4 Student Teams’ Innovations Win 2022 Collegiate Inventors Competition
NORTH CANTON, Ohio — Oct. 13, 2022 — A glimpse into the future of American innovation and emerging technological trends from the nation’s brightest young innovators — from a device that noninvasively and wirelessly detects ventriculoperitoneal shunt failure to a safer approach to pesticide use — were recognized and honored this week at the 2022 Collegiate Inventors Competition®, an annual competition for college and university students and their advisers.
Finalist teams (five Undergraduate and five Graduate), consisting of 25 students from 10 colleges and universities across the United States, presented their inventions to an esteemed panel of final-round judges composed of the most influential inventors and innovation experts in the nation — National Inventors Hall of Fame®(NIHF) Inductees and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) officials.
“For more than three decades, the National Inventors Hall of Fame has carried out our mission to help today’s students become the world-changing innovators of tomorrow,” said NIHF CEO Michael Oister. “We are proud to recognize and celebrate this latest group of collegiate inventors who are showing us how the power of intellectual property is paving the way for the future of American innovation.”
Established in 1990, the Collegiate Inventors Competition is a program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and is sponsored by the USPTO and Arrow Electronics (sponsor of the Arrow Electronics People’s Choice Award). In addition to cash awards, the winning teams also receive a USPTO Patent Acceleration Certificate.
FIRST-PLACE WINNERS ($10,000 PRIZE)
CatheSure, Clemson University
Team Members: Kathleen Fallon, Ally Reichart, Karly Ripple and Jordan Cole; Adviser: John DesJardins
Safely supporting the treatment of hydrocephalus: Hydrocephalus is the buildup of fluid within the brain’s ventricles. It affects patients of all ages, including one in 500 children worldwide, and is typically treated with a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. However, shunt malfunctions are frequent, extremely difficult to detect and life-threatening if not treated promptly. The CatheSure is the first device that noninvasively and wirelessly detects ventriculoperitoneal shunt failure. Rapid, cost effective and easy to use, it is integrated with an existing shunt and lasts the entire lifetime of the shunt, without requiring battery replacements or Wi-Fi access.
The CatheSure team also is the winner of the 2022 Arrow Electronics People’s Choice Award ($2,000 cash prize).
AgZen-Cloak, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Team Member: Vishnu Jayaprakash; Adviser: Kripa Varanasi
A smarter, safer approach to pesticide use: Agricultural pesticide pollution is responsible for about 200,000 deaths and 385 million acute illnesses annually. Only 2% of sprayed pesticide reaches targeted plant surfaces because these surfaces are water repellant, so pesticides are regularly oversprayed. AgZen-Cloak technology cloaks droplets of pesticide-laden water with an ultra-thin layer of biodegradable, food-safe, plant-derived oil to increase retention on plants. This invention could help farmers use approximately 80% less spray and ensure better crop protection, yield and revenue while reducing pollution.
RUNNER-UP WINNERS ($5,000 PRIZE)
Dynamic Brace, Johns Hopkins University
Team Members: Hannah Yamagata, Jenlu Pagnotta and Delphine Tan; Adviser: Alissa Burkholder Murphy
Comfort and mobility for successful clubfoot care: Clubfoot, a birth defect causing the foot or feet to turn inward and downward, affects one in 1,000 U.S. infants annually and can hinder the ability to walk. With a typical “boots and bar” brace system, which rigidly connects and demobilizes the feet, one in four children experience relapse, often due to noncompliance. The soft, flexible, lightweight Dynamic Brace increases compliance, eliminating the need for a connecting bar and supporting mobility and comfort by allowing both feet to move independently.
Hypoxia Imager for Surgery Guidance, Dartmouth College
Team Member: Arthur Petusseau; Advisers: Brian Pogue and Petr Bruza
Advancing oncology surgery: An estimated 1.9 million new cancer diagnoses are expected to occur in the U.S. in 2022. The primary modality for solid tumor cancer treatment is surgery. Unfortunately, tumor tissue can be missed during resection, increasing the risk of cancer recurrence. Surgery can be made more specific using fluorescent markers to enhance contrast during tumor resection. The Hypoxia Imager for Surgery Guidance is a time-gated optical system enabling real-time imaging of hypoxia, or lack of oxygen. As tumors are hypoxic, imaging oxygen distribution can greatly enhance surgery outcome.
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.
National Inventors Hall of Fame