BLOCKsynop, Inc. Awarded National Science Foundation SBIR Grant

February 5, 2023, Highland, MD -- BLOCKsynop, Inc. has been awarded $275,000 for a highly selective Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF selects SBIR grant recipients with promising technologies to help jump start their entrepreneurial journey. This grant will be used to accelerate development and commercialization of the Neural Blockade Monitor (NBM). The BLOCKsynop NBM is a novel monitor for determining the location and density of nerve blocks used in surgery, during recovery, and for chronic pain management.

The BLOCKsynop NBM is based on 25 years of research and technological advances at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Wayne Sternberger, PhD, a systems engineer in the areas of oceanographic and biomedical sensor systems, and Robert S. Greenberg, MD, with experience in pediatrics, anesthesiology, critical care medicine, and pain management, are the co-inventors of the BLOCKsynop NBM.

Knowing the block onset, location, and duration is a sort of holy grail of nerve block management…and the BLOCKsynop NBM can give that”, noted Dr. Greenberg. “With the NBM, there will be no more ‘flying blind’ for pain prevention and relief for our patients.”

The BLOCKsynop NBM is the first clinical monitoring device that provides an objective measurement to quantify controlled delivery and effectiveness of nerve blocks on pain. It is novel and unique because it is non-invasive, passive, quantitative, and objective in measuring neural blockades. The ability for objective measurement will provide a new and unparalleled means to support patient safety and enhanced recovery. Not only does the NBM provide a new and precise measure, but it can be used in patients, such as infants, who cannot express themselves.

Our mission is to improve the perioperative and post-surgical patient experience by assisting clinicians to provide pain-free surgery,” added Dr. Sternberger. “We are very honored to have been selected for this SBIR award. It will enable us to accelerate the commercialization of the BLOCKsynop NBM and be one step closer to offering this novel technology.“


America’s Seed Fund powered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) awards $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $2 million in non-dilutive funds to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success. America’s Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $9.5 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. For more information, visit

About BLOCKsynop

BLOCKsynop, Inc. is a medical technology company, based in Highland, MD, working to improve the perioperative and post-surgical patient experience with objective measurement of neural blockade location and density resulting in pain-free surgery and recovery using the lowest possible level of analgesics.

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