Similar to the BMEIdea, the BMEStart is a competition challenging students to solve some of today’s most pressing and interesting issues in medical device design. The competition differs in that BMEStart is restricted to undergraduate students, the stage of education before souls have been surgically removed by graduate education programs.
This year the $10,000 grand prize was awarded to North Carolina State University for their HydrEYE CorneOasis Contact Lens, a hydrating system for patients who have lost control of their eyelid function. Presumably, they also got bonus points for the superliminal moisture suggestions in the carefully constructed name of the product. (moisture is the essence of wetness, after all) The product description states that the device is meant for patients with traumatic brain injury, presumably to make it easier for nurses to care of the eyes of comatose patients. We could also see it being useful for patients with facial nerve disorders that affect the eyelid like Bell’s palsy.
The other winners are described below in the press release:
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.
Congratulations to all the winners for making us feel like we wasted our undergraduate years sleeping in and not creating hydrating contact lenses.
Flashback: 2010 BMEidea Winners Announced!