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NCIIA Honors Top Collegiate Biomedical Engineering Teams
Date:6/10/2009

Three student teams with high-tech diagnostic and surgical devices recognized at National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance's annual BMEidea awards at MD&M East Conference in New York

NEW YORK, June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Today three collegiate biomedical engineering teams received cash prizes from the NCIIA. The winners in the annual Biomedical Engineering Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship Award (BMEidea) Competition--a national competition celebrating student innovation--were honored for their outstanding work in the field, during the Medical Design Excellence Awards Ceremony at the Medical Design and Manufacturing (MD&M) East Conference at the Jacob Javits Center in New York.

The annual BMEidea Competition, now in its fifth year, is open to collegiate teams from NCIIA member institutions across the United States. The first prize--a cash award of $10,000--was awarded to Lab-on-a-Stick from Stanford University. This team has developed a simple, affordable method for diagnosing illnesses with a disposable "stick" pre-treated with assorted protein receptors. Lab-on-a-Stick, when used in conjunction with a portable handheld device, can help medical practitioners identify diseases. This invention will be especially useful in remote areas where access to labs is not always feasible.

The $2,500 second-place prize was awarded to the SurgiSIL, a laparoscopic tool developed by the Single Port Solutions team at the University of Cincinnati. The SurgiSIL allows medical practitioners to consolidate all laparoscopic instruments into a single tool that can make one simple incision in the navel, reducing the risk of trauma; cutting down recovery time; and resulting in less scarring.

Third prize, $1,000 in cash, was given to the Brown University team working on a biosensor to detect vitamin D levels. Although current research suggests that vitamin D deficiency can lead to health problems including osteoporosis and cancer, it is currently difficult to measure these levels accurately. The Brown team has developed a rapid method of diagnosing these with a device that works much like a commercial glucose monitor.

"The student teams we have recognized this year could have a tremendous impact on healthcare practices, and we're glad to lend our support to the further development of their innovations," said Phil Weilerstein, Executive Director of the NCIIA.

The BMEidea Competition is sponsored by the NCIIA; the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA); the National Science Foundation; and Boston Scientific; and is endorsed by the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) and the Council of Chairs of Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering Programs.

About BMEidea

The Biomedical Engineering Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship Award (BMEidea) is the brainchild of the BME Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship Alliance, a consortium of BME faculty from NCIIA member institutions with an interest in stimulating innovative design and entrepreneurial approaches in the biomedical field. First held in 2005, this annual competition was created to help motivate student biomedical innovation teams to move their projects forward. Winning teams are selected from a pool of entries submitted by some of the nation's top biomedical engineering departments and are judged by a panel of faculty and industry representatives. Judges evaluate the teams on a variety of criteria--winners are required to solve a pressing clinical problem; meet technical, economic, legal and regulatory requirements; feature a novel and practical design; and show potential for commercialization. For more information, please see http://www.nciia.org/competitions/bmeidea.

About the NCIIA

The NCIIA achieves positive and sustainable social and environmental impact through technological innovation by providing end-to-end service grants, mentoring and other experiential resources to higher education institutions. With support from the Lemelson Foundation, the National Science Foundation and a membership of nearly 200 colleges and universities from all over the United States, the NCIIA engages more than 5,000 student entrepreneurs each year, leveraging their respective campuses as working laboratories and incubators for businesses and ultimately helping them to bring their concepts to commercialization. For more information, please visit http://www.nciia.org.

    Carrie Barnes
    ELISE communications
    215.239.4643
    carrie@elisecommunications.com


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SOURCE NCIIA
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