Demo of the low-cost needle guidance system, photo

CREATE-X Startup Ethos Receives Grant from National Science Foundation

February 18, 2020

Ethos Medical, a startup founded by Georgia Tech engineering alumni, was recently awarded a $225,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research program. The grant will help the student-founded Ethos team to demonstrate the feasibility of their product: a low-cost needle guidance system to help medical practitioners administer a lumbar puncture accurately and without complications.

Ethos Medical founders (from left to right): Cassidy Wang, Dev Mandavia, and Lucas Muller.

Ethos Medical co-founders Dev Mandavia, Lucas Muller, and Cassidy Wang, all Georgia Tech College of Engineering graduates, built their company around a key concern in the medical field: between 20 and 42 percent of lumbar puncture procedures fail. These procedures, which are vital to diagnosing diseases like meningitis, multiple sclerosis, and others, are difficult to do even for trained professionals. Mistakes can decrease patient satisfaction, extend length of stay, and result in operational inefficiencies and losses for hospitals. Ethos Medical’s system pairs ultrasound imaging with a software overlay and precise needle guidance. 

“We are honored and excited to have been awarded this grant,” said Mandavia. “This is a huge accomplishment for Ethos that will propel us through preclinical testing and toward commercialization. Receiving this grant from the National Science Foundation also underscores the significance of the problem we are addressing and the solution we have envisioned. It would be remiss of me not to give credit to CREATE-X, ATDC, and our incredible advisory board. If it weren’t for them, the progress we’ve made over the last year would not have been possible.”

This device, designed and created by Ethos Medical, will help medical professionals to administer a lumbar puncture procedure with accuracy and minimal complications. 

The recent grant from Phase I of the Small Business Innovation Research program will help the Ethos Medical team to establish the scientific, technical and commercial merit and feasibility of the proposed innovation. With this seed funding, the team plans to conduct studies to evaluate the accuracy of the system in cadavers, which will allow them to eventually test on live tissue models. Physicians and anesthesiologists will conduct the studies with a fully functional prototype.

Ethos Medical is a young company, but since its founding in 2018 it has garnered many accomplishments and accolades. Ethos Medical co-founders participated twice in Startup Launch, part of the CREATE-X suite of programs to help Georgia Tech students develop entrepreneurial knowledge and confidence. Since then, they have been recognized numerous times for their ability to use engineering and entrepreneurial knowledge to launch a thriving business, including being on the list of Atlanta Inno’s 25 under 25.

“CREATE-X is so proud to see the Ethos Medical team procure the seed funding needed to get them off the ground and through pre-clinical testing,” said Raghupathy “Siva” Sivakumar, director of the CREATE-X program. “We look forward to seeing the strides they will continue to make in the coming years and the lives they will certainly impact.”

The broader goal of CREATE-X is to provide the knowledge, skills, abilities and experiences that will give Georgia Tech graduates the confidence to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities and create their own future. Learn more at

The Ethos Medical team demonstrates how to use their Iris System.

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