2023 Collegiate Inventors Competition Finalists Show Future of American Innovation

, /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 more than 30 years, announced today its 2023 finalists.

This year’s finalists and their inventions provide a glimpse into the future of American innovation and emerging technological trends — from providing immunity from avian influenza to hunger-regulating hormone modulation. 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. 24 to a panel of final-round judges composed of the most influential inventors and invention experts in the nation — National Inventors Hall of Fame® Inductees and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) officials. Winning teams will be announced on Oct. 25.

“The USPTO is proud to host the 2023 Collegiate Inventors Competition — a program where the brightest college minds will showcase inventions that will shape the future of American innovation,” said Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. “We look forward to meeting these amazing innovators at this event and recognizing them for developing solutions to real-world problems.”

Established in 1990, the Collegiate Inventors Competition is a program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and is sponsored by the USPTO, Arrow Electronics (Arrow Electronics People’s Choice Award), and Honda. Follow the National Inventors Hall of Fame on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram for updates and additional information.

UNDERGRADUATE FINALISTS

AviSafe, University of Pennsylvania
Team Members: Haichuan Yang and Yuwei (Amy) Guo; Advisers: Ocek Eke and Henry Daniell
Preventing avian influenza outbreaks: Easily transmitted and resistant to vaccines, avian influenza is a global concern. Five major outbreaks have occurred in the U.S. over the past decade, with the most recent causing over $3 billion in losses to poultry growers. AviSafe’s FluShield antiviral poultry feed additive is a robust, low-cost, low-maintenance method for introducing immunity into large poultry operations. It can prevent infections, keep the virus from spreading to neighboring farms or wild birds, and reduce the chance of a new viral strain transitioning from poultry to humans.

Bronchosleeve, Johns Hopkins University
Team Members: Sneha Batheja, Ria Jha, Charlie Almoney and Arijit Nukala; Adviser: Brijen Joshi 
Supporting safety in surgery: One-lung ventilation (OLV), a procedure that provides surgeons with access to organs obstructed by an inflated lung, is required in 98% of pulmonary and cardiothoracic surgeries. However, current OLV devices have a 40% failure rate and a high probability of causing postoperative complications. The Bronchosleeve is a flexible yet sturdy device presenting many advantages over existing OLV devices. It is easy to insert, won’t dislodge during surgery and aids visualization with a bronchoscope. In addition to addressing disparities and reducing patient injuries, it could decrease surgical time by 40% and save hospitals over $45,000 per procedure.

FADpad, Georgia Institute of Technology
Team Members: Netra Gandhi, Rhea Prem, Ethan Damiani and Girish Hari; Adviser: Wendy Cocke
Accessible, at-home diagnostics: One of the most common diagnostic tools in women’s health, the Papanicolaou test, or Pap smear, is often uncomfortable and regarded as an invasion of privacy, and it is even stigmatized in some cultures. FADpad is an at-home menstrual blood screening tool that allows users to collect their personal health information safely, comfortably and privately. Targeted to users with limited access to the healthcare system, it could help address health disparities and prevent early deaths from cervical cancer among people who menstruate.

NucleoTide, Duke University
Team Member: Daniel Collins; Adviser: Peter Nguyen
Efficiently monitoring ocean health: Over the past several decades, a combination of natural and human-caused factors has led to an increase in the frequency, duration, size and impact of harmful algal blooms (HABs), with a global economic impact estimated at more than $8 billion annually. NucleoTide is a molecular diagnostic platform that uses CRISPR-based biosensors to rapidly identify marine pathogens and HABs. With a low-cost, hand-held device that filters and processes water samples, it enables lab-free, on-site ocean health monitoring and provides results in less than an hour, offering both economic and environmental benefits.

ToxiSense, University of Pennsylvania
Team Members: Andrew Diep-Tran, Aravind Krishnan, Udit Garg and Aarush Sahni; Adviser: Ping He
A sustainable solution for endotoxin detection: Many pathogenic bacteria produce lipopolysaccharide compounds called endotoxins. These are toxic to humans, causing sicknesses including septic shock — the leading cause of death in hospitals — which results in 11 million deaths annually, or one in five deaths worldwide. An alternative to current expensive and unsustainable testing methods, which use horseshoe crab blood, ToxiSense is an engineered plant cell-based biosensor that detects bacterial endotoxin contamination in medical products and water. It can be applied in the biopharmaceutical industry and for waterborne disease testing. Each test kit offers substantial advantages in accuracy, sustainability and ease of use.

GRADUATE FINALISTS

Bioadhesive Ultrasound, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Team Member: Chonghe Wang; Adviser: Xuanhe Zhao
Pioneering, long-term medical imaging: In a landscape dominated by episodic medical scans, the Bioadhesive Ultrasound (BAUS) patch is a leap forward. This innovative, wearable device adheres to the skin, offering continuous, medical-grade imaging of key internal organs over extended periods. Promising superior patient care, as well as cost and time efficiency, it reveals disease progression in real time and long term, ensuring timely interventions and optimal outcomes. The BAUS patch could make a revolutionary impact by merging the convenience of wearables with medical-grade imaging for a new era of patient-friendly, sustainable healthcare, in which medical imaging is continuous, profound and wearable.

Cerebral Aneurysm Test (CAT-7), University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Team Member: Adi Mittal; Advisers: Robert M. Friedlander, Kamil Nowicki
Enabling earlier aneurysm diagnoses: Affecting an estimated 6.7 million people in the U.S., a cerebral aneurysm (CA) can cause neurological problems and can rupture, leading to life-altering or fatal brain bleeds. Diagnosis can be a long process, current tools are invasive, expensive and potentially toxic, and ruptures often occur before diagnosis or treatment. Cerebral Aneurysm Test (CAT-7) is the first simple, whole blood-based diagnostic test to detect the formation of a CA. It is noninvasive, less expensive, more accurate, safer and able to be used earlier in the care process.

Entropic Biosciences Inc., University of California, Los Angeles
Team Member: Amir Nasajpour; Adviser: Paul S. Weiss
Assembling cells into functional tissue: Establishing tools for recreating functional human tissues and organs has been a grand challenge in biomedical engineering and healthcare. Entropic Biosciences Inc. has developed a bio-inspired rapid sample preparation kit enabling high-throughput culturing of multiple cell types and rapid self-assembly of these cells into 3D self-standing tissue. This technology can be employed to develop an array of tissue types from numerous cell sources. It enables the development of functional tissue and cancer models at faster rates than current technologies, accelerating life science research and drug screening in addition to working toward individualized treatments for cancer patients.

FLASH, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Team Member: James McRae; Adviser: Giovanni Traverso
Revolutionizing hormone therapies: Annually, hundreds of millions of people suffer from digestive, metabolic, autoimmune and neurological disorders associated with dysfunction of the gut-brain axis. Existing hormonal therapies for metabolic conditions are delivered directly through painful intravenous or subcutaneous needle injections and put patients at risk for severe side effects. FLASH (fluid-wicking capsule for active stimulation and hormone regulation) is a bio-inspired, ingestible electroceutical device that uses electrical stimulation to modulate hunger-regulating hormones. Unlike traditional hormone therapies, FLASH is noninvasive and painless, which encourages patient adherence and enables broader uptake.

Nanopure Aqua, Dartmouth College
Team Members: Junhu Zhou, Ziqian Wu and Congran (Billy) Jin; Adviser: John X.J. Zhang
An innovative water quality monitoring solution: Over half of the world’s population grapples with water scarcity and contamination issues. Conventional water quality monitoring methods involve slow processes and are often inaccurate. Nanopure Aqua presents a game-changing solution — an affordable, user-friendly system that can quickly and automatically detect multiple organic pollutants in a single water droplet with superb accuracy. This innovative, AI-powered, eco-friendly nanotechnology has the potential to transform global water treatment and analysis.

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 featured more than 500 innovators who have created cutting-edge, world-changing inventions, and awarded more than $1 million of support to winning student teams for their innovative work and scientific achievement through the help of its sponsors. For more information, visit invent.org/collegiate-inventors.

CONTACT:
Ken Torisky
National Inventors Hall of Fame
[email protected]
234-901-6085

SOURCE Collegiate Inventors Competition

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