Innovention Attracts $115K for Robotic Surgical Probe

Innovention Technologies, a Pittsburgh, PA, spin-out from Carnegie Mellon University, has received $115,000 to further development of a new robotic surgical probe designed to alleviate limitations of endoscopic devices currently on the market.

The money — from The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG), an organization founded in 2001 to grow southwestern Pennsylvania’s life sciences industry — comes as Innovention is preparing to enter human clinical trials for its first product.

HARP, which stands for highly-articulated robotic probe, is a teleoperatively maneuverable device. Once entered through a natural orifice or small incision, HARP steers around organs to reach anatomical targets not normally accessible by conventional endoscopic tools.

HARP’s mechanical features include its ability to alternate between being rigid and flexible, and “remember” its previous configurations. This allows the device to reach very small cavities within the body and remain in a desired shape and orientation while the doctor performs surgery without having to hold the device anymore.

In addition to the medical field, Innovention is developing robotic technologies for use in the industrial, military and law enforcement industries. Within medicine, the company has plans to address the cardiac surgery, electrophysiology, laparoscopy, colonoscopy and arthroscopy markets.

Last month, PLSG committed $570,000 to MedRespond, Blue Belt Technologies and Biosafe. And in August, the organization announced two other three-way backings. One, for Separation Design Group, ThermalTherapeutics Systems and Applied Computational Technologies, was worth $450,000. And the other was for $350,000, and divided among Falcon Genomics, Glucose Sensing Technologies, and Celsense. Other PLSG investments made over the summer include iNTELOMED, a new cardiovascular diagnostic firm that in July received $100,000, and Cartesia Dx, which received $180,000 that same month.

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