Third place prize was shared by two innovative projects. The first, Nutriflow, created by a team from Rice University, Houston, addresses a problem associated with tube feeding of mother's breast milk in infants who are of low birth weight. In current feeding systems, up to 50 percent of the fat content in breast milk can separate from the aqueous portion of milk, adhering to the bag and tube and never reaching the infant. Since the fat contains essential nutrients and calories, this can slow weight gain and cause other adverse health effects. The Nutriflow device is a low cost solution that flips the feed bag at regular intervals which keeps the fat from separating out of the milk. In addition, every five minutes the milk in the tube is diverted from the infant back to the bag for further mixing, reducing the amount of time milk is stagnant. The system has been shown to increase the fat content that reaches the infant from about 58 percent up to 95 percent.
The second, A Diaper Based System for Neonatal Urine Collection, Dehydration Assessment and Bacterial Infection Detection, was designed by a team from the University of California, Riverside, to provide an early warning of illness from dehydration or bacterial infection in countries where current technologies are not available. The system is inexpensive and does not require electricity or a clinic to confirm the results. A simple diaper liner changes color to confirm low pH (dehydration) as well as leukocytes, nitrites, and other chemical changes that indicate severe problems, providing a low cost, point-of-care diagnosis.
"We are very proud to announce the winning projects," said NIBIB Director Roderic I. Pettigrew, Ph.D., M.D. "All
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NIH/National Institute of Biomedical Imaging & Bioengineering