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MIT Technology Review

35 Innovators Under 35

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  • Shuvo Roy

    33

    As a graduate student, Shuvo Roy developed microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)- tiny machines like sensors and actuators- for airplane and rocket engines. He had an aerospace job lined up, but inspired by his father, a public-health physiciain, he wanted to “impact people’s lives more directly.” The Bangladesh native switched career paths in 1998, cofounding a laboratory at Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic Foundation devoted to clinical applications of MEMS. Roy’s efforts have yielded several innovative devices and one patent- with several others pending. Among his inventions is a wireless strain and pressure microsensor that can be inserted into vertebrae during spinal fusion surgery (A main surgical option for back patients) to monitor bone fusion. Additionally, Roy shrunk ultrasound imaging technology into a high-resolution transducer small enough to glide through arteries on a catheter; the device can spot arterial defects called vulnerable plaques, considered the leading cause of heart attacks. Roy also developed durable silicon membranes that could replace short-lived polymers as blood filters in dialysis machines- a step toward creating implantable artificial kidneys. “Shuvo doesn’t care about recognition,” says lab codirector Aaron Fleischman. “He just wants to get technology that can help people into the hands of doctors.”