Mitacs Entrepreneur Awards: Kit Chen and Neesha Desai, Alieo Games

Mitacs thanks the Government of Canada and Alberta Innovates for their support of the STEP program in this story. Across Canada, the STEP program also receives support from the Government of British Columbia, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Quebec, the Government of Saskatchewan and Research Manitoba.

Development of analytical methods to monitor Curcumin compounds from Dried blood spot (DBS) samples

The work will develop a simple blood test that will enable the detection of a valuable Natural Health Product, Curcumin, that is commonly found in Tumeric, to be detected in blood samples from only a simple finger prick. It is believed that curcumin has important medicinal effects such as anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant activities. However, it is known that Curcumin absorption is quite low from simple consumption of turmeric and as a result a simple blood test will enable proper estimation of body absorption amounts for this valuable Natural Health Product.

Producing bioactive peptides from left-over proteins of egg yolk after IgY extraction

Chicken egg yolk contains IgY antibodies that target various infectious disease and food allergens. IGY Inc is a company focused on utilizing chicken immune system for antibody production. Their innovative products have applications in food processing, therapeutics and diagnostics. IgY antibody contains 0.64% of total wet egg yolk and after extracting the antibodies, the leftover egg yolk is a material of low commercial value. Egg proteins are well known for its dietary value and also a rich source of bioactive peptides with anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory activities.

Salu – Cardiovascular System Monitor Prototyping

The Salu Design Group has developed the PulseWave - a compelling wearable solution that includes a small device and software application that can be used to help people better understand their cardiovascular and circulatory health state, as well as provide some simple feedback on how to improve their state of health. Twenty one percent of US consumers currently own a wearable technology product, yet over half of them do not wear them on a daily basis, including some who have given up on using them all together.

A high throughput mass spectrometry-based screening test for early-stage colon cancer

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common cancer-related cause of death in Canada. This high mortality rate is largely due to the lack of a cost-effective, patient-accepted and sensitive screening tool. Metabolomic Technologies Inc. (MTI) has developed a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based urinary diagnostic test for detecting colonic polyps (PolypDx™).

Valorizing Industrially Produced CO2: An Effective Solution for Carbon Capture and its Conversion to Marketable Products

Sequestering the industrially produced CO2 leads to its capture via the underground formation of stable inorganic carbonates/bicarbonates. An alternate approach is to convert the CO2 into valuable organic products having commercial markets. The incorporation of CO2 as block molecule with which to expand the platform is part of the Enerkem strategy aiming to further improve the use of Carbon from waste. Such strategy is deployable across Alberta.

Linear array CMUTs for medical imaging applications

We propose the construction of novel ultrasound transducer structures based on existing MEMS technology that has been in development through collaboration between Micralyne and Prof. Roger Zemp. We will be exploring linear array transducers intended for medical imaging, and individual transducers for automotive use for ultrasound range finding. We will undertake the design, modelling, fabrication, packaging, and testing of the devices. The end goal is to produce commercially-viable transducers that may be used as replacements for the current generation of piezoelectric-based transducers.

Understanding the migration and employment experiences of Chinese rural migrant women factory workers – The role of the household registration system, workplace and household

This proposed research project is for my doctoral thesis. The research focuses on the migration and employment experiences of Chinese rural migrant women factory workers. It will provide an in-depth analysis of factors that women themselves have thought relevant to their migration and employment status and experiences. The research will examine the role of three institutions, including the hukou (the household registration) system, the workplace, and the household, with a gender focus, in affecting rural women’s migration and employment experiences.

Innovation that goes bone-deep at University of Alberta

Researchers like Yang Yang, a Mitacs Elevate postdoctoral fellow in the Pharmaceutical Orthopaedic Research lab at the University of Alberta, are tackling the problem head-on by developing new treatments for the disease. In partnership with Osteo-Metabolix Pharmaceuticals Inc., Yang has created a new drug that does a better job of healing broken bones.

The Rise of Fishes: A Comprehensive Analysis of Fossil Evidence for the Origin and Early Evolution of Vertebrates

The origin and early evolution of vertebrates — fishes and their descendants — represents a poorly understood phase in the deep-time ancestry of the human lineage. A series of transitions occurred between 500 and 400 million years ago from a worm-like ancestor to a bony predatory