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School of Engineering

ECE professor receives Acorn award

Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Professor Sameer Sonkusale received an Acorn Award from the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center.  
A man holds up a pink disc

The Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center awarded Professor Sameer Sonkusale with a grant from the UMass Acorn Innovation Fund for the 2019 calendar year. 

The grant will further the work being done by Professor Sonkusale and his research team on microneedles. The Tufts team plans to develop a new class of microneedles that can provide high drug loading capacity and reliable skin penetration. Through this support, the team will perform a parametric study to model and quantify the drug release behavior.

There are different kinds of microneedles—solid, coated, and hollow, for example, depending on the intended application. Sonkusale said that his group plans to work on all the different kinds. “They each have unique applications,” he said. “Under this award, we will  work on solid microneedles and explore ways to increase their drug loading capacity. These needles will find applications in treatment of pain, diabetes or delivery of vaccines.” 

“Tufts University’s faculty and researchers are committed to innovation and making a positive impact on the world, and MTTC’s support helps us advance those causes and speed the introduction of important discoveries to market,” said Tufts University School of Engineering Dean Jianmin Qu.

Thirteen grants of $15,000 each were awarded to faculty researchers from Boston University Medical Center, Northeastern University, Tufts University, the University of Massachusetts and Western New England University to assist them in testing the viability of their technologies and potentially bringing their research to market. The MTTC Acorn Awards are funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and overseen by MTTC.

Hosted at the UMass President’s Office, MTTC enables public and private research universities and medical centers in Massachusetts to lead the nation in translating basic research to the market, creating jobs and spurring economic development.