The Google-sponsored awards are given to products that “excel in marketplace, innovation, marketplace success, technological innovation, market structure, innovation, and societal impact.” Past winners include Apple Computer, Johnson & Johnson and Chrysler.
It turns out the secrets of science aren’t always on the tip of your nose.
At Organogenesis, a Canton-based tissue regeneration firm, the company’s signature product, Apligraf, is derived from the cells of foreskins donated by the mothers of newborn baby boys. A single donor can eventually generate up to two football fields’ worth of Apligraf, according to Dario Eklund, the company’s VP of bioengineering and bioaesthetics.
That’s because the newborn donors’ cells are “so young, so robust, so full of life, that they can divide and build cell banks,” Eklund explains.
Geoffrey von Maltzahn, a 28-year-old Ph.D. candidate in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, won a $30,000 Lemelson-MIT award for his nanomedicine cancer therapy inventions.
Von Maltzahn has been working with a Harvard-MIT HST electrical engineering and computer science professor to invent treatments that could precisely target and destroy cancer cells without affecting healthy tissue. Von Maltzahn developed polymer-coated gold “nano-antennas” that target tumors and destroy them with heat.