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BMEStart Competition Winners Announced

HADLEY, Mass., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The NCIIA announced this month the winners of the inaugural BMEStart competition, recognizing undergraduate excellence in biomedical innovation.

First place and a $10,000 grant for further product development was awarded to North Carolina State University for the HydrEYE CorneOasis Contact Lens, an inexpensive solution for patients who have lost control over eyelid function due to traumatic brain injury.  In place of current treatment methods, comprised of a makeshift eye patch of Saran Wrap and Vaseline, this lens will help keep eyes hydrated over an extended period of time while also preventing infection.

Coming in second, with a grant of $5,000, went to Columbia University for Procar: A Trocar Worth Trusting. In an effort to decrease malpractice injury claims associated with use of the trocar surgical device in making incisions for laparoscopic procedures, Procar is an advanced trocar designed with a quantitative force-feedback system that will provide tissue layer differentiation and instantaneous notification of intraperitoneal access to prevent over-insertion through abdominal wall—which can inadvertently cause injury to underlying anatomy.

Tied for third place and each awarded a $2,500 grant, NCIIA recognized Purdue University for the Handheld Plasma Isolation Device, which is able to effectively separate plasma from a white blood sample in approximately two minutes without the aid of a power source; and Tulane University for Malaria Retinopathy Automated Detection, which uses a multi-color LED array to more easily detect retina disorders often associated with cerebral malaria.

"We are impressed with all the solutions generated by our participating undergraduate student teams in this first-ever BMEStart competition," said Phil Weilerstein, Executive Director of the NCIIA.  "We applaud the winning teams and look forward to continue to support them as they further develop their innovations."

Similar to NCIIA's other biomedical competition, BMEidea, BMEStart recognizes student driven innovative design and entrepreneurial approaches in the biomedical field. However, BMEStart stands apart as it is undergraduate only, focusing on younger inventors who do not have as much experience with product development and emphasizing design and concept. The BMEStart competition was first announced at the annual BMEidea workshop in Pittsburgh last fall.

The BMEStart competition received submissions from undergraduate students at all NCIIA member colleges and universities. Each submission met NCIIA encouraged technical, economic, legal and regulatory requirements; featured novel and practical designs; and demonstrated potential for commercialization.

The BMEidea and BMEStart competitions are both 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 the NCIIAThe 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 IveyPhone: (215)

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