Finalists Announced for NAI Student Innovation Showcase

Six student teams from across the country selected to participate in this year’s showcase

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Six Student Teams Selected for #NAI2018 Student Innovation Showcase

The 2018 Student Innovation Showcase will be held April 6th as part of the 2018 Conference of the NAI. Six interdisciplinary student teams will exhibit their inventions to a panel of prominent innovators. The event is designed as a unique platform for students to demonstrate their emerging technologies to the highest caliber innovators.

OptoDyCE: Optical Dynamic Cardiac Electrophysiology
The George Washington University
Advisor: Emilia Entcheva, Ph.D.
Team: Aleks Klimas

The OptoDyCE Platform will provide drug researchers and developers with a high-throughput (HT), high-content, low-cost solution to quantify cardiotoxicity to deliver cheaper, more effective, and safer drug treatments. OptoDyCE will improve cardiotoxicity prediction in early-phase drug development. It has been estimated that better preclinical study design propagates through the pipeline; improved prediction could reduce Phase II attrition by as much as 50%, lowering final costs by ~30%. With costs reduced, developers will have the freedom to tackle higher-risk projects, such as patient-specific and patient-population therapies, without increasing R&D budgets.

AssistENT
Johns Hopkins University
Advisor: Patrick Byrne, M.B.A., M.D.
Team: Clay Andrews, Melissa Austin, Talia Kirschbaum, Theodore Lee

Restricted nasal breathing is one of the most common complaints heard by ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialists. This condition is a daily source of discomfort that reduces productivity and quality of life. Slight dilation of the nasal passages directly counteracts nasal obstruction and reverses symptoms in 89% of those afflicted. To this end, many patients undergo functional rhinoplasty procedures to surgically widen the nasal passages. However, up to 20% of patients experience unimproved or worsened symptoms postoperatively. We are developing Schnozzle, a comfortable and discreet nasal dilator that improves breathing instantly upon insertion. Schnozzle is also designed with form-fitting materials that enhance comfort and grip the nasal cavity to safely remain in position. The device’s use case is analogous to that of a contact lens; rather than undergoing invasive nasal reconstruction, users will simply deploy the device in the nose to breathe better instantly.

Senseer: Improving Hydrocephalus Treatment and Reducing Healthcare Costs Using Wireless Sensors
University of Southern California
Advisor: Ellis Meng, Ph.D.
Team: Alex Baldwin, Trevor Hudson, Eugene Yoon

Hydrocephalus is a chronic condition caused by accumulation of excess fluid in the brain leading to headaches, nausea, incontinence, and even cognitive decline in some cases. The standard clinical treatment is to surgically implant a shunt which diverts excess fluid from the brain to the abdomen, but 40-50% of shunts fail within the first year of use, and 80-90% fail within a decade. Repeated expensive imaging studies and invasive shunt taps are currently used to try to monitor shunt performance, but these methods are inadequate. Senseer is developing a multi-sensor module which can be implanted alongside hydrocephalus shunts. Patients will be able to query the status of their shunt in real time as often as desired in an outpatient setting.  All sensor measurements will be uploaded to a secure database, allowing physicians to remotely monitor shunt status and giving them tools for diagnosing or predicting shunt failure.

Powered Wrist-Hand Orthosis for Individuals with a Spinal Cord Injury
University of South Florida
Advisor: Stephanie L. Carey, Ph.D.
Team: Amber Gatto, Kalyn Kearney, Andrew Li, Kareika Wharton

Between 45%-60% of all reported spinal cord injury (SCI) cases (in the US) are classified as incomplete quadriplegia, ranking it the most common SCI. The majority of cervical SCIs occur in the C5-C7 segments causing patients to lose upper and lower limb functionality. Patients with an incomplete C5-C7 SCI lose grasping abilities, but wrist function is almost universally retained. Most rehabilitation techniques, therefore, apply the tenodesis effect (wrist extension for grasping, wrist flexion for releasing). Current tenodesis wrist-hand orthoses (WHOs) engage only the thumb and index finger for gripping, not allowing for whole-handed gripping, meaning that only 20% of ADLs can be completed. Scion’s powered WHO began as a student project and utilizes a modified version of the tenodesis effect (wrist flexion for grasping, wrist extension for releasing) to help individuals with incomplete C6-C7 SCIs independently complete ADLs.

Brise-solette
Virginia Commonwealth University
Advisor: Barbara D. Boyan, Ph.D.; Rene Olivares-Navarrete, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Team: Joshnamaithili Seelam, Aniket Kulkarni, Kashyap Venuthurupalli, Chandana Muktipaty

Studies have shown that a womb-like light environment can reduce the levels of cortisol and promote the release of growth hormones, while also extend sleep duration and help with adaptation to a circadian rhythm at an early stage. Currently the only solution for reducing light stimulus to the neo-natal infant is by using a blanket to cover the isolette and the use of films to control the amount of permitted light has not been done commercially. Brise-solette can quickly change its opacity and this would revolutionize the treatment of neonates as it would allow constant supervision of the babies during care, and also a method of notification in case of emergency. The future developments of this product would include modular advancement that make the films more reactive to different stimuli in the environment and the vitals of the baby.

AMProtection, LLC: Surface-Tethered Antimicrobial Peptides
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Advisor: Yael Schwartz, Ph.D.
Team: Todd E. Alexander, Lindsay D. Lozeau

AMProtection is a startup in the medical device industry and first focuses on a product that will prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI). Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) create a broad and devastating impact throughout the U.S. healthcare value chain, from manufacturers to hospitals to patients. Patients endure decreased quality of life from treatments such as systemic antibiotics and implant removal, and co-morbidity can increase by 12%-25%. The AMProtection innovation is a patent-pending, novel therapeutic agent – a naturally derived antimicrobial peptide (AMP) that is covalently bound (“tethered”) onto surfaces. This AMP coating is biocompatible, is broad-spectrum, and kills bacteria directly, clearing infection through unique biophysical mechanisms.

Keynote Speaker for Student Innovation Showcase:
Arthur Daemmrich, Ph.D.

“Invention: A History of (Learning From) Failure”

Arthur Daemmrich, Ph.D., is the director of the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian Institution. Located in the National Museum of American History, the Lemelson Center carries out historical research into invention and innovation, develops educational programs to inspire the next generation of inventors, and creates exhibits that engage some 4.5 million museum visitors annually.

Join us for the Seventh Annual Meeting. The conference unites innovators and leaders from all disciplines and geographic locations to a venue where knowledge is exchanged and collaborations thrive.

The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutes, with over 4,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 250 institutions worldwide. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society.

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