June 2009

Stanford 'Lab-on-a-Stick' Team wins BMEidea 2009!

The 'Lab-on-a Stick' team from Stanford University has won this year's BMEidea (biomedical engineering) competition, taking away a cash prize of $10,000. Teams from the University of Cincinatti and Brown University were second and third. The winners were announced at today's Medical Design Excellence Awards ceremony in New York.

Read more about the winners!

2009 BMEidea Winners

Stanford University 'Lab-on-a-Stick' Team wins BMEidea 2009! 

The winners of the 2009 BMEidea Awards were announced June 10, at the Medical Design Excellence Awards ceremony in New York.

First place, winning $10,000: 

Lab-on-a-Stick (Stanford University)
Diagnostic technology without a lab

Driven by the need for highly sensitive and specific protein detection, nanotechnology researchers have recently focused on the nanoscale for accurate measuring of molecular events. While using nanotechnology in protein detection platforms is easy to implement in a lab setting, rapid diagnostics are less easy to perform at a patient’s bedside, in the developing world, or even with over-the-counter products. Lab-on-a- Stick seeks to bridge the divide between the United States and the developing world by introducing sensitive molecular testing that may be removed from a traditional central- lab model. Lab-on-a-Stick uses Giant magnetoresistive (GMR) devices to detect virtually any infectious disease—from HIV/AIDS to Hepatitis C to tuberculosis—in a rapid wash-free format.  Patients in need of a rapid diagnosis (results are available in an average of fifteen minutes) need only to swab the insides of their cheeks with a disposable “stick,” pre-treated with assorted protein receptors, and scan that stick with the handheld GMR device. This cost-effective technology addresses the need for more accessible nanotechnology diagnostics outside the laboratory, and seeks to replace the need for diagnostic labs completely.


Second place, winning $2,500:

Single Port solutions: The SurgiSIL (University of Cincinnati)

A new access tool that allows surgeons to perform laparoscopic procedures through one incision

Traditional laparoscopic surgery requires four to five incisions, increasing trauma, recovery time, and visible scarring to the patient.  The SurgiSIL accommodates multiple instruments through one working channel while still providing increased access within the abdominal cavity.  Ease of use is further characterized by a simple insertion technique, yet another benefit not offered by current single port products.  The SurgiSIL answers the challenges of single port surgery and ultimately presents an improved option for patient care by decreasing trauma, recovery time, and risk for herniation, which is a painful and costly corrective procedure.  The end result to the patient is a hidden scar within the belly button.  The SurgiSIL redefines the single port approach, enabling surgeons to meet the demands for improved patient care.


Third place, winning $1,000:

A Novel Biosensor to Measure Vitamin D Levels in Serum (Brown University)

An affordable and accurate method of testing vitamin D levels

Current research has linked vitamin D deficiencies to a number of health conditions, including osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases and cancer.  But while the demand for vitamin D testing is increasing, current tests are expensive, take too long and are often inaccurate.  The Brown University team has proposed a method of measuring vitamin D using electrochemical detection technology similar to a commercial glucose meter. The affordable, hand-held device will use a disposable testing strip inserted into the device along with a sub-microliter blood sample, which will be analyzed for levels of vitamin D present. Results will be displayed qualitatively and quantitatively on a liquid crystal display almost instantly.

What the 2009 winners were doing 1.5 years after the competition

About BMEidea
The teams' entries were evaluated by judges drawn from academia and industry. Winning entries must solve a clinical problem; meet technical, economic, legal, and regulatory requirements; feature novel and practical designs; and show potential for commercialization. Submissions are judged on technical feasibility, clinical utility, economic feasibility and market potential, novelty and patentability, potential for commercialization and benefit to quality of life and care.

Prizes include cash awards in the amount of $10,000 (first prize), $2,500 (second prize), and $1,000 (third prize), and product development and commercialization resources and training.

The 2010 competition will open in September 2009.


Selected media coverage

Big Ideas Come from University Students (devicelink.com)

Collegiate Biomed Engineering Prizes Awarded (MedGadget.com) 

University of Cincinnati Health News 

The material contained within this webpage is based in part upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant #0602484. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Learn more about service learning in engineering!

The latest issue of the International Journal for Service Learning in Engineering has been published. You can read it here.

The IJSLE is published online twice a year by the College of Engineering at Penn State. NCIIA is a primary supporter of the publication.

Open: Send us your proposals for our 2010 conference now!

We're presently collecting proposals for Open, our 14th Annual Conference.

We're looking for papers, workshops and panels that explore the science, business and practice of technology innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education.

Read more about the conference and submit your proposal!


NCIIA News Spring 2009

The NCIIA's spring 2009 newsletter is available for download. A service to our members and a summary of some of our most exciting projects, NCIIA News is a snapshot of our recent happenings and a look forward to our upcoming offerings.

Village Energy takes off in Honduras

For the past two years, a Sustainable Vision team from Baylor University has worked in remote villages in Honduras, helping locals build mini hydro-power stations.

Team leader Brian Thomas reports that the team's company, Village Energy, has launched an electricity generation business in a village called Danto Uno, and is establishing a second business in a nearby village.

Work is also underway to help local people use their new source of energy to spur entrepreneurial activities. A Baylor faculty member, Blaine McCormick, taught entrepreneurship to village people on a recent visit, and already villagers are creating businesses.

Read more about the project.








What's Modiv Media all about? Watch CBS...


Modiv Media, a former NCIIA E-Team, is making the in-store shopping experience easier and more rewarding for customers and retailers. Watch the CBS Early Show clip.







A regional innovation celebration

June is Innovation Month in New England. There's lots of events going on around the region to celebrate innovation - check the official website.

And back to NCIIA: take a look at a few of the New England university technology innovation projects that we support:

More than 70 companies have formed out of the student teams we support. Here are several of our local alums:

  • Zeo, providing technology to help you sleep better.
  • Corum Medical, which is developing an affordable, noninvasive technology to measure blood hemoglobin.
  • Modiv Media, which developed and sells an in-store media network that allows customers to participate in promotions. 

Pico-Hydropower Franchising: A Test Bed in Rural Honduras

Baylor University, 2007

Many poor villages in developing countries are located in isolated mountainous areas without access to grid-based electric power. Without access to electricity, villagers burn a variety of fuels for energy, which can lead to respiratory disease and environmental degradation. At the same time, a number of these villages have nearby streams that represent a considerable untapped natural resource for energy creation. This project seeks to take advantage of those streams, creating village-level pico-hydro systems that harness the small mountain streams to produce enough energy to serve the villages.

The team has developed and installed several pico-hydro systems in remote villages in Honduras. The team has replicated the process and made the pico-hydro systems sustainable by building them into community-owned businesses. Specifically, the grant allowed for the development of business plans for two types of companies: franchised power-producing operations in rural villages (villagers running the pico-hydro systems), and system design companies located in nearby urban centers.