2018 DEBUT challenge winners

2018 debut first place winner $20,000

CortiTech: Designing a Minimally Invasive Brain Retractor for Deep-Seated Lesions
Johns Hopkins University

Surgical management of deep-seated brain lesions requires careful planning and execution in order to avoid unintentional damage during surgery while achieving maximal lesion removal outcomes. The most common approach uses blades to displace tissue and has been shown to cause life-threatening injuries such as swelling, hemorrhage, and infarction due to the excessive focal pressure on delicate tissue. Thus, neurosurgeons often confront the difficult decision of either aggressively removing a lesion and potentially causing unintentional damage during surgery, or taking a conservative approach that may lead to incomplete lesion management.
CortiTech has designed a novel, minimally invasive brain retractor, Radiex, to facilitate atraumatic neurosurgical access to deep-seated brain lesions. Radiex will allow surgeons to safely and effectively expose deep-brain operating sites in patients presenting conditions such as tumors, blood clots, or aneurysms by radially displacing neural tissue in hard-to-reach areas. Their device boasts the smallest port of entry, minimal focal pressure to tissue, and ergonomic dynamic control, to de-risk deep-seated lesion removal procedures for surgeons and improve clinical outcomes for patients.

Team Members:
Munachiso Igboko
Jody Mou
Linh Tran
Kevin Tu
Jack Ye
Sun Jay Yoo
Faculty Advisor: Amir Manbachi

2018 debut second place winner $15,000

The Voyager: Tibial Resection Tissue Protector
Clemson University

Total knee replacement surgeries are one of the most prevalent orthopedic procedures with an estimated 3.48 million procedures to be performed annually in the U.S. by 2030. During these operations, surgeons resect the proximal tibia and many complications can occur including damage to nearby ligaments and vasculature, which can lead to complications and increased surgical time.
Joint Task Force has developed The Voyager: a tibial resection tissue protector. Their device provides complete protection of the ligaments and vasculature surrounding the tibia using a retractor-style approach so that no accidental damage can occur during bone saw resection. It is easily deployable within the knee space, adjustable to fit varying anatomies and integrates with current tibial alignment rods and cutting blocks.

Team Members:
Colin Fair
Mina Gad
Alex Giron
Nick Matel
Tusharbhai Patel
Faculty Advisor: John DesJardins

2018 debut third place winner $10,000

Neuraline
Georgia Institute of Technology

Epidural anesthesia is one of the most common regional anesthesia techniques in obstetrics. But the Loss of Resistance (LoR) technique currently used to confirm entry into the epidural space is unreliable, with high complication rates and substantial financial losses to hospitals.
This team has developed a patent-pending handheld tool to assist in the placement of epidural anesthesia in labor and delivery. The Neuraline will allow physicians to identify entry into specific anatomical spaces by using bioelectrical impedance analysis. Different tissue types exhibit different electrical impedances that are measured by an electronics module, which enables real-time tissue identification. This will help physicians to better detect entry into the epidural space, thereby reducing complications and improving the reliability of the procedure.


Team Members:
Alec Bills
Dev Mandavia
Lucas Muller
Cassidy Wang
Faculty Advisor: James Rains

2018 venture prize $15,000

Concentracizor 4 (C4): A Novel Gyroscopic Screw Guide for Long Bone Fracture Fixation
Clemson University

In orthopaedic trauma, screws are often used to fixate bone fractures. This method requires that a pilot hole be drilled, which prepares the site by removing a small amount of bone matter to prevent bone fracture. However, surgical complications and patient injury can occur when the screw is misaligned with the pilot hole often resulting in a distal bone fracture and causing further damage to the bone.
To address this need, Dynamite Medical has created the Concentracizer 4, or C4. This device allows surgeons to precisely and confidently insert bone screws, by providing an interchangable drill bit guide, orientation memory, and a lighted driver guide that allows for proper placement of the bone screws. This elegant, intuitive and simple tool has a great capacity to improve orthopedic surgery outcomes.

Team Members:
Ian DeMass
Kaleb Guion
Bennet Hardymon
Andrew Moore
Casey Young
Faculty Advisor: John DesJardins

2018 design excellence prize $5,000

The Talaria – ankle brace
University of California, Riverside

Current ankle braces on the market only provide constant resistance to the ankle’s ability to roll. This can cause a lack of stimulation of ankle muscles after injury, causing additional knee rotation injuries and limiting athletic performance.
The Talaria, an innovative redesigned ankle brace incorporating magnetorheological fluid to vary the resistance to the rolling motion of the ankle, automatically and instantly provides the necessary support. The Talaria is activated by an inertial measurement unit (IMU) when the sensor detects the ankle as rolled past its natural threshold. The device can be personalized to the needs of the user and can help decrease recovery time and the chance of further injury.

Team Members:
David Montes
Dana Pinon
Jessica Sii
Timothy Yadegar
Faculty Advisor: B. Hyle Park

honorable mentions

Assistive Communication Technology for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Drexel University
A laser camera interface for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) patients that will detect and read aloud selections made on a communication board via the location of the laser pointer beam.

Implantable Port for the Localization and Sustainment of Encapsulated Cells for Cellular Therapy
Clemson University
A device that combines the convenience and standardization of a subcutaneous implantable port, the nourishing environment established by implanted cellulose, and the immune protection of cell encapsulation into a single product that enables the localized delivery and sustainment of cells, to move cellular therapies out of the lab and into the operating room.

Improved Colonoscopy Polypectomy Snare
Clemson University
A device, the SmartSnare, improves upon current polypectomy snares by allowing the user to independently rotate and bend the snare using a simple and novel mechanism and change the size of the snare if desired.

LumiChem
Columbia University
A device specifically designed to improve surgical tool sterilization in Uganda and other low resource settings by employing Ultraviolet light in the C- wavelength band (100 -280 nm) and an engineered chemical solution, making it a highly viable sterilization option for low-resource settings.

Vein Guard
University of California, Riverside
A new phlebotomy assistant medical device that alerts the practitioner when venous access has been obtained to prevent practitioners from puncturing further through the vein and minimize the occurrence of complications during blood draws. In addition, this device could be used in the phlebotomy training sector, allowing new practitioners to be more confident when conducting blood draws.

Wearable Gesture Recognition System with application to American Sign Language
University of Texas at Arlington
A device that acts as a real-time, personal interpreter for ASL users to encourage more deaf people to join the workforce and increase their quality of life outside of work. The device recognizes and converts 17 letters of the alphabet with acceptable accuracy (96-99% for easy, 50-60% for harder letters) and displays them on a computer screen with audio output.

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