Downey student wins prize for medical invention

DOWNEY – Johns Hopkins University student Luis Herrera, of Downey, was part of a team that won $10,000 at a national innovation competition last month. Herrera, Anvesh Annadanam, Ravi Gaddipati, and Eric Xie won in the undergraduate category for their invention of AccuSpine, a device designed to provide surgeons with unprecedented real-time, continuous feedback for the accurate placement of surgical screws.

This invention helps reduce damaged nerves and arteries due to misplaced screws.

The Collegiate Inventors Competition was held Nov. 17 in Alexandria, Va.

“The Collegiate Inventors Competition finalists encompass the essence of innovation and the importance of hands-on problem solving,” said competition judge and 1996 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee Marcian (Ted) Hoff, Jr., co-inventor of the Microprocessor. “These students are blazing their own paths and opening up new avenues for the innovation industry as a whole. They aren’t just standing on the shoulders of giants; they are joining them.”

The Collegiate Inventors Competition, a program of Invent Now and the National Inventors Hall of Fame and sponsored by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and AbbVie Foundation, celebrates students who are committed to research, discovery, invention and innovation. Entries from all fields of study are encouraged because, as evident from the finalists, the inventive spirit can emerge from any course, any university and any student. This year’s final round of the competition involved a total of 35 students in 14 finalist teams (seven graduate and seven undergraduate) from 13 universities and colleges across the United States.

Katarzyna Sawicka from SUNY Stony Brook University won the graduate first place prize of $15,000 for her invention of Immuno-Matrix. The innovative Immuno-Matrix skin patch uses nanofibers to hold and effectively deliver a vaccine through the skin. It’s painless, self-administered and doesn’t produce biohazardous waste. Without any needles necessary, the future of large-scale vaccination just got a patch on the arm.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison team of Taylor Fahey, Charles Haider and Cedric Kovacs-Johnson won the undergraduate first place prize of $12,500 for their invention of Spectrom: Low-Cost, High-Precision, On-Demand Full Color 3D Printing. Spectrom is the first device that enables Fused Deposition Modeling, or additive 3D printers, to print in full, variable color.

The technology leverages the precise application and rapid changing of proprietary dyes to create crisp, multi-colored objects.

In the graduate category, the silver prize of $12,500 was awarded to James Allen, Martin de la Presa, Ahrash Poursaid and Nate Rhodesfrom the University of Utah for their invention of LIGHT LINE Catheter that utilizes a light-therapy sterilization system to target and kill bacteria that causes catheter-related infections.

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute team of Rahul Mukherjee and Eklavya Singh received the bronze prize of $10,000 for their invention of Advanced All-Carbon Lithium Ion Batteries. With no toxic metals, the Advanced All-Carbon Lithium Ion Batteries is an invention with biodegradable “green” chemistry combination for abundant electricity on the go.

The Columbia University team of Emily Cen, Forrest Miller, Elsa Swanson and David Xing received the bronze prize of $7,500 for their invention of TKAone.

Post-surgical infection is the leading-cause of failure in knee replacement surgery; the TKAone is the first orthopedic implant that can detect such infections and immediately alert patients to the need for treatment.



Published: Dec. 18, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 36