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Challenge Cleveland Clinc: Novel Implant for the Treatment of Pelvic Organ Prolapse  
Cleveland Clinc: Novel Implant for the Treatment of Pelvic Organ Prolapse  
STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 91
Posted: Nov 18 2014
Challenge ID: 9933488
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Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is the descent of pelvic organs including the bladder, uterus and rectum due to the loss of surrounding structural supports. Recent studies reveal that women have a 12.6% risk of undergoing surgery for prolapse repair over their lifetime. Operations to treat POP include native tissue procedures which use one’s own tissues as well as repairs that are augmented with graft. The goal of POP surgical repair is to provide long-lasting improvement in pelvic organ anatomy and function while minimizing morbidity and recurrence. However, up to 6% of women who have undergone mesh-augmented repair will require reoperation at 5 years for mesh complications and approximately 10% will require reoperation for recurrent prolapse. The development of a better implant could accomplish this goal.  

The Seeker is interested in a graft material the use of which will improve outcomes of POP surgical repair. This should be a biomechanically complementary material ideal for retaining or returning pelvic organ and support tissue to a higher force-bearing state. This material should also be easily implanted surgically and ideally would be bioresorbable after several months of tissue ingrowth had occurred. 

This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.


Multiple types of implants, including absorbable/nonabsorbable, multifilament/monofilament, and macroporous/microporous, have been utilized to treat POP. At present, a lightweight, macroporous, monofilament mesh is preferable. However, the mesh is stronger and more durable than the patient’s own tissue, and therefore, takes over the role of tissue, relieving it of its dynamic force load. As a result, the tissue atrophies and erodes. Hence, there is a need for a biomechanically complementary material ideal for retaining or returning the tissue to a higher force-bearing state. 

The Seeker is looking for potential solutions that could improve outcomes of POP repair, by providing solutions that are likely to improve outcomes while still being surgically implantable, biocompatible, and conducive to tissue repair. Cleveland Clinic strives to make scientific advances that will benefit patient care and support outside relationships that promise public benefit.  

This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:

  • There is a guaranteed award.  The awards will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $10,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $1,000. 
  • Submission forwarding occurs during the Challenge.  Since submissions will be forwarded to the Seeker throughout the Challenge, please make sure you upload only a finished proposal. You can submit an updated version of your proposal only as a new submission. If you submit an updated version of your proposal, please clearly indicate the new items and/or edits compared to your previous submission. This will allow the Seeker to quickly find the new information and determine how it improves your submission. 
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker.  Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solver grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal, including for promotional purposes.   

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on January 31, 2015.  Late submissions will not be considered. 

After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.



Dr. Margot Damaser is a biomedical engineer at Cleveland Clinic, working in the area of female pelvic floor disorders. Dr. Beri Ridgeway is a physician at Cleveland Clinic, specializing in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, whose specialties include pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic reconstruction surgery, and urinary incontinence. Dr. Abhilasha Tangada is a physician completing a research fellowship in Dr. Damaser’s research laboratory at Cleveland Clinic. Together, these three investigators have created the challenge and will work to identify the best solution(s).

What is InnoCentive?
InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge?

An InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge is a broad question formulated to obtain access to new ideas, similar to a global brainstorm for producing a breakthrough idea or market survey which may include ideas for a new product line, a new commercial application for a current product, or even a viral marketing idea to recruit new customers. Ideation™ Challenge submissions are typically about two written pages, and Seekers receive a non-exclusive, perpetual license to use all submissions.

In an Ideation™ Challenge, Solvers may:

  • Submit ideas of their own
  • Submit third party information that they have the right to use and further the authority to convey that right and the right to use and develop derivative works to Seekers
  • Submit information considered in the public domain without any limitations on use

Solvers should not reveal any confidential information in their submissions. Often the Ideation™ Challenge will be followed by one or more of the other three Challenge types to further develop the ideas and gain Intellectual Property protection when the concept has been well-defined.

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