Biomed teams from Rice, UCLA, and Dartmouth win first NIH undergrad competition

MedCity News

September 13, 2013

By Ryan Amin

Three teams were announced as winners in the recent Design by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams (DEBUT) Challenge, a biomedical engineering design competition for teams of undergraduate students. The three categories addressed the critical needs in biomedical technology, focusing on devices for diagnostics, therapeutics, and technology that can aid underserved populations and individuals with disabilities. The challenge was managed by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), which is a part of the National Institutes of Health...

...In the category of therapeutic devices, the winner was the Microflora Refinement System that helps treat Clostridium difficile (C. diff) which is an infectious intestinal bacterium and the number one cause of hospital-acquired diarrhea. The infection is extremely resistant to drug treatment as antibiotics usually don’t work. The Microflora Refinement System designed by Alison Stace-Naughton, Pauline Schmit, Laura Taylor Gray, and Jen Freise from Dartmouth, automatically separates the beneficial microbiota from the fecal matter and could potentially make transplantation more widely available.

“We are more focused on device development and seeing where this can take us,” said Stace-Naughton. “The wind is to our back and we would like to use that momentum to help carry this device forward. We aren’t sure where we will go with it yet, but the competition offers valuable resources and business development help that we plan on utilizing.”

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