BME Undergrads Win Collegiate Inventors Competition

November 12, 2013
An eight-member BME team wins a national collegiate inventors competition.

A Johns Hopkins BME undergraduate team wins the national 2013 Collegiate Inventors Competition with the PrestoPatch device.

For the second consecutive year, a Johns Hopkins undergraduate biomedical engineering team has finished first in its division at the Collegiate Inventors Competition, held at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Va.

The eight-student Johns Hopkins team won in the undergraduate category with PrestoPatch, a three (rather than two) patch external heart shock system that could greatly improve the effectiveness of shocks to reset heart with irregular rhythms, or arrhythmia.

The 2013 Competition involved 31 students in 13 finalist teams (six undergraduate and seven graduate) from universities and colleges across the United States.

“We were up against some tough competition,” says team leader Piyush Poddar, of Plansboro, N.J. Other team members included: Sandya Subramanian, of Grand Rapids, Mich., Aaron Chang of Grand Prairie, Tex.; Kevin George of Acton, Mass.; Peter Malamas of Bucks County, Pa.; Melinda Chen of Baltimore; Rohil Malpani, of Kolkata, India; and Joon Eoh, of College Station, Tex. The team plans to use their $12,500 in prize money to launch a company aimed at moving the invention forward.

The team’s project sponsor was Todd J. Cohen, who earned his undergraduate and medical degrees at Johns Hopkins and who now is director of electrophysiology at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y. The students’ project emerged from the undergraduate design team program offered by the Department of Biomedical Engineering, which is shared by the university’s schools of Medicine and Engineering. The work is conducted within the Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design, known as CBID. The team’s faculty adviser was Robert Allen.

Last year, the BME FastStitch undergraduate team won the competition with a disposable suturing tool.

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The Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design