What does a bug zapper and a brain game have in common?
The Flinn Foundation, a private philanthropic organization, recently announced its seven early-stage bioscience award winners. The foundation will provide $30,000 each in funding support and program services to help these companies grow as part of the Flinn Foundation Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program.
Heres a look at two of the award winners:
Phoenix Interface Technologies
Tempe-based Phoenix Interface Technologies has created a way to help eliminate disease-spreading and crop-damaging insects while sparing the beneficial ones.
The Solar Rid device is essentially a modern-day bug zapper. It uses five sensory outputs such as sound, smell and sight to attract specific insects like mosquitos, corn earworms and navel orangeworms.
The device runs on solar power. Creator Tom Brown said the machine may help decrease the amount of pesticides sprayed on crops.
Just think of the advantages instead of spraying these poisons across this whole wide area, you can have the insects come to you, then youre only killing in this little tiny spot, instead of spraying deadly stuff across acres and acres and acres, Brown said.
Officials with Maricopa Countys vector control department, which sprays for insects, said they only use about 1 teaspoon of pesticide per acre to keep mosquitos and other insects from harming crops and spreading disease.
The Solar Rid device can attract and kill bugs in a 10-acre area, Brown said.
This Tempe-based company designs instruments to analyze molecular interactions based on Surface Plasmon Resonance, a technique used across the life sciences and nanotechnology applications, according to the release.
Its latest invention, the SPRm 200, is a solution of Surface Plasmon Resonance Microscopy (SPRM) which combines optical microscopy and Surface Plasmon Resonance Technologies in one instrument.
According to the site, it is the only scientific solution in the market that enables label free in vitro measurement of binding reactions and kinetics of individual cells in their native environment and in real time.
Since 2014, the Flinn Foundation has allocated $645,000 in grants to local nonprofits to provide funding and services to 22 bioscience firms, according to a news release.
This years other winners include:
SMART Brain Aging: This Scottsdale-based company offers online courses for clients looking to find help outside the clinic and get in some extra activity.
BMSEED: This Phoenix-based company, which stands for BioMedical Sustainable Elastic Electronic Devices, uses stretchable gold films for its products, which have biomedical applications, including those that require soft and stretchable solutions like cells, tissue or skin.
Iron Horse Diagnostics: This Scottsdale-based company is developing a diagnostic test to rapidly determine if a patient has Lou Gehrigs disease. The firm also is working on a test to detect and monitor brain injury and concussion.
Poba Medical: This Flagstaff-based medical device company provides engineering expertise in thermoplastic balloons.
Reglagene: This Tucson-based startup uses DNA quadruplex science to regulate genes as part of the drug-discovery process, according to the release.
Times staff writer Gabriella Del Rio contributed to this article.