See all startups


“We go the source of the pain”


The bright idea came during the Business Concept course: ETH doctoral student Elia Guzzi is working on a novel delivery system for painkillers.

Together with your professor, you decided to take a start-up course, Mr. Guzzi. Why?

We had a platform technology that enables the printing of resorbable hydrogels enriched with nanoparticles. Last summer, we were nominated as the top 5 finalist of the ETH Spark Award for the corresponding patent. We also already had in mind applications in cancer therapy and regenerative medicine. I went to the course to refine these ideas.

But then everything changed?

My project was one of five to be followed up in the course.  With the beginning of the course we started to contact surgeons, and we found an anesthesiologist who was really interested in our technology. We decided as a team to make a pivot and to work on postoperative pain management. Because you have to know: Three quarters of all patients suffer from severe pain for days or even weeks following an operation.

What does the InkVivo solution entail?

We are printing a hydrogel that contains painkillers in the form of nanoparticles. The finger-limb-sized part can be implanted near the wound and releases in a controlled way painkilling substances there. It is a precision medicine delivery system that is gentle on patients’ stomachs, nerves and metabolism.

Are you back to working on your own or are you still in touch with the course participants who worked with you on your project?

During the course, we created a really good spirit in the team. We have decided to stay in touch and we are defining how everyone can further contribute to this project.


Elia Guzzi attended the Business Concept Course in Autumn 2020