Student teams with innovative discoveries for surgical incision closure, premature baby care, and the delivery of local anesthesia have received top honors in the 2008 Biomedical Engineering Innovation, Design, and Entrepreneurship Award (BMEidea) competition—a national competition celebrating student biomedical innovation.
The BMEidea winners were announced earlier this month, in conjunction with the Medical Design Excellence Awards ceremony at the Medical Design & Manufacturing East trade show, in New York City.
Honors went to three collegiate biomedical engineering teams, recognizing their outstanding work in the field. Presentation of the awards was made by representatives of the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA; Hadley, MA), which sponsors and organizes the competition.
The BMEidea competition is open to collegiate teams from NCIIA-member institutions across the United States. “These student teams display an impressive level of creativity, drive, and professionalism,” said Phil Weilerstein, executive director of NCIIA. “Their innovations show promise to change the future of healthcare, and we are thrilled to support them as they move forward.”
First prize--a cash award of $10,000--was awarded to Rapid Suture from Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA). The team developed a small, inexpensive device that enables quick, safe, and easy surgical tissue manipulation during laparoscopic procedures, leading to fewer surgical risks and faster patient recovery.
The second cash prize of $2500 was given to the KMC ApneAlert team from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL). This team's device monitors the abdominal breathing movements of premature infants and sounds an alarm when the infant stops breathing. The apnea monitor should enable better detection of apnea episodes, improving the success of the Kangaroo Mother Care program and reducing apnea-related deaths among premature infants in the developing world.
Second Prize: Northwestern's KMC ApneAlert.
The third prize, $1000 in cash, was given to the Regen team from Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore). Regen is a small implantable receptacle that diffuses pain-relieving analgesic at a controlled and sustained rate directly at the site of a laparoscopic incision. This new approach to postlaparoscopic surgery pain management should facilitate faster wound recovery, improve safety, and decrease costs while minimizing side effects.
Additional teams from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Stanford University School of Medicine, and University of Virginia all received honorable mentions for their entries.
Third Prize: Johns Hopkins's Regen.
The BMEidea competition is sponsored and organized by NCIIA, an initiative of the Lemelson Foundation (Cambridge, MA). The alliance encourages invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship by providing support through grants, training, and other resources to higher education institutions across the country.
In addition to NCIIA, other competition sponsors include Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry magazine, the Canon Communications flagship publication for the medical device industry; the National Science Foundation; Boston Scientific; and the Industrial Designers Society of America, in partnership with the Biomedical Engineering Society and the Council of Chairs of Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering Programs.
BMEidea Trophy: Resident at Stanford—until next year.
Now in its third year, the BMEidea competition is the brainchild of the BME Innovation, Design, and Entrepreneurship Alliance, a consortium of biomedical engineering faculty from NCIIA-member institutions with an interest in stimulating innovative design and entrepreneurial approaches in the biomedical field.
The annual competition was created to help motivate student biomedical innovation teams to move their projects forward. Winning teams are selected from a pool of entries submitted by some of the nation's top biomedical engineering departments and are judged by a panel of faculty and industry representatives. Judges evaluate the teams on a variety of criteria; winners are required to solve a pressing clinical problem; meet technical, economic, legal, and regulatory requirements; feature a novel and practical design; and show potential for commercialization.
For more information about the BMEidea competition, visit the NCIIA Web site at www.nciia.org.
© 2008 Canon Communications LLC