NORTH CANTON, Ohio, Sept. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Collegiate Inventors Competition®, an annual competition that has rewarded innovations, discoveries and research by college and university students and their faculty advisers for 30 years, announced today its 2020 finalists.
This year's finalists and their inventions provide a glimpse into the future of American innovation and emerging technological trends — from intubation tube cleaning to more-secure hotel room locks. Through their research, these students have harnessed their "inner inventor" to make working prototypes that can positively change our world.
Each year, individuals representing a broad cross-section of technological fields serve as first-round judges, evaluating entries based on originality of the idea, process, level of student initiative, and potential value and usefulness to society. The finalists will present their inventions Oct. 28 in a "virtual" format to a panel of final-round judges composed of the most influential inventors and invention experts in the nation — National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) Inductees and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) officials. Winning teams will be announced on Oct. 29.
"For the United States to face future challenges that can be remedied by research in STEM disciplines, especially in the era of COVID-19, we must empower the next generation of world-changing inventors," said Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. "The USPTO is honored to recognize the 2020 finalists of the Collegiate Inventors Competition — a program where the brightest college minds in our country present the future of American innovation."
Established in 1990, the Collegiate Inventors Competition is a program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and is sponsored by the USPTO and Arrow Electronics (Arrow Electronics People's Choice Award). Follow the National Inventors Hall of Fame on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates and additional information.
Benegraft, Johns Hopkins University
Team Members: Sabin Karki, Kirby Leo, Paarth Sharma, Brooke Stephanian; Adviser: Nicholas Durr
The Cutting Edge of Rhinoplasty Innovation: Of the 200,000 rhinoplasty surgeries performed each year, those using cartilage grafts made of diced tissue instead of solid carved pieces are significantly less prone to warping, resulting in improved patient outcomes. However, dicing is a laborious process, taking up to two hours of a surgeon's complete attention. The Benegraft Rapid Dicer is an easy-to-use, disposable tool that addresses this problem by dicing cartilage quickly and consistently, reducing the average tissue dicing time from 40 minutes to under five. The device easily integrates into the surgical workflow and deskills the process of graft creation to allow any member of the surgical team to prepare diced tissue.
Dyad Syringe, Stetson University
Team Member: Bryson Pritchard; Adviser: Lou Paris
An All-in-One IV Solution: Administering intravenous (IV) medications is a common practice in hospitals and emergency rooms around the world. However, when multiple medicines need to be applied through an IV, sanitation and replacement of the syringe is required. The Dyad Syringe streamlines this process by providing two chambers: An empty one for the medication and a bottom chamber containing a saline solution. A punching device is used to puncture the latter chamber, thereby sanitizing the catheter. This innovative design is the first syringe that allows the administration of medication and sanitation of the device in a single action — both saving time and decreasing the chance for infection.
Primus Roof Removal, Brigham Young University and Utah State University
Team Members: Kimball Goss (USU), Grant Hagen (BYU), Todd Paskett (BYU); Adviser: Brian Lewis
Roof Teardown Made Easy: Most of the work that goes into replacing a roof involves the time-intensive process of removing shingles. This considerable investment of resources is due to the continued use of inefficient tools such as shovels, razor scrapers and pitchforks to complete the job. As the first self-propelled roofing teardown tool, the Primus roof removing system increases teardown capacity by more than 75%, saving contractors significant time and money.
TrachTech, Tulane University
Team Members: Morgan Bohrer, Stephen Hahn, Michael L'Ecuyer, Alex Verne; Adviser: Mark Mondrinos
Restoring Airways: With ventilators in high demand due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it's essential that these machines remain clean and safe. However, in at least 84% of intubation tubes biofilm buildup occurs, restricting airflow and increasing the likelihood that patients will develop ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). TrachTech developed a specialized, novel device to clean intubation tubes without the risk of extubation. It is specifically designed to efficiently remove biofilms and debris from the tubes and maintain continued airflow from ventilators during the cleaning process.
Universally Friendly Obturator (UFO), Rice University
Team Members: Elisa Arango, Susannah Dittmar, Lauren Payne, Sanika Rane; Advisers: Alexander Hanania, Michelle Ludwig, Matthew Wettergreen
Greater Access to Life-Saving Care: Cervical cancer disproportionately affects low-income countries where cases progress to later stages, contributing to over 300,000 deaths globally each year. Brachytherapy, a type of radiation therapy, is the only curative treatment for late-stage cases but is infrequently used due to its complexity. The Universally Friendly Obturator (UFO) addresses this challenge by providing a customizable device that simplifies the procedure and lowers patient morbidity — making this life-saving treatment more accessible to women worldwide, regardless of their economic status.
Hearo, Johns Hopkins University
Team Members: Adebayo Eisape, Ian McLane, Valerie Rennoll; Advisers: Mounya Elhilali, Jim West
Making Clear Sound Capture Possible: When captured, acoustic waves can provide valuable information beyond what the ear detects, supporting efforts from structural monitoring to gathering details about a person's health. The Hearo is a self-powered, flexible electrostatic transducer that can be tuned and optimized to minimize differences in acoustic impedance and attenuation. Due to its ability to be tuned to closely match the mechanical properties of the medium it is recording, this device enables significantly higher-quality acoustic recordings and communications, even in noisy environments.
LightAnchors, Carnegie Mellon University
Team Members: Karan Ahuja, Sujeath Pareddy; Advisers: Mayank Goel, Chris Harrison, Robert Xiao
A Brighter Augmented Reality: Augmented reality (AR) allows for the overlay of digital information and interactive content onto real-time video of the real world. Unlike most prior tracking methods, which use QR codes and other markers, LightAnchors takes advantage of the small status lights already found in many electrical appliances. Uniquely, LightAnchors uses these LED lights to both anchor virtual interfaces and also transmit dynamic data, allowing "dumb" devices to become smarter through AR with essentially zero extra cost.
Quantum Lock, University of Tennessee
Team Member: Erica Grant; Adviser: John Bruck
Ensuring Safe and Secure Hotel Stays: As technology continues to advance, hackers have become increasingly skilled in their cybersecurity attacks. Because of this, the electronic lock systems used in hotels have been particularly vulnerable. Quantum Lock technology solves this problem by pairing a quantum random number generator (a device that generates unpredictable numbers by measuring the random behavior of subatomic particles) with a customized set of communication protocols. In addition to making hotel room locks more secure, connected and efficient, the system enables direct communication between the front desk and all locks in the hotel.
Robo-thread, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Team Member: Yoonho Kim; Adviser: Xuanhe Zhao
Advancing Neurosurgery for Stroke Patients: In the United States, stroke remains a leading cause of death and long-term disability. When treated within 90 minutes, stroke victims have a substantially lower risk of brain damage and death. The Robo-thread is a soft-robotic guidewire that can be magnetically controlled to enable safer and quicker access to hard-to-reach lesions in the brain's blood vessels, thereby reducing the time it takes to treat stroke patients. Guided by a remotely controlled robot arm that carries a magnet, Robo-thread can be steered in any direction through the brain's vasculature and has the potential to revolutionize this type of procedure by enabling telerobotic endovascular neurosurgery.
SanaHeal, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Team Member: Hyunwoo Yuk; Adviser: Xuanhe Zhao
A Stronger Seal for Surgical Success: During surgery, tissue adhesives are regularly used to support suture or staple lines. However, current adhesives are ineffective to seal wet tissues, do not provide rapid, strong adhesion, and often lack a stable and long-term sealing capacity. The SanaHeal bioadhesive is a dry strip of tape that has the unique ability to bind wet tissues together and can potentially replace the staples or sutures used to close surgical sites following an operation and provide healthier healing.
About the Collegiate Inventors Competition
The Collegiate Inventors Competition encourages and drives innovation and entrepreneurship at the collegiate level. A program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, this competition recognizes and rewards the research, innovations and discoveries by college students and their advisers for projects leading to inventions that have the potential of receiving patent protection. Introduced in 1990, the competition has awarded more than $1 million to students for their innovative work and scientific achievement through the help of its sponsors. For more information, visit invent.org/events/cic-event.
National Inventors Hall of Fame
SOURCE Collegiate Inventors Competition