DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA — Lumedica Inc., a privately held company, focused on creating low-cost imaging systems for medical and scientific use, has been awarded a $999,281 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant enables further development of an optical coherence tomography imaging system that will penetrate skin and teeth more deeply to improve utility for the clinic.

“We’re so grateful for the continued support and confidence on this project from the National Science Foundation,” said Principal Investigator and Lumedica CTO Dr. William Brown. “This award proves that we’re on the right track to create an imaging system that can help Dentists and Dermatologists efficiently detect irregularities, diagnose diseases and treat their patients appropriately.” This award builds on the successful completion of a Phase I grant, which showed the feasibility of using dual-axis OCT (DA-OCT) for deep imaging of skin and teeth.

“Dual-axis OCT has the potential to address some of the previous challenges with commercial acceptance of OCT outside of ophthalmology,” said co-founder and CEO, Dr Adam Wax. “First, this system will be able to image more deeply than OCT had previously been capable of. Second, we’ll be able to get the system price down to a level that will increase access. And third, we’ll make it easy to use.” The project will build on preliminary results that show that how the dual axis OCT can be used to penetrate more deeply in biological tissues using instruments designed for each application.

Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR/STTR grant (up to $256,000), it becomes eligible to apply for a Phase II grant (up to $1,000,000). Small businesses with Phase II grants are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales. NSF accepts Phase I proposals from small businesses at any time. Small businesses with innovative science and technology solutions, and commercial potential are encouraged to apply. All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program, also known as America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, undergo a rigorous merit-based review process.  


To learn more about America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, visit: https://seedfund.nsf.gov/ 

About the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Programs.

 America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF awards $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $1.75 million in funding to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success. America’s Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $8.1 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. 

About Lumedica

Lumedica is comprised of believers and builders of affordable healthcare technologies. With a proven track record in scientific innovation and product development, Lumedica creates affordable light-based scientific and medical instruments that deliver accurate imaging results. Leveraging off-the-shelf and custom imaging components, Lumedica is able to make imaging devices cheaper, more durable, and easier to distribute. In 2021, the company plans to launch its first-ever OCT system for retinal use. The company was founded in 2014 based on research conducted at Duke University’s BIOS Laboratory. Other technologies and innovations are in the development pipeline.