Arizona State University at the Tempe Campus, 2008 - $20,000
HIV viral load testing, which measures the number of HIV copies in a milliliter of blood, provides important information in monitoring the status of HIV disease by guiding recommendations for therapy and predicting the future course of the disease. However, the current viral load test is expensive ($50k initial capital outlay, $40 per test), requires skilled technicians and significant training, and is available only in well-equipped medical facilities.
This E-Team is developing a new viral load test that is far cheaper ($200 capital outlay, $6 per test), does not required skilled technicians, and can be implemented in rural clinics in the developing world. The team’s simple approach is to use the naked eye to confirm the presence and quantity of HIV in the blood. The product will be a kit consisting of two pieces of equipment (a blue-light box and a water bath) and a package of inexpensive reagents that do not require cold-chain storage. Blood samples drawn from the patient are processed in 2.5 hours and read in a dark room using the blue-light: blood containing HIV above threshold levels fluoresce, indicating a high viral load.
LifeServe Innovations is an entrepreneurial venture formed at Lehigh University aimed at developing and commercializing an emergency tracheostomy device. Currently the standard surgical airway procedure for the emergency field is a cricothyroidotomy, but this procedure is problematic as the airway it creates is temporary and needs to be replaced at the hospital. LifeServe intends to improve the practice by bringing an in-hospital procedure, the percutaneous tracheostomy, to the field of emergency medicine.
The team is developing the SMART Kit, which will contain all the tools necessary to perform a percutaneous tracheostomy in the field. The vital component of the kit is LifeServe's patentable SnakeBite Dilator (pictured). This device transforms a percutaneous trachestomy from a timely and involved surgery to a fast and user-friendly procedure.
LifeServe has already prototyped an initial version of the dilator, performed market research, and gained insight and feedback from medical professionals.
The E-Team is creating PlastEco, a low-cost thatch-roofing product made from discarded plastic bottles. Using plastic strips instead of natural materials means a longer lasting, more energy efficient roof, and puts into use plastic bottles that would otherwise end up in a landfill.
The team has a close working relationship with Fundacion Maquipucuna, an Ecuadorian NGO; several groups of students have visited Ecuador to work with FM in developing PlastEco and other products (work supported in part by an NCIIA Sustainable Vision grant). The ultimate goal of the PlastEco project is to create micro-enterprises in Ecuador based around the technology, with the revenues supporting FM’s work in environmental conservation and poverty alleviation.
Despite a number of advances in cancer detection technologies, the development of clinically validated, blood-based cancer biomarkers remains an unmet challenge for many common cancers. Better markers would lead to earlier detection, saving lives and cutting down on hospital costs. A new method, the DNA Integrity Assay (DIA) has the potential to accurately discriminate cancerous cells from normal cells for a wide range of cancers, but its clinical acceptance has been limited due to the complexity of the test, sampling errors, and the high cost of the materials, instruments and highly trained personnel needed to run it.
This E-Team is developing a new DIA testing method called smDIA (single molecule assessment of DNA integrity), which has the potential to eliminate errors and reduce the costs associated with the traditional DIA approach. In this method, a patient’s DNA sample (blood, stool, etc.) is transported by a microfluidic device through a sheet of laser beams (Cylindrical Illumination Confocal Spectroscopy), enabling direct analysis of the patient's DNA integrity in a rapid, uniform manner.
A popular alternative to incubator care for premature infants in developing areas is kangaroo mother care (KMC), a technique in which the infant if kept in a frog-like position on the caregiver’s chest at all times, allowing the caregiver to monitor the infant. While KMC is accepted as an alternative to incubator care by the World Health Organization, premature infants remain at risk for apnea while the caregiver is sleeping and therefore unable to detect an apnea episode. Most apnea detectors do not work with the KMC system.
This E-Team is developing a low-cost, KMC-compatible apnea detection system. The team formed in response to a request from the Karl Bremer Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa for a KMC-compatible apnea monitor and is based on previous coursework over the past two semesters. The device detects apnea by monitoring the typical adbonimal movements of a premature infant while breathing. If there is no breathing for a stretch of time, indicating an apnea episode, the device sets off an alarm. The device is attached to the abdomen using a gentle, double-sided hydrogel adhesive pad that is disposable and replaceable.
For this project, the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center (EEC) and Center for Entrepreneurship are creating the Program for International Energy Technologies (PIET), an interdisciplinary program focusing on getting low-cost, clean energy, and energy efficient solutions into the market in developing countries. The primary goals of the program include: 1) educating and engaging UC Davis students in energy-related issues in developing countries; 2) developing interdisciplinary student E-Teams to create, design, and distribute sustainable energy products and programs; and 3) bridging the gap between the need, existing technologies, and the market by creating dissemination strategies for appropriate energy technologies in developing countries.
This grant will help expand a pilot program in a graduate-level biomedical engineering course by offering additional resources to design teams: equipment, materials, supplies, prototyping funds, and expert lecturers and consultants. During this year-long class, students are completely responsible for idea generation, prototype development and commercialization planning. They are exposed to an entrepreneurial environment and gain entrepreneurial skills not traditionally taught or integrated into university coursework.
North Dakota State University-Main Campus, 2008 - $9,000.00
This project supports a course focused on micro-manufacturing innovation in the field of medical and dental products. The course could be expanded to become a compilation of offerings with different technological emphases but a similar structure and innovation-centered context. All the resulting courses would: 1) be open to students majoring in any subject relevant to the topic of the innovation, and would also be made available to students attending NDSU's global partner institutions and students within the Tri-college network in the region; 2) create an enabling and sustainable framework for innovation teams to secure resources through partnerships with industrial organizations and private entrepreneurs, as well as through grants from governmental and foundation resources; and 3) potentially serve as departmental electives and have course credit hours fulfill graduation requirements.
This proposal is a continuation of a sustainable Vision grant awarded to ASU last year to design and build an ethanol gelfuel manufacturing plant. ASU now proposes to partner with the Kumasi Institute of Technology, Energy and Environment, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and the village chief and elders in Domeabra, Ghana to begin developing the gelfuel industry.
This ASU proposal seeks to 1) study the market and monitor the acceptance and market penetration of gelfuel in Domeabra and Kumasi; 2) develop ultra low-cost stoves designed to work with gelfuel that will be produced in Domeabra; and 3) help Domeabra make a supply chain for raw materials and marketing/distribution of the gelfuel and stoves.
Anticipated Outcome of Project:
The establishment of a supply chain for the raw materials and the marketing and distribution of gel fuel and low cost stoves. New jobs and revenue streams for Ghanaian entrepreneurs and a reduced dependence on wood burning stoves.
Why Project Should be Funded:
The project has made significant technical advances, but more remains to be done in order to launch a sustainable venture. If successful, this program could significantly reduce indoor pollution and resulting respiratory health problems.
Use of Funds:
Funding is requested for stipends, prototyping, travel expenses and indirect costs.
The Four Directions Program is focused on sustainable entrepreneurship and venture development for Native American students and others at Arizona State University. E-Teams develop business plans for tribal-based ventures emphasizing sustainability, and are encouraged to submit their proposals to NCIIA and seek support from other Arizona institutions