debut 2016 winners

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all who applied!

2016 DEBUT First place winner $20,000

TB or Not TB: A First of its Kind Smart Pill to Fill the Pediatric Gap
Purdue University

Amelia Adelsperger
Jordan Addison
Amy Koester
Daniel Romano
Julia Swartzenberg
Faculty Advisor: Jacqueline Linnes

This team is developing a first-of-its kind tuberculosis diagnosing capsule. The pill is designed to be swallowed and work with the natural process of the body in order to get a gastric acid sample. Once the capsule is swallowed, the stomach acid will dissolve the pH-responsive filler allowing a compressed spring to expand. The expansion will create a vacuum to suck in a sample of gastric acid and then reseal itself in order to continue through the remainder of the gastrointestinal tract. Once the pill has exited the body the sample will be extracted and tested. 

2016 DEBUT Second place winner, $15,000

Point of Care Sepsis Stratification
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Emilee Flaugher
Manish Patel
Ishan Taneja
Sam Wachspress
Jake Winter
Faculty Advisor: Rashid Bashir

The project’s main goal is to produce a device that will be used for early detection of sepsis. The device is a three part system which relies on microfluidics, antibody capture assay, and electrodes for single cell counting. The device will require a drop of blood from a patient which will then be used in the device to determine the presence of sepsis infection in lymphocytes. The presences of CD64 on lymphocytes can be used to find a ratio of infected to uninfected cells that can be used to determination of sepsis.

2016 DEBUT Third place winner (tie) $10,000

Columbia University

Jahrane Dale
Olachi Oleru
Ritish Patnaik
Stephanie Yang
Faculty Advisor: Katherine Reuther

Visual inspection with acetic acid in order to detect lesions is a common method of cervical cancer screening in low and middle-income countries. The number of cervical cancer related deaths is high (90% of the 310,000 cases) in these countries due to false diagnoses. Inconsistent lighting conditions and the subjectivity of diagnoses contribute to false identification. cerVIA is a tool with a speculum fitted camera that delivers high quality images of the ectocervix. A screening algorithm provides image analyzation to clinicians that achieves higher levels of diagnostic specificity.

2016 DEBUT Third place winner (tie) $10,000

Columbia University

Aonnicha Burapachaisri
Charles Pan
Aishwarya Raja
Chanond Sophonpanich
Faculty Advisor: Aaron Kyle

In the U.S., three to five million central venous catheters (CVCs) are inserted annually into patients in order to deliver drugs or fluids or draw blood. These catheters are normally in place for three months or longer making them highly susceptible to bacterial colonization around the hub. CatheCare was designed to eradicate bacteria using an ultraviolet-C (UV-C) light.The device acts as an an automatic defense system against bacteria and helps prevent biofilm from forming on the catheter.

2016 Venture Prize winner $15,000

Ballistra Guidewire Advancer
Yale University

Jonathan Dorsch
Brandon Hudik
Andres Ornelas-Vargas
Faculty Advisor: Steven Tommasini

In the U.S., 400,000 patients are injured annually do to complications associated with central line placements.The complications are not inevitable, but instead are caused by flaws in the current technique that are avoidable. This device allows physicians to easily insert the guidewire into a patient’s vein with only one hand. With the other hand free, they are able to have complete ultrasound visualization in order to prevent a needle puncture.

Design Excellence prize winner $5,000

TempStentTM: Therapeutic Hypothermia as a Treatment for Pancreatic Disease
Temple University

Greg Donatelli
Lauren Grey
Daniel Meckes
Keith Wilkins
Faculty Advisor: Andrew Spence

The goal of this device is to improve the outcome for pancreatitis patients. Hospital admissions for acute pancreatitis (AP) in the United States are among the highest in the developed world,  which accounts for a cost of $4.1 billion per year. Currently there are no effective treatments for AP. Recent studies suggest that therapeutic hypothermia provides a protective pancreatic effect and a significant survival benefit during induced hemorrhagic necrotizing pancreatitis (AHNP) in mice. Unfortunately, current cooling technologies are limited by scope and function. They are designed for cardioprotection and neuroprotection and are not made for cooling the human pancreas. To address these problems, TempStentTM, uses an unobvious approach for localized cooling of organs deep inside the body.


Neonatal EEG Monitor for Low Resource Settings– Low cost EEG monitor that aids in the detection of neonatal seizures. Rice University. Student Team: James Allred, Leo Meister, Yusi Ou, Momona Tamagami. Faculty Advisor: Maria Oden.

Gel-Aid – Absorbable hydrogel that alleviates wound packing process associated with surgical site infection, Stanford University. Student Team: Shivani Baisiwala, Celina Malavao, Christopher Mathy, Kaelo Moahi. Faculty Advisor: Kara Rogers.

The Sleeve: A Novel Bone Screw Depth Gauge– New method of measuring depth when drilling into bones, Clemson University. Student Team: Justin Bacaoat, Alison Farrell, Katherine Hafner, Mariah McMinn, Harrison Smallwood. Faculty Advisor: John Desjardins.

Tendon Reinforcement for Rotator Cuff Repair– Strengthens suture-tendon interfaces during rotator cuff surgery, Drexel University. Student Team: Michael Chen, Desiree Martini, David Rodak, Kenneth Rodriguez. Faculty Advisor: Wan Shih.

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