June 2014

Press Release: BMEidea 2014 Winners Announced

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 Contact: Jo Ellen Warner

Director of Communications

National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance

(mobile) 202-420-9297 / jwarner@nciia.org

 

National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance Announces

Winners of 2014 BMEidea Competition

Winning teams from Northwestern University, MIT, and Stanford University; profiles of the innovators and products available at http://nciia.org/bmeidea2014  

NEW YORK—June 11, 2014—The National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) this evening announced the winners of its annual Biomedical Engineering Innovations, Design, and Entrepreneurship Awards (BMEidea). The awards were presented at the 16th annual Medical Design Excellence Awards (MDEAwards) Ceremony at the MD&M East Medical Device Trade Show and Convention in New York.

Supported by The Lemelson Foundation, the BMEidea competition recognizes the best and the brightest in student-driven, innovative biomedical engineering design with high commercial potential and social impact. First held in 2004, winners of this annual competition are selected from some of the nation’s top biomedical engineering departments and are judged by a panel of faculty and industry experts. Winning entries solve a clinical problem; meet technical, economic, legal and regulatory requirements; feature novel and practical designs; and show strong potential for commercialization. Prizes include cash awards of $10,000 (first prize), $5,000 (second prize), and $2,500 (third prize), as well as product development, commercialization resources and training.

“All three winning devices have the potential to improve healthcare on a large scale. The creativity, dedication and entrepreneurial spirit of these emerging innovators demonstrates the mindset that NCIIA is trying to cultivate on campuses nationwide," said Phil Weilerstein, executive director, NCIIA.

First place team from Northwestern University—Innoblative Designs

Composed of Tyler Graf, Dan McCarthy, Adam Piotrowski, Brian Robillard, Jason Sandler, Curtis Wang and Tyler Wanke, Innoblative Designs is developing a device that will reduce treatment time and cost and increase safety for breast cancer surgery patients. Breast cancer is typically treated by a lumpectomy to remove the tumor, followed by a long series of radiation treatments. Studies show as many as 30% of women undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer do not complete treatment and are more susceptible to cancer recurrence. Innoblative's device is designed to be used during surgery, destroying cancer cells immediately and reducing the need for post-surgical radiation therapy.

Second place team from MIT—Recon Therapeutics

Some common medications like insulin can be freeze-dried, which increases the drug's life span, but has a drawback: the patient has to reconstitute the drug before injecting it. The current reconstitution process is inconvenient and complex, leading to frequent mistakes and decreased patient compliance. Recon Therapeutics, consisting of Christopher Lee, Ben Maimon and Ho-Jun Suk is developing a drug delivery device, called the LyoKit, that makes reconstitution easier. The LyoKit couples a standard off-the-shelf syringe with a pressurized water chamber, resulting in a simple one-step reconstitution process. 

Third place team from Stanford University—Minimally-Invasive Toroid System (MITS)

The Minimally-Invasive Toroid Systems (MITS) team, consisting of Tiffany Chao, Nick Damiano, Shreya Mehta, and John Woock is developing a non-surgical solution for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. BPH is the most common cause of obstructive urinary symptoms and progresses with age. Current treatments are not durable and have considerable side effects. The MITS team's device, which consists of a set of permanent urethral expanders that “prop open” the urethra to allow for urination and relief of BPH symptoms, is designed to offer long-term relief without the drawbacks of previous treatment options.

***

The NCIIA organizes two annual biomedical engineering competitions for university students. BMEidea is open to all graduate and undergraduate teams while BMEStart is open to undergraduate teams only. Both competitions will begin accepting applications for next year’s competition in September 2014. Teams can apply at http://nciia.org/competitions/.

 

***

About National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA):

The NCIIA catalyzes positive social and environmental impact through invention and technological innovation by providing funding, training and mentoring for university faculty and student innovators. With support from The Lemelson Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Agency for International Development and a membership of nearly 200 colleges and universities from all over the United States, the NCIIA engages approximately 5,000 student entrepreneurs each year, leveraging their campuses as working laboratories for invention and innovation and incubators for businesses, and ultimately helping them to bring their ideas to market. For more information, visit www.nciia.org.

About The Lemelson Foundation:

The Lemelson Foundation uses the power of invention to improve lives, by inspiring and enabling the next generation of inventors and invention based enterprises to promote economic growth in the U.S. and social and economic progress for the poor in developing countries. Established by prolific U.S. inventor Jerome Lemelson and his wife Dorothy in 1992, to date the Foundation has provided or committed more than $175 million in grants and program-related investments in support of its mission. For more information, visit www.lemelson.org.

# # #

BMEidea 2014: Competition Winners

BMEidea-Biomedical Engineering-Innovation, Design, and Entrepreneurship Award

The BMEidea competition recognizes the best of the best in student-driven, innovative biomedical engineering design with high commercial potential and social impact. First held in 2005, winners of this annual competition are selected from some of the nation’s top biomedical engineering departments and are judged by a panel of faculty and industry representatives. Winning entries solve a clinical problem; meet technical, economic, legal, and regulatory requirements; feature novel and practical designs; and show potential for commercialization.

Prizes include cash awards of $10,000 (first prize), $5,000 (second prize), and $2,500 (third prize), and product development and commercialization resources and training.

The BMEidea awards are presented each year at the MD&M East Medical Device Trade Show and Convention.

Congratulations to our winners!

 

$10,000 First Prize Winner

Innoblative Designs, Inc.

The team members:
Tyler Graf;
Dan McCarthy, 32, Cleveland, OH;
Adam Piotrowski, 32, Oak Park, IL;
Brian Robillard, 24, Fresno, CA;
Jason Sandler;
Curtis Wang, 22, Mill Creek, WA;
Tyler Wanke, Appleton, WI

School:
Northwestern University

The device:
A disposable radiofrequency ablation (RFA) probe that destroys residual cancer cells around the site of a breast cancer lumpectomy. Find out more…

 

$5,000 Second Prize Winner

Recon Therapeutics

The team members:
Christopher Lee, 24, Ann Arbor, MI;
John Lewandowski, 24, Shaker Heights, OH;
Ben Maimon, 24, Westfield,. NJ;
Babak Movassaghi, 39, Dusseldorf, Germany;
Ho-Jun Suk, 28, Incheon, South Korea

School:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The device:
LyoKit is a drug delivery technology designed for patients who regularly inject lyophilized drugs such as hCG, insulin or HGH. This technology simplifies drug reconstitution between a lyophilized (freeze-dried) drug and sterile solvent. The LyoKit device couples a standard off-the-shelf syringe with an external pressurized water chamber, resulting in a simple one-step reconstitution process. The device is customizable to a full range of biologics and can be rapidly adopted to market with minimal regulatory concerns. Find out more…

 

$2,500 Third Prize Winner

Minimally Invasive Toroid System (MITS)

The team members:
Tiffany Chao, 31, Chappaqua, NY;
Nick Damiano, 31, San Francisco, CA;
Shreya Mehta, 30, Phoenix, AZ;
John Woock, 31, Louisville, KY

School:
Stanford University

The device:
The MITS team is creating a non-surgical solution for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. The device consists of a set of indwelling urethral expanders that allow the circumferential “propping open” of the prostatic urethra to allow for urination and relief of BPH symptoms. Find out more…

Honorable Mentions

TREAT Award $1,000 Prize: Team Entrenous, Product Slimline, Northwestern University  

A gas storage material with inherent water-repellent properties that selectively removes the gases responsible for ostomy pouch order and ballooning in order to improve patient comfort and discretion.

Honorable Mention - Global access and affordability: ezPCR, University of Tennessee

 

 

 

Principal sponsor

Innoblative Designs, Inc. - BMEidea 2014 Finalist

Meet the Innovators

The team:
Innoblative Designs, Inc.

The team members:
Tyler Graf;
Dan McCarthy, 32, Cleveland, OH;
Adam Piotrowski, 32, Oak Park, IL;
Brian Robillard, 24, Fresno, CA;
Jason Sandler;
Curtis Wang, 22, Mill Creek, WA;
Tyler Wanke, Appleton, WI

School:
Northwestern University

The device:
A disposable radiofrequency ablation (RFA) probe that destroys residual cancer cells around the site of a breast cancer lumpectomy.

The problem:
1-in-8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, yet 20-50% of breast tumor removal procedures are unsuccessful, requiring patients to undergo a second surgical procedure and/or ionizing radiation therapy.

Breast cancer is typically treated by a lumpectomy to remove the cancerous tumor, followed by a long series of radiation treatments to destroy any cancer cells remaining in the patient’s breast after surgery. While this approach is generally seen as more favorable than removing the breast altogether with a mastectomy, there are many complications and challenges associated with radiation therapy, including long duration of treatment, short- and long-term side effects, geographic inconvenience and high cost. Studies show as many as 30% of women undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer do not complete the treatment schedule as a result of one or more of these factors, and therefore are more susceptible to cancer recurrence.

The solution:
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) has been successfully used to treat certain cancers and other medical conditions in which abnormal cells must be destroyed. It is faster due to its localized function and shortened treatment time, safer due to fewer side effects, more convenient due to one-time use and significantly less expensive than traditional radiation therapy. However, because the RFA probes currently on the market are designed to treat solid organ disease, they do not function properly in the post-lumpectomy breast cavity.

Innoblative has created an expandable, handheld RFA probe that is specifically designed to fit the complex and irregularly shaped post-lumpectomy cavity that would be utilized in the operating room immediately following the lumpectomy, delivering RFA directly to the breast cavity to quickly kill remaining cancerous tissue.

The result is a breast cancer treatment that is faster, safer, more convenient and less expensive than current therapies. This practice would dramatically reduce the patient’s chance of cancer recurrence and need for radiation therapy.

Challenges encountered:
Tyler Wanke, CEO of Innoblative Designs, says that, "One of the obstacles we have faced is that we are a young team. Many of us are still finishing up our MDs, MBAs, PhDs, etc. And in med-tech, the entrepreneurs are usually a little bit older. We don't mind too much, however, because our relative youth gives us stamina to spend many long nights grinding away and it has given us the opportunity to leverage "student status" to compete in and win non-dilutive funds at many business plan competitions. We also surround ourselves with seasoned advisors who have been there before, and this builds confidence that we can make this medical device a reality."

Accomplishments and progress to date:
Innoblative Designs is currently in the process of optimizing its prototype through computer-aided design and analysis—testing various iterations for functional improvements. Additionally, Innoblative Designs is creating physical prototypes for hands-on testing. The long-term goal is to get the device through preclinical and clinical trials and ultimately into operating rooms, helping women and their families worldwide fight breast cancer in a way that is faster, safer, more convenient and less expensive.

Their tip for other student innovators:
Dr. Daniel McCarthy suggests that students “Build a team of diverse disciplines. What’s unique about Innoblative Designs is that each team member brings something different and valuable to our project. Coming from rich backgrounds in engineering, medicine, business, entrepreneurship and technology, our team has complementary skill sets that all lend themselves toward advancing the project in different and compelling ways. Another important tip—leap at as many networking opportunities as possible. You never know which connection will lead to your next breakthrough in development.”

Minimally Invasive Toroid System (MITS) - BMEidea 2014 Finalist

Meet the Innovators

The team:
Minimally Invasive Toroid System (MITS)

The team members:
Tiffany Chao, 31, Chappaqua, NY;
Nick Damiano, 31, San Francisco, CA;
Shreya Mehta, 30, Phoenix, AZ;
John Woock, 31, Louisville, KY

School:
Stanford University

The device:
The MITS team is creating a non-surgical solution for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. The device consists of a set of indwelling urethral expanders that allow the circumferential “propping open” of the prostatic urethra to allow for urination and relief of BPH symptoms.

The problem:
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as prostate enlargement, is the most common cause of obstructive urinary symptoms and progresses with age. Forty percent of men over 50 and 90% of men over 80 experience symptoms of BPH. Symptoms include urinary hesitancy, urgency, straining, weak flow, dripping, incomplete emptying, dysuria, nocturia, frequent urination, and incontinence, all of which are extremely distressing for patients and significantly impact their quality of life. Gold standard treatments for BPH are surgical in nature and involve removing all or part of the prostate gland. Less invasive methods, such as prostatic stents (e.g., UroLume) or energy therapy (e.g., TUNA) have been developed; however, stents often become encrusted or calcified when exposed to the urine stream, while energy therapies can cause irritating symptoms. Both methods cause discomfort and inflammation, and results have not been shown to be durable.

The solution:
Our invention is a set of indwelling urethral expanders which allow the circumferential propping open of the prostatic urethra in order to enable a patient to urinate, thereby providing relief of urinary symptoms arising from conditions such as BPH. These indwelling expanders span the prostatic urethra and are anchored at their locations to prevent migration. Their circumference may be larger than that of the urethra, and combined with their anchoring systems, the rings are designed to invaginate into the urethral wall. The thinness of the rings would facilitate the enfolding of the urethral wall around the rings so that they stay out of the urine stream, thereby protecting them from calcification or encrustation. Previous studies have demonstrated that the prostate is highly compressible and able to be stented, and our initial prototypes have demonstrated these rings to be successful in in-vitro models.

Challenges encountered:
Team leader Tiffany Chao says, "BPH is a huge market, but many technologies have been developed for this space already. It was a challenge for us to develop our story in a way that would make people excited about a project for BPH. After a lot of work, we were able to leverage the current state of the market and existing technology in order to create an effective story that would demonstrate the potential for our innovative device."

Accomplishments and progress to date:
The MITS team has a number of prototypes and is finalizing its designs now. The team has already worked in in-vitro and tissue models, and will be getting prototypes into cadaver models this month.

Their tip for other student innovators:
Taking advantage of student status and the connections that are available to students are immeasurably helpful. Once you reach out and make an effort, you might be surprised at how many people working in industry, intellectual property, and venture capital are willing to donate some time to help students!

Recon Therapeutics - BMEidea 2014 Finalist

Meet the Innovators

The team:
Recon Therapeutics

The team members:
Christopher Lee, 24, Ann Arbor, MI;
John Lewandowski, 24, Shaker Heights, OH;
Ben Maimon, 24, Westfield,. NJ;
Babak Movassaghi, 39, Dusseldorf, Germany;
Ho-Jun Suk, 28, Incheon, South Korea

School:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The device:
LyoKit is a drug delivery technology designed for patients who regularly inject lyophilized drugs such as hCG, insulin or HGH. This technology simplifies drug reconstitution between a lyophilized (freeze-dried) drug and sterile solvent. The LyoKit device couples a standard off-the-shelf syringe with an external pressurized water chamber, resulting in a simple one-step reconstitution process. The device is customizable to a full range of biologics and can be rapidly adopted to market with minimal regulatory concerns.

The problem:
The gold standard for at-home, self-injection of large biologics involves providing a patient with a vial of drug and a vial of injection solvent. The process of preparing a dose involves 5-10 steps, and necessitates the use of 2-4 syringes and needles, transfer vials, and patient calculations leading to frequent mistakes and decreased compliance. In addition, unused doses require immediate refrigeration, which is extremely inconvenient.

The solution:
Recon Therapeutics has developed a new drug delivery technology that simplifies drug reconstitution between a lyophilized drug and sterile solvent at the point of care. The Lyokit Drug Reconstitution System differentiates itself by being highly intuitive to use, reconstituting biologics with simple one finger actuation. In addition, the reconstitution process occurs using an external pressurized chamber, enabling reconstitution of biologics with a wide spectrum of solubility profiles. Lastly, the Lyokit is an all-inclusive kit that encompasses injection site sterility, needle safety, and disposal all in one embodiment. Coupled with our business model of integrating the system with off-the-shelf syringes, Recon can provide a cost advantage of up to 60% to both the customer and pharmacy, enabling Recon Therapeutics to access an annual market for drug reconstitution technologies exceeding $1.8 billion.

Challenges encountered:
According to team member Christopher Lee, "As a team we have faced many challenges in distilling our regulatory pathway and getting in touch with the correct experts in this domain. In addition, we also initially struggled to determine what type of products that require reconstitution should be targeted with our device first."

Accomplishments and progress to date:
Recon Therapeutics has incorporated as a LLC and filed a full utility patent application. They have completed a first pass design freeze and developed a beta prototype, which has been designed for manufacturing. Critically, Recon has secured additional funding as an MIT Global IDEAS winner and Harvard Innovation Labs Dean's Health Life Science Challenge Finalist. They have also established additional working relationships with sterilization facilities, compounding pharmacies, and injection molders. Through Men’s Health Boston, the team spoke with patients and nurses, and was able to perform several rounds of usability and human factors studies.

Their tip for other student innovators:
Always try to do something more with a student project, don't let it just sit on a shelf.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS FOR OPEN 2015

Open

NCIIA 19th ANNUAL CONFERENCE
March 20-21, Washington, D.C.

PRODUCED IN COLLABORATION WITH

We invite you to submit a proposal for review to Open 2015, the NCIIA 19th Annual Conference, taking place March 20-21, 2015 in Washington, D.C.

NCIIA is dedicated to fostering an emerging generation of young inventors and entrepreneurs driven to improve life for people and the planet. Our Open conferences gather together engaged faculty and university students from across multiple disciplines to share stories, start new collaborations and learn best practices in technology entrepreneurship education.

We welcome your proposals for compelling sessions focused on curriculum, engaging students, design, and generating social and environmental impact through entrepreneurship as well as special topical areas such as learning from failure. See detailed topic list below.

To submit a proposal to Open 2015, please follow this link. Last year’s conference materials, including the schedule, are here.

In this Call for Proposals, you will find:

 

Submission Deadlines

Opens:
Thursday, June 5, 2014

Closes:
Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Notification:
Monday, October 27, 2014

Paper submission deadline:
Monday, January 5, 2015

Paper notification:
Friday, January 30, 2015

Submit final draft (optional):
Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Poster submission deadline:
Monday, February 2, 2015

 

Important New Guideline

NEW GUIDELINE THIS YEAR
When submitting, you should add a line to the session description explaining the #1 takeaway attendees will gain from your session. Under section 2 of the proposal form (at the top of the Abstract section), please include one sentence on what people will learn from your session. For example: “What you’ll take away from this session: A deeper theoretical and practical understanding of the issues around students engaged in extracurricular activities, as well as insight into how you might provide support for your teams.” This “what you’ll take away” line will be included in the program materials to differentiate and attract participants to your session.

 

Session Formats

Open Meetups are 75-minute, unstructured, participant-driven conversations centered on a particular theme or purpose. Each Meetup will have a facilitator (or two). To submit your idea for an Open Meetup and/or to be a facilitator, email Tim Binkert at tbinkert@nciia.org.

Open Minis are quick, dynamic, 5-minute PPT presentations gathered into themed clusters. They follow the Ignite style: 20 slides that automatically advance every 20 seconds. The format keeps presentations concise, fast-paced and engaging. To submit an Open Mini, email Tim Binkert at tbinkert@nciia.org.

Panels are 75-minute sessions (e.g., debates, discussions, opportunities) designed to allow for discussion amongst presenters as well as provide a forum for interaction with attendees. Panels are expected to have two or more speakers.

Workshops are 75-minute sessions that emphasize interaction and exchange of information with attendees. Workshops should focus on interactivity and immersive, experiential learning.

Posters allow presenters to discuss their projects with interested colleagues for 75 minutes in an informal setting. If you're interested in presenting a poster at the conference, log in, select "Apply for a Grant or Enter a Competition," then click "Select an RFP" and navigate to "NCIIA 19th Annual Conference Call for Posters." Poster presenters will receive the presenter registration rate.

Papers clustered around common themes will be presented for 15 minutes each, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A per presentation. There will be three presentations per paper session for a total of 75 minutes.

Submitting a formal paper for the conference proceedings is optional for presenting in a paper session. Please indicate whether or not you intend to submit a paper on your session proposal form. If you choose to submit a paper, one, FINAL draft is due January 5, 2015. Here is the full publishing schedule:

  • Deadline for submission of FINAL draft paper: January 5 (2015)
  • Peer review completed and accept/reject notices sent out: January 30 (2015)
  • Completed, final papers due: February 5 (2015)
  • Read the paper guidelines here

 

Special Consideration

Special consideration will be given to submissions related to the following:

  • Sessions with concrete takeaways, e.g., exercises, modules, content, resources that audience members can take home and use in their classrooms (or their ventures).
  • Research-based sessions that provide assessment of the programs that are being implemented. This is an area with which many individuals struggle; our goal for Open 2015 is to help faculty learn from others within the community.
  • Sessions either led by students or featuring students as co-presenters/panelists. These can be student success stories (launching a startup, etc.) but can also include sessions that speak about their needs, how they moved through a certain program, how their institutions are supporting them, their motivations, day-to-day challenges, and so forth.
  • Sessions that integrate representatives from industry, experienced entrepreneurs, and/or economic development partners.

 

Program Topics

Program topics are broken down into five general categories. Your proposal can hit multiple topics/categories at once; you aren’t limited to one.

CURRICULAR
Program models
Research-based program assessment
Best practices
Teaching tools
Online education
Small colleges
Biomedical Engineering
Intellectual Property
Lean startup

STUDENT ENGAGEMENT
Student experiences/perspectives
Practical topics for students: IP; tips and tricks for navigating tech transfer; choosing/being a mentor, etc.

FAILURE
Product and technical failure
Program model/curricular failure
Business model failure
Failure to understand cultural and market contexts
Anticipating failure: avoidable and unavoidable failures

DESIGN
Maker spaces
Learning spaces
Applying design thinking to entrepreneurship
Creativity

SOCIAL/ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES IN ESHIP
Entrepreneurship in low-resource settings
Clean tech
Climate change
Underrepresented populations in entrepreneurship education
Women in entrepreneurship

 

Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated and selected by the NCIIA Open 2015 Committee using criteria such as the topic’s timeliness and relevance.  In particular, we encourage incorporation of clear learning objectives and audience engagement. We encourage diverse perspectives, including those of students!

Questions? Contact Tim Binkert at tbinkert@nciia.org

“Getting Your Story Straight” – David Riemer on Storytelling

Story Narrative and Product Narrative

Story & Storytelling

The Power of Story

Story Structure

The Main Character

The Main Conflict

Story Challenges & Solutions

Telling a Great Story

←Return to Lean LaunchPad Master Video Guide

Final Presentations

Knox: Final Presentation

Magnamosis: Final Presentation

Making Friends: Final Presentation

Mira Medicine: Final Presentation

ResultCare: Final Presentation

Tidepool.org: Final Presentation

Vitruvian Therapeutics: Final Presentation

←Return to Lean LaunchPad Master Video Guide

Final Video

Accelerated Medical Diagnostics: Final Video

Knox: Final Video

Magnamosis: Final Video

Making Friends: Final Video

Mira Medicine: Final Video

ResultCare: Final Video

Tidepool.org: Final Video

Vitruvian Therapeutics: Final Video

←Return to Lean LaunchPad Master Video Guide