John A. Hossack, a professor of biomedical engineering, uses ultrasound technology – similar to a highly scaled-down version of sonar – for cardiac imaging, bone-surface imaging and molecular imaging. He frequently uses microbubbles – tiny gas-filled bubbles in the range of 1 to 4 microns in diameter – in combination with focused ultrasound to allow for localized drug delivery.
In 18 years at UVA, Hossack has been involved in more than 38 invention disclosures that resulted in 10 issued patents in the U.S. and 16 issued patents internationally. His innovative discoveries played a role in three successful startup companies headquartered in Charlottesville.
In 2005, PocketSonics was created to develop a handheld ultrasound device. In 2013, the company was acquired by Analogic Corporation, which in early 2016 announced its first sale of the Sonic Window for use in patients undergoing kidney dialysis.
Former doctoral students F. William Mauldin and Kevin Owen (who are now joined by former doctoral student Adam Dixon) launched Rivanna Medical in 2010 with the goal of commercializing another handheld ultrasound device. In late 2015, Rivanna announced its first sale of Accuro, developed to aid the accurate administration of spinal and epidural anesthesia.
SoundPipe, a company developing an ultrasound-based catheter system for the treatment of peripheral artery disease, launched in 2013 and received government funding to pursue additional research and development. Former doctoral student Joe Kilroy is the company's chief technology officer.