NERv Technology Inc. was founded in 2014 by two Nanotechnology Engineering graduates of the University of Waterloo. Youssef Helwa and Amr Abdelgawad became determined to find a solution for detecting post-operative complications after Youssef’s mother, an OB/Gyn surgeon, almost lost one of her patients due to a complication. What if the patient’s body can notify the patient right away if there was something wrong? What if we can save a whole lot of lives? And from those questions, NERv’s solution was born.
Building on their background and internship experiences, Youssef and Amr began developing an implantable biosensor to detect internal bleeding in the abdomen in real-time. As the venture slowly started gaining traction, the idea grew into an implantable platform capable of detecting multiple post-operative complications. Today, the team, which has grown to six full-time employees, is focused on developing the implantable biochip with three biosensors capable of identifying internal bleeding, leakage of bodily fluids, and infection within the abdominal cavity.
NERv’s biosensors are predictive. They collect data and identify a specific kind of complication as soon as it develops. The biosensors provide information before the complication reaches a critical stage. NERv’s biosensors provide a preventative approach to post-operative care by identifying a complication as it is developing and preventing the development of further complications.
The patient is continuously monitored so that both the patient and the physician are aware of the patient’s health. If a complication develops, the patient receives a simple notification to alert them that they need to seek medical attention immediately. On the other hand, the physician gets a more detailed analysis of the status of the patient. The physician receives information on the biomarkers that have been released and their concentration levels to try to determine exactly what complication is occurring.
The biosensors are very sensitive and are capable of detecting small changes in the levels of the biomarkers. The biosensors have a very high resolution and detection limit, allowing them to provide very precise information that could determine the kind, location, and severity of the complication. This will provide more accurate information compared to the current methods used to detect post-operative complications, such as imaging techniques and laboratory investigations, that only show results that the physician has to interpret and are only performed once the patient has demonstrated certain symptoms.
The biosensors, the biochip, and all the materials being used are biocompatible according to FDA and ISO standards. The biochip is packaged in a biocompatible casing that prevents a body immune response from being elicited and prevents the body from rejecting a foreign material that is placed in the abdominal cavity.