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Wyss Institute’s Ida Pavlichenko Named MIT Technology Review 2019 Innovator Under 35

Wyss Institute Technology Development Fellow Ida Pavlichenko, Ph.D., has been selected as one of MIT Technology Review’s Innovators Under 35. Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

(BOSTON) Today, Wyss Institute Technology Development Fellow Ida Pavlichenko, Ph.D., has been selected as one of MIT Technology Review’s Innovators Under 35 in the Humanitarian category. Every year, the prestigious MIT Technology Review publicizes a list of exceptionally talented technologists whose work has great potential to transform the world.

Pavlichenko, together with a team at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Massachusetts Eye and Ear, mentored by Joanna Aizenberg, Ph.D., is developing next-generation, liquid-infused tympanostomy tubes. The devices, with their optimized geometries and anti-biofouling lubricious surface layers, resist clogging and have superior draining functions that prevent liquids from building up in infected ears more effectively than conventional tympanostomy tubes. These capabilities also allow them to resist early extrusion from the eardrum, which is a frequent problem with conventional ear tubes and a reason for repeated surgeries, and they enable a more efficient delivery of antibiotics directly to the middle ear. Acute middle ear infections affect more than 700 million people each year and current ear tubes implanted into the ears of patients with chronic ear infections fail in about 40% of cases, resulting in hearing loss, pain, and repeated surgical procedures.

Liquid-infused tympanostomy tubes developed at the Wyss Institute and SEAS dramatically reduce the adhesion of biofluids, cells and ear-infection causing bacteria, and allow the selective and controllable passage of water, antibiotic drops and mucus. Credits: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

Gideon Lichfield, editor-in-chief of MIT Technology Review, said: “MIT Technology Review’s annual Innovators Under 35 list is a chance for us to honor the outstanding people behind the breakthrough technologies of the year that have the potential to disrupt our lives. These profiles offer a glimpse into what the face of technology looks like today as well as in the future.”

Learn more about this year’s honorees on the MIT Technology Review website and in the July/August print magazine, which hits newsstands worldwide on July 2. The honorees are also invited to appear at the upcoming EmTech MIT conference, MIT Technology Review’s annual flagship event that offers a carefully curated perspective on the most significant developments of the year, with a focus on understanding their potential economic and societal impact. EmTech MIT will be held September 17-19, 2019 in Cambridge, Mass.

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