Investors: Memphis Biomed Venture Partners, Innova Memphis, IllinoisVENTURES, Bindley Capital Partners, and an undisclosed number of angel investors.
What they do: Cast21 has created a waterproof, breathable cast. Unlike traditional casts, the Cast21 has an open lattice design (inspired by a Chinese finger trap) that allows the wearer to wash and scratch the skin below the molding. The cast is made of a medalist thermoplastic elastomer, a waterproof material that is comfortable on skin and easy to work with in manufacturing, that is molded to the patient’s arm using a patent-pending tubing system. Eventually, it could be used with low-voltage electrical stimulation, which can help mend bones faster, particularly in difficult-to-heal fractures, as well as retain muscle volume.
“Not only do we have a waterproof, breathable, open structure cast but it’s also an incredibly easy-to-use, off-the-shelf product that can be applied in just minimal training,” said cofounder Ashley Moy. “We’re the only option right now that can deliver on all those [factors].”
Currently they’re focused on short arm casts and they’re targeting doctors who cast arms 50 to 100 times per week. Their device is listed and registered with the FDA. Later this year they’ll be completing mechanical tests with the University of Illinois and running two pilot patient tests at medical centers in Central Illinois. Moy said they’ll use the funding to prove out manufacturability of their product, start and complete the necessary testing, and execute pilots in a non-research setting.
“We’re really excited to be able to hopefully roll out the product by the end of this year,” said Moy.
Other details: The startup was founded by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign engineering students (now recent grads) Moy, Jason Troutner, and Justin Brooks. They currently employ six interns.
Cast21 recently presented at the Hello Tomorrow conference in Paris, and went through Memphis’ Zeroto510 medical device accelerator. They also previously worked out of UIUC’s iVenture accelerator. Currently they split their time between EnterpriseWorks in Champaign and MATTER in Chicago.