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CEAS Professor Recognized for Innovative Technology

Innovative research and partnerships led College of Engineering and Applied Science professor Chong Ahn and his company Siloam Biosciences to be named as an Innovation award finalist.

Date: 4/17/2013
By: Arthur Davies
Phone: (513) 556-9181
Photos By: UC Photographic Services & Siloam, Inc.
Chong Ahn

University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science professor and founder of Siloam Biosciences Inc., Chong Ahn has been advised that his company has been nominated for a 2013 Business Courier Innovation award.
Innovation Awards celebrate innovative people and companies “that show how new ideas can be developed into fuel for the Tri-State’s economic engine.” The award is being presented by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber and Community Partner, the Business Courier and CincyTech.
In 2004 Ahn launched Siloam Biosciences Inc. to develop products using microfluidic polymer lab-on-a-chip that helped point-of-care testing (POCT) based clinical diagnostics.   Subsequently, the firm developed what its website states is “the first ever microfluidic immunoassay platform designed to provide the dramatic benefits of microfluidics in a product that is as easy to use as an innovative POCT platform.”
Ahn, who is UC's M. P. Kartalia Chair Professor of Electrical Engineering and the Director of the Microsystems and BioMEMS Laboratory, holds six U.S. patents, has filed 10 patents and has published more than 300 journal and peer-reviewed conference papers related to microfluidics and smart lab-on-a-chip (LOC) technology.  This state-of-the-art technology has opened a new door for POCT in vitro diagnostics (IVD) to quickly analyze a person’s health condition and status.
Many patients and physicians are thrilled with these faster diagnoses and more immediate test results. “Polymer-smart LOC with microfluidics is one of the most innovative platforms for a better analysis of biochemical molecules,” Ahn said. “The microfluidics and lab-on-a-chips can be applied to in vitro diagnostics, ELISA and point-of-care-testing clinical diagnostics. And a couple of lab-on-a-chip and microfluidic platforms developed in this lab have been transferred for commercial products.”
Image of TROVA™

Recently, Siloam Biosciences has launched the first “open source” POCT platform product, TROVA™ with its marketing campaign “Your Quantitative POCT within 3 Months in TROVA™.” “This is the first-ever open-source Point-of-Care Test platform product. The product development team of Siloam, who are mostly UC graduates, is very proud of the product,” Ahn said.
TROVA™ is currently under processing for its pre-clinical trial first and then full clinical trial for a couple of IVD targets with a regulatory team from the UC College of Medicine.
Ahn has been a member of the UC family for nearly 20 years.  He earned his PhD in electrical and computer engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1993. After receiving his PhD, he worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Electrochemical Technology and Microfabrication at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in New York. He then joined the UC faculty as an assistant professor of electrical engineering in 1994.  He is currently serving as an editor of the IEEE/ASME Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems and also as a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering and Journal of Microfluidics and Nanofluidics.  He is now a Fellow at the Institute of Physics.
Nominees for the third annual Innovation Awards are categorized based on what the projects best exemplify: Outstanding Emerging Innovation, Bioscience Innovation, Information Technology Innovation, Marketing Innovation or Advanced Engineering Innovation.
Winners will be recognized at an awards reception on April 25 and featured in a Courier supplement to the April 26 weekly print edition.