ESTEEM project spotlight: Dr. W. Matthew Leevy


College of Science’s Professor Matt Leevy’s research is moving to commercialization stage in the market.

Medical Data Printers has recently validated a protocol for the rapid and inexpensive production of high-resolution physical plastic models derived from 3D printing of pre-clinical X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) data sets (in press at J. Vis. Exp). Recent experiments indicate that the company can translate its protocol for use with clinical CT data derived from human patients. Ear/Nose/Throat (ENT) doctors could be provided with personalized, high-resolution, 3D physical models of a given patient’s head in which the airways are preserved, and on which the structure of the sinuses are completely preserved. These models will be used to practice complicated sinus surgeries ahead of an operation, with the goal of reducing overall surgical time on the patient, and reducing errors.

Dr. W. Matthew Leevy is currently a Research Assistant Professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Director of Biological Imaging within the Notre Dame Integrated Imaging Facility (NDIIF). “3D printing has served as a medium for my lab to pursue commercial activities within the pre clinical imaging space," he said. "It has allowed us to rapidly prototype several product ideas that have accumulated over the years, but which could not be previously explored, and the ESTEEM Program has been the final critical step to commercialization of our intellectual property.”

The ESTEEM Program is an 11-month professional Master’s Program with a focus on Entrepreneurship – and in particular, the commercialization of research-based technology at the University of Notre Dame. The program was developed as a joint program of the College of Science, College of Engineering and Mendoza College of Business. It is designed to provide Science and Engineering graduates the skills required to take science and/or engineering inventions and translate those inventions into commercial ventures while strengthening their science and/or engineering skills. A key point of differentiation of the ESTEEM program is the unique capstone thesis which will enable and encourage direct contact and mentoring with faculty mentors to develop the commercialization plan for a new invention based on a unique science or engineering discovery here at the University of Notre Dame.


Originally published by Emily Sussman at on February 07, 2014.