Celebrating three decades of innovation, the Collegiate Inventors Competition® (CIC) invites the top student inventors from across the country to present their work to an influential panel of Judges made up of National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) Inductees and United States Patent and Trademark Office officials. Taking place virtually to ensure the health and safety of all involved, our 30th annual CIC event was held on Oct. 28 and 29.
Announcing Our 2020 CIC Graduate Winner
We are excited to share that this year’s Graduate Winner is Hyunwoo Yuk, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) student and inventor of SanaHeal. In addition to gaining both national exposure for his invention and direct feedback and advice from our Judges, Yuk has earned $10,000 and a mentorship prize that includes a one-on-one conversation with one of our NIHF Inductees where he can ask questions that will further advance his innovation.
Yuk earned this win with his SanaHeal bioadhesive, a dry strip of tape that has the unique ability to bind wet tissues together. This invention can potentially replace the staples or sutures used to close surgical sites following an operation and provide healthier healing.
Responding to SanaHeal’s first-place finish, Yuk said, “It is a great honor and exciting to be recognized in this prestigious competition! Historic inventors and their magical inventions have always been a great inspiration to me, and this should be one of the most memorable moments in my whole career as an inventor and an engineer.”
Yuk went on to thank two of his mentors, his adviser and colleague at MIT, Xuanhe Zhao, and Christoph Nabzdyk at Mayo Clinic, who introduced Yuk to the world of biomedical applications.
Asked what advice he would give to aspiring student inventors, our Graduate Winner emphasized finding personal motivation to solve problems. “While there can be many reasons to invent things, I think the most personal motivation can be the strongest motivation.”
Looking to the future, Yuk hopes that his current and future inventions “can pass all regulatory and commercial hurdles to become off-the-shelf products that users can freely pick up and use to save people’s lives.”
Congratulations to Our Runner-Up
We would also like to acknowledge the outstanding work of this year’s Graduate Runner-Up, team Hearo of Johns Hopkins University. Adebayo Eisape, Ian McLane and Valerie Rennoll created a self-powered, flexible electrostatic transducer that can be optimized to produce higher-quality communications and recordings, even in noisy environments.
After earning $5,000 cash and an Inductee mentorship prize, the team shared that they plan to continue to optimize the Hearo device's design to understand how it can be used for specific applications, and they hope to license the technology later on.