Multiple studies have shown that cold therapy can protect the heart from myocardial infarction by slowing blood flow through major organs after the onset of ischemia. Building on cold therapy theory, this E-Team invented the Transesophageal Cooling (TEC) device, which cools the damaged area of the heart immediately after ischemia by using a cooling transesophageal balloon catheter.
The device consists of a cooling balloon catheter inserted through the naso/oralpharyngeal pathway. Once the catheter is placed within the esophagus closest to the heart, a cooling fluid flows through the catheter. The process preserves myocardial cells during an Acute Myocardial Infarction by slowing down metabolism and decreasing reperfusion injury associated with other methods that treat acute coronary disease.
The E-Team included four graduate students specializing in engineering, business, medicine, and biotechnology. Two advisors with backgrounds in cardiovascular medicine and biodesign supported the students.
In 2002, the Computer Science and Surgery Department at Stanford University offered CS277, Experimental Haptics, one of the first courses in haptics taught in the U.S. "Haptics" is the dynamic interaction of proprioception (our sense of space around the body), kinesthesis (our perception of external forces on the body), and tactility (our ability to sense the properties of surfaces on the skin), and of the science of using machines to stimulate these systems. The course provides students with basic knowledge of haptics, including current research and commercial potential. Students in the course gain a basic set of tools for developing hardware and software for haptics interfaces. They then form E-Teams to pursue independent projects in haptics with support of the course administrators and the Stanford Haptic Laboratory. Projects from last year's course included: linking the SensAble Phantom to a Sony Playstation to make the surgical simulation available on a low-cost computer platform; developing "Haptic Battle Pong," a video game that integrates the advanced sensibilities of the Phantom; and developing a haptic interface that uses mechanical brakes to simulate contact with virtual objects. In addition to project work, E-Teams attend a lecture series featuring key pioneers in haptic technology.
This project will improve Experimental Haptics with support from the NCIIA, based on lessons learned from the initial course. Though the first course was successful, it lacked several elements that would allow students to pursue even more complex projects or turn existing projects into commercially viable products. Students lacked access to computer hardware and haptic devices crucial to project development. The proposal requests funds for haptic interface hardware, three computers, additional supplies for hardware projects, and patent/publication/marketing funds.
In 2000, approximately 40,000 marrow transplants were performed worldwide. In the field of bone marrow transplantation (BMT), an autologous transplant involves bone marrow harvesting from the patient, and feeding the marrow back to the same patient following treatment with high-dose chemotherapy. An allogeneic transplant refers to the procedure of harvesting bone marrow from a healthy donor and giving it to the patient who has received high doses of chemotherapy and radiation.
Because both of these harvesting methods are expensive and tedious, the MarrowMiner E-Team developed an innovative device and method for rapidly harvesting bone marrow and the stem cells bone marrow contains. The team incorporated as StemCor Systems.
In 2008, the team signed an agreement with Hospira, Inc. to develop and commercialize StemCor's proprietary system for the harvest of bone marrow.
Breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer among women in the US and the leading cause of cancer deaths for women. The National Cancer Institute estimates that one in eight American women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Early detection leads to early treatment and improved patient outcome. Breast Self-Exams (BSE) aid early discovery of the disease, but only 29% of women regularly conduct the exam. Part of the reason for this low percentage is that health care providers do not have a standardized method for teaching breast examination skills.
In response to this lack of uniformity, the Brest Examination Simulator E-Team developed training tools to simulate breast exams and teach the proper procedure. The team created computerized, strap-on breast models for teaching patients how to perform breast self-exams and plated breast models for teaching medical students, residents, nursing students, and physician assistants to perform clinical exams. Each model simulates various conditions, including normal and pathologic. Both models contain electronic sensors to communicate users' movements to a computer screen as they examine the models. The computer data provides individualized performance evaluations and helps define the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of an adequate clinical exam, thereby standardizing the method. Model development is based on the E-pelvis simulator, which one of the E-Team members designed.
This E-Team program supports the development of early stage commercialization of products formed within the Medical Device Network at Stanford University. The program draws on the Medical Device Design Program in the medical school and the Product Realization Lab in the engineering school. The program combines three elements. The first is the twice yearly Medical Device Invention Challenge, where students design solutions around a medical problem ripe for innovation. The program also offers a new course sequence in medical device design that is open to undergraduate and graduate students and will be a combination of lectures and team projects. The last development supports medical device ideas that occur outside the sequence of courses, called Medical Device Prototyping Pathways. Typically, this part of the program requires student independent study where the faculty develops pathways and student-driven E-Teams with mentors
Observations and published studies reveal that retention of emergency first aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) skills is difficult. When these skills are not regularly used, both lay people and highly trained professionals (police, nurses and doctors) lose the ability to give adequate care within three months after training. This E-Team team developed a device that gives audio prompts to a rescuer, coaching a standard lifesaving algorithm. The device is about the size of a credit card and inexpensive to produce.
The team first started work on this idea in an advanced product design course called Needfinding. They found a common lack of confidence amongst survey respondents in being able to retain CPR training. The two students on the team were graduate students in product design, and they were assisted by a faculty advisor in product design and several industry advisors with experience in the medical industry, business development, and product design.
The standard method surgeons use to join grafted blood vessels to host vessels in cardiac bypass surgery is called hand suturing. This procedure creates a tight seal but is time-consuming and subject to a "purse-string effect," a common cause of bypass surgery failure. In most cases, the heart must be arrested during the procedure, leading to poor recovery and multiple complications. This E-Team received funding to develop and prototype a device that joins grafted blood vessels to host vessels in cardiac bypass surgery. The technology joins the vessels together without the complicated maneuvers that are difficult to perform on a beating heart. The procedure requires only fifteen seconds to implant the device and establishes the required "intima to intima contact" (the inside of one vessel to the inside of another vessel) between the anastomosed vessels.
The device is low cost and straightforward to manufacture. Due to its simplicity, surgeons can easily adopt the device and method since it does not require extensive training. The device that the team designed allows for minimally invasive surgery and would have fewer complications than other options.
NCIIA supported the incorporation of E-Teams into a business strategy and planning course at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. Students develop projects based on innovations they develop themselves or obtain the rights to develop. Groups call on the network of experts the university has assembled for market assessment mentors. No prototypes are built in the course, but business plans are written and presented to a panel of entrepreneurs, and the option to continue work as Advanced E-Teams is available