboration between Technion and Rambam, for the benefit of all humanity, is just one example of many joint projects between the two institutions. These collaborations are designed to harness the multidisciplinary capabilities of Technion researchers for the advancement of medicine.”
The experiment was led at Technion by Dr. Idan Yelin, together with Noga Aharony, Einat Tamar, and Dina Berenbaum in Prof. Kishony’s laboratory together with Amir Argoetti from Professor Yael Mandel-Gutfreund’s laboratory, both labs are in the Faculty of Biology. Dr. Esti Messer, head of the Technon Biological Safety Dept, was enlisted to help set up the dedicated laboratory and accompanied the entire experiment. Prof. Kishony holds the Marilyn and Henry Taub Chair in Life Sciences. The Rambam Health Care Campus team was led by Dr. Yuval Gefen and Dr. Moran Szwarcwort-Cohen, and Prof. Michael Halberthal, Rambam General Director and CEO.
In the midst of the worldwide CoVid-19 crisis, Israeli scientists at the Migal Research Institute are confident of breakthrough in developing vaccine for COVID-19.
MIGAL Galilee Research Institute CEO David Zigdon has said in the statement on MIGAL website that the institute is taking all possible measures to accelerate the development of the vaccine, keeping in mind the urgent requirement of such a measure across the globe. He said the institute aims to develop the vaccine in the next eight to 10 weeks and get safety approvals within the next three months. He further said that the aim is to make the vaccine an oral one, to increase its accessibility to the masses. He also revealed that the institute is in talks with different potential partners who can help in expediting the in-human trials phase and completion of the final product development.
Several Technion academics are on the Board of Migal Research Institute, and a number of Migal PhD researchers are studying with Technion faculty.
Maya Angelou once said: “Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women.”
Technion women have been trailblazers for generations. In 1924, at a time when academia was closed off to women in many countries, Technion’s first class of 17 students included one female.
Today, the percentage of women undergraduate students at Technion is 37%; graduate students 32%; and doctoral students 44%. This number continues to rise, with Technion’s commitment to equal ratios and empowering women in the fields of STEM.
Meet some of the Technion women who are making critical advances in human health, leading the digital revolution and developing the technologies of tomorrow.
FORBES 30 UNDER 30 ISRAEL
Technion PhD student Alona Shagan was recently featured in the Forbes Israel list for promising technological entrepreneurs.
Together with Prof. Boaz Mizrahi, Shagan developed a hot-glue and a novel adhesive to adhere human tissue that has been seriously injured. the new concept will lead to the development of devices that will reduce the use of stitches, staples and pins, speed up the healing process and reduce scarring.
Prof. Lilac Amirav, Technion Alumna, discusses her work in nano-scale photo-catalysis and the future of renewable energy. Prof. Amirav is a member of the Grand Technion Energy Project (GTEP) and the Schulich Faculty of Chemistry.
Resolving Antibiotic Resistance
Michelle Heymann and Diane Abensur were recent immigrants to Israel (Heymann from Brazil and Abensur from France) when they met while studying for in the Technion’s MBA program. Together they founded medical start-up Nanosynex, which has developed a method of precisely adapting antibiotics to infections to enable more effective and faster treatment.
The Next Cancer Killer
Prof. Marcelle Machluf, a Technion alumnus, received a $5 million investment from “aMoon”, an Israeli health-tech and life sciences fund, to commercialize her cancer-fighting NanoGhost technology. Prof. Machluf’s research uses a revolutionary bio-medical nano-technology which targets specific tumors to shrink the deadliest forms of cancer.
Professor Asya Rolls: A Pioneer in Psychology
Can emotions affect health? Is it possible that thoughts impact the body’s ability to cope with disease? Assoc. Prof. Asya Rolls’ ground-breaking research on how thoughts and emotions impact health has been recognized with numerous young scientist awards. Most recently, Rolls successfully dramatically shrank brain tumors by activating the neural reward system.
A Leader In Research
Dr. Shulamit Levenberg, Dean of the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology was named by Scientific American as a “Research Leader” in tissue engineering, for her seminal work on vascularization of engineered tissues. She is founder and chief scientific officer of two start-up companies in the areas of cultured meat and nano-liter arrays for rapid antimicrobial susceptibility testing.
Grand Technion Energy Program
Prof. Sabrina Spatari is leading the Grand Technion Energy Program Life Cycle Assessment which analyzes new renewable energy technologies at an early stage of development and analyzes whether or not these technologies have the potential to contribute large scale environmental benefits to society.
She has Reading on the Brain
Technion alumna and Professor Tzipi Horowitz-Kraus, is the Director of the Educational Neuro-imaging Center in the Technion Faculties of Education in Science and Technology, and Biomedical Engineering. Prof. Horowitz-Kraus believes that “reading is not an intuitive process”. She uses her lab to assess and predict whether or not kids will have reading difficulties with the help of electroencephalogram (EEG).
Dr. Kira Radinsky, Technion alumna, discusses the potential for artificial intelligence (A.I.) to predict events and patterns in disease, genocide, riots, and drug effects based on data analysis. Radinksy joined eBay in 2016 after they acquired of her company, SalesPredict. She has since become a pioneer in the field of data science through her machine learning solutions which are transforming the future of e-commerce.
Dr. Silva Behar-Harpaz: Inspiring a Love of Math & Physics
Dr. Silvia Behar Harpaz received her Ph.D. in physics from the Technion, during which she spent time at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project in Switzerland, which is the world’s largest particle accelerator. She has also taught at Technion’s campus in China and is always inspired to teach to students who are “highly motivated, hard-working and invested in learning”. She has been an inspiration to many of her students as she continues to receive many awards for her excellence in teaching.
These are just some of the inspirational Technion women whose passion, curiosity and intelligence will create critical advancements in science and technology, while inspiring the next generation of women to take on whatever challenges they choose!
Medical start-up Nanosynex was founded by CEO Diane Abensur and VP marketing and business development Michelle Heymann, who met when they were studying for MBAs at the Technion. Both had recently immigrated to Israel; Abensur from France and Heymann from Brazil.
Based on findings by renowned Technion-Israel Institute of Technology cell researcher Prof. Shulamit Levenberg, Nanosynex has developed a method of precisely adapting antibiotics to infections. The objective is to implement more effective and faster treatment without encouraging the resistance of bacteria to the most widely used antibiotics.
A new technology developed by CAPS Medical, an Or Yehuda based start-up, has innovated Cold Atmospheric Plasma (CAP) technology, usually used to treat superficial solid tumors, to now target solid, internal organ tumors. In collaboration with the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, CAPS Medical has created device small enough to administer the treatment on solid tumors inside the body.
CEO, Ilan Uchitel, said “[We are] progressing with our research and development to develop the next generation of our device. We should be ready for commercialization of the treatment by the end of 2022.”
During his recent trip to Israel to mark United Nations Holocaust Remembrance Day, Prince Charles met with Technion Professor Hossam Haick to discuss the SniffPhone. The brief meeting took place during an event at the residence of the Israeli President.
SniffPhone combines nanotechnology, biochemistry, materials engineering, process engineering, biomedical engineering, electrical engineering, and medicine in a miniaturized system that relies on an artificially intelligent nanoarray for inexpensive, fast, non-invasive detection of diseases via exhaled breath. Prof. Haick is the F.M.W. Academic Chair of the Technion’s Wolfson Faculty of Chemical Engineering. He is also a faculty member in the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute, and an affiliated engineering faculty member in the Technion Integrated Cancer Center.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” – Albert Einstein, Founder of the first Technion Society.
When knowledge meets imagination, innovation is born. After all, how can one create something new without thinking outside of the box?
The Technion is know world-wide for its cutting edge innovation, so it’s only fitting that we celebrate some of Technion’s most exciting inventors in honour of National Inventor’s Day on February 11th.
Prof. Hossam Haick of Technion’s Wolfson Faculty of Chemical Engineering presents SNIFFPHONE, a Horizon 2020 EU project that has harnessed nanotechnology, (bio)chemistry, materials engineering, process engineering, biomedical engineering, electrical engineering, and medicine to develop and test a miniaturized system that relies on an artificially intelligent nano-array for an inexpensive, fast, non-invasive detection of gastric cancer via exhaled breath.
The USB key
Technion alumnus Dov Moran is an entrepreneur and investor. But what he is best known for is his invention which changed the world, the USB flash drive. With this invention, massive amounts of information can be transported in your pocket from one computer to the next. Used by everyone from CEOs to DJs, this little stick has a huge impact on the way we move data.
Kobi Vortman graduated from Technion with a vision. His work led him to create InSightec, which destroys tumors by using ultrasound. No incisions means no scars, a reduced risk of infection and less time for post-operative healing. This innovative biotechnology “cooks” tumors to death without harming the body.
Sealantis develops medical device products, based on a proprietary platform of alga-mimetic tissue adhesives, for a variety of applications in surgical adhesion. The company was established through the AMIT Institute at the Technion, under the leadership of Prof. Havazelet Bianco-Peled, a world-renowned expert in biomedical polymers, from the Faculty of Chemical Engineering at the Technion. The company’s present focus is on surgical seals designed to stop bleeding, prevent leakage of digestive tract contents into the abdominal cavity, prevent leakage of spinal fluid, and a variety of other applications.
40 years ago, Profs. Abraham Lempel and Jacob Ziv of Technion’s Faculty of Computer Science started something remarkable. They discovered the math behind the internet and the legendary Lempel-Ziv Algorithm was born. Now known as the international standard for data compression, their invention is the reason you’re able to read this article right now.
Prof. Shulamit Levenberg, Dean of Technion’s Faculty of Biomedical Engineering and Prof. Lior Gepstein, of Technion’s Faculty of Medicine, make quite the team. This dynamic duo is changing the field of regenerative medicine. Using human embryonic stem cells, they can create artificial tissue to create a new heart muscle with its own blood supply. Through new and innovative 3D printing technology, it is now possible to replace cardiac tissue damaged by the patient’s heart disease.
Professor Alon Wolf is a leading robotics researcher and also serves as Vice President, External Relations & Resource Development at the Technion. His invention, the Snake Robot, is a snake-like device controlled by surgeons that enters a patient’s body without incision to locate the area requiring treatment. Thanks to this invention, many patients can avoid complications such as trauma, risk of infection and decreases rates of hospitalization – an important advancement in the field of surgical medicine.
Dr. Assaf Glazer completed his Ph.D. at the Technion, specialized in the fields of machine learning and computer vision, and later worked as a post-doctorate in the Runway Program at the Jacobs Institute at Cornell-Tech. Today, Glazer is the CEO and Founder of Nanit – a company creating smart baby monitors that use machine learning algorithms to provide sleep insights through first-of-its-kind camera vision. Nanit even made CNBC’s most promising startups list!
Prof. Yuval Shaked has quite a few titles under his belt, as well as grants, awards and research papers. Currently, he is the head of the Technion’s Integrated Cancer Center and has been leading a research project which led to creation of Oncohost. Oncohost is a personalized cancer treatment which uses machine learning to characterize, analyze and predict a patient’s response to treatment.
Technion’s students, teachers and alumni come together every day to deliver innovations and inventions that change our world. They lead by example, teaching us that when a problem arises you need to think creatively and outside the box to solve it.
Contribute to tomorrow’s innovation and help aspiring inventors make our world a better place. Direct your support to Entrepreneurship & Innovation through the Technion Fund.
The Canadian health care system is embracing Israeli medical technology, with numerous Technion innovations promising to improve the lives of Canadians.
Some of the incredible Technion innovations being used or coming to Canada include: ReWalk, an exoskeleton device enabling individuals with lower limb disabilities to walk; Professor Hossam Haick’s Nanoscale Artificial Nose (NA-NOSE) technology – a non-invasive diagnostic tool to identify cancer and other diseases; and Professor Alon Wolf’s surgical snake robot, among others.
Discover how international collaborations are bringing these inventions, and other Israeli tech innovation to the fore-front of Canadian healthcare.