Y-Prize Winner Avisi Technologies Receives $1M Grant

Avisi Technologies
Avisi Technologies CTO Brandon Kao (EAS’18) and CEO Rui Jing Jiang (W’18)

The National Science Foundation has awarded Avisi Technologies a $1 million grant as Avisi continues to pursue an innovative treatment for glaucoma.

The company won the University of Pennsylvania’s 5th annual Y-Prize Competition for VisiPlate, an implant designed to address the excess fluid that builds up in the eye due to glaucoma. The buildup can put pressure on the optic nerve and eventually lead to irreversible vision loss.

VisiPlate uses a nanoscale material developed by Igor Bargatin, associate professor in Penn’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics. (The annual Y-Prize is a contest in which members of the Penn community compete to propose the best applications for an emerging technology.) Existing glaucoma implants often cause discomfort and scarring that limit their long-term success.

According to Technical.ly Philly, Avisi Technologies cofounder Rui Jing Jiang said “[the grant] will go toward bringing the startup’s research to life in preclinical work.”

Avisi was named to Technical.ly Philly’s 2020 RealLIST Startups, a roundup of promising companies, at the start of the year. The company received a $225,000 National Science Foundation grant in August 2019. It was also part of the 2020 cohort of Rosenman Innovators for young companies in the health space.

Watch a video about Avisi, also a President’s Innovation Prize Winner for 2018, at Penn Engineering Today.

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