FORT WAYNE — A venture launched by a Trine University faculty member recently received
a $1,000 micro-grant from the elevate northeast indiana Farnsworth Fund.
Melanie G. Watson, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical engineering, was one of
12 northeast Indiana entrepreneurs who received the grants June 14 at The Summit community
center in Fort Wayne.
Watson’s company, Blaire Biomedical, is developing a handheld device that performs
multiple blood tests in real time when linked to a smartphone. The project drew particular
praise from Michael Mirro, M.D., board member for elevate northeast indiana and senior
vice president and chief academic research officer of the Parkview Mirro Center for
Research and Innovation.
“Melanie Watson is a gifted biomedical engineer who is passionate about creating a
patient-centric solution to routine blood testing,” said Mirro. “Her solution negates
the need for patients to go to the lab and allows them to take control of the timing
of testing, which is perfect for patients with chronic conditions and limited mobility.”
Watson will apply the funds toward a provisional patent and the cost of a University
of Maryland intern who is working on the project. Trine University students also will
continue to work on the device, which has been the basis of senior design projects
over the past four years.
Trine student groups have developed methods of separating blood into components for
the various medical tests, designed a case than can fit on an iPhone, developed a
blood testing cartridge and developed an application to allow results to be read on
“It’s amazing what they have accomplished,” said Watson.
The Farnsworth Fund expects to award at least 50 micro-grants this year.
The fund is named for longtime Fort Wayne resident Philo T. Farnsworth, inventor of
the television. Elevate northeast indiana said it created the Farnsworth Fund to be a catalyst for changing the entrepreneurial
culture of the region.