U.S. Air Force Gives Small Business Innovation Research Grant to University of Rochester Students for Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment

The U.S. Air Force has given a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to two University of Rochester students developing technology to prevent the spread of traumatic brain injuries.

The two students, Bradley Smith and Andrew Kaseman, run biotechnology firm WetWare Biosystems – created in 2018 – which puts new medical technology in existing protective equipment. The grant will fund the development of new neurodegeneration mitigation technologies.

WetWare’s IRONCROWN helmet provides non-invasive treatment for military and civilian applications within the first hour after a physically traumatic event.

With TBIs, in the time it takes to get to a hospital, the injury worsens and expands, killing brain cells, which cannot be replaced, said Smith. However, WetWare seeks otherwise.

“With our technology, when a person is hit in the head at a certain velocity or strength of impact, our system is activated, and subsequently applies an electromagnetic field that can potentially mitigate the spread of damage, thereby preventing progressive tissue death before it ever has a chance to spread,” Smith said.

The company is looking for financial support for a Phase II clinical trial.