University of Minnesota, $5,000
Beyond aesthetic concerns, varicose veins signal underlying problems, including greater risk of developing pain, skin ulceration, infection, and venous thrombosis. Current noninvasive treatments for varicose veins include compression garments and external pumps, while invasive methods include laser ablation and vein stripping. This team is developing a low-cost, lightweight, wireless compression garment that uses vibrations to create better blood flow along a patient’s legs, preventing varicose veins from worsening. The device works by transmitting vibrations along a ribcage-like structure, applying mechanical energy to the lower leg and enhancing blood-flow.