Students Present Novel Scientific Ideas Through Low-Cost Infant Respiratory Device and 3D Printed Human Tissue

Collegiate Inventors Competition® Announces 2015 Graduate and Undergraduate Winners

Nov 19, 2015, 13:47 ET from Collegiate Inventors Competition

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- From combining material science and engineering to develop 3D printed vascular tissues to a low-cost respiratory device that will save thousands of infants in poverty-stricken areas – the prototypes and research presented at the Collegiate Inventors Competition are a true representation of the future of biotechnology, material science, engineering, chemistry, optics, photonics, medicine and devices. After an intense and exciting deliberation between expert judges, the 2015 Undergraduate and Graduate winners have been selected.

"The Collegiate Inventors Competition is changing the perception of innovation," said James West, 1999 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee and Collegiate Inventors Competition Judge. "These students and their inventions are driving the future of our country and they are redefining the scientist status quo."

The Collegiate Inventors Competition is a program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Presenting Sponsors include the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and AbbVie Foundation. Other supporting sponsors are Arrow Electronics, DuPont and Bridgestone Americas.  The Collegiate Inventors Competition 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 program involved a total of 29 students in 14 Finalist teams (seven Graduate and seven Undergraduate) from 12 universities and colleges across the United States.

"We're very proud of our Collegiate Inventors Competition partnership with the National Inventors Hall of Fame that annually showcases and celebrates the passion, dedication and teamwork of the greatest collegiate inventors," said Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. "Supporting and encouraging Undergraduate and Graduate students engaged in breakthrough research advances the future of United States innovation and broadens awareness of the critical role of intellectual property in the 21st century global economy."

2015 Collegiate Inventors Competition Winners

The Graduate gold winner, David Kolesky from Harvard University, was awarded $15,000 for his invention of 3D Bioprinting Vascularized Human Tissue, which has been used to build human tissue and the blood vessels to keep it alive for the first time. This method could create skin to be used in grafts, allow for in vitro drug testing before clinical trials and generate different types of tumors to study their growth and reactions to treatments. Tissue engineers have spent decades studying and testing 3D printed vascularized pieces of tissue and it is Kolesky's hope that his invention will make a significant impact.

The Undergraduate gold winners, Joseph Barnett and Stephen John from Western Michigan University were awarded $12,500 for their invention of NeoVent: Dual Pressure Respiratory Equipment. NeoVent is an adaptor that transforms a low-tech infant respiratory device into one that provides the additional benefits of a ventilator at much less expense. Barnett and John both worked in developing countries and saw first-hand the need for better and more affordable respiratory equipment.

In the Graduate category, the silver winner, who received $12,500, was awarded to Stafford Sheehan from Yale University for his invention of Corrosion-Resistant Molecular Coatings. Sheehan's invention could benefit the oil, gas and chemical industries by providing more cost-efficient technology, where stopping corrosion is crucial for safe operations. Bronze winners, Sangyoon Han and Tae Joon Seok from the University of California, Berkeley received $10,000 for their invention of SWAPS (Silicon Waveguide Array Photonic Switch), which allows for full use of a data center's bandwidth capacity by actively re-arranging the network pattern of "the cloud."

In the Undergraduate category, the silver winner, who received $10,000, was awarded to Neil Davey from Harvard University for his invention of Early Cancer Diagnosis by the Detection of Circulating Tumor Cells Using Drop-Based Microfluidics. Bronze winners, Katherine Jin, Jason Kang and Kevin Tyan from Columbia University received $7,500 for their invention of Highlight: Powdered Additive for Disinfectants.

For more information, videos and photos, please visit:

About the Collegiate Inventors Competition: 
The Collegiate Inventors Competition recognizes and rewards Undergraduate and Graduate students who are committed to research, discovery, invention and innovation as they address the problems of today's world. The Competition specifically recognizes and rewards the innovations, discoveries and research by college university students and their advisors for projects leading to inventions that may have the potential of receiving patent protection. Introduced in 1990, the Competition has awarded more than $1 million to winning students for their innovative work and scientific achievement through the help of its sponsors. The 2015 sponsors include the USPTO and AbbVie Foundation as the Presenting Sponsors. Additional sponsors include Arrow Electronics, DuPont and Bridgestone Americas.  Learn more by visiting

Desiree Bartoe           

Video -

SOURCE Collegiate Inventors Competition