Clemson bioengineering team wins undergraduate design competition
By Raquel Cobb
CLEMSON — Clemson University’s bioengineering senior design team won the annual National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) BMEStart undergraduate design competition for its project AssureFit, a novel chest tube anchoring device.
Under the direction of professor John DesJardins, the biomedical device was developed by a team of undergraduate bioengineering students as part of their senior design project. Team leader Breanne T. Przestrzelski of Swannanoa, N.C., and teammates Carlyn M. Atwood of Greenville, Lauren E. Eskew of Mount Pleasant and Brennen C. Jenkins of Liberty partnered with Greenville Hospital System pediatric surgeons Dr. John Chandler and Dr. Robert Gates to develop the innovative device.
The AssureFit chest tube stabilization device is used to prevent surgical drains from dislodging following procedures, saving time and medical expense. The device also allows for greater patient mobility and comfort.
“The device solves a costly and critical health care issue that can currently lead to serious surgical complications. We are very impressed with what the students have produced in their design work, and are excited to see the device eventually introduced into clinical practice,” said Gates.
The team has filed a provisional patent through the Clemson University Office of Technology Transfer, and hopes to have the device licensed for manufacture by a biomedical device company.
“Our team put in a tremendous amount of hard work this past year, but nothing would have been accomplished if it wasn’t for the help and support of the bioengineering department,” said senior design team member Eskew.
The design partnership between the Clemson bioengineering department and the Greenville Hospital System was initiated in 2011.
“This collaboration will accelerate the development of novel surgical tools that can make a significant impact on the care and treatment of our patients,” said Dr. Eugene Michael Langan III, chairman of the department of surgery at the hospital.
The NCIIA BMEStart competition, now in its third year, has attracted novel and innovative design entries from around the world. Clemson’s first-place team will be recognized with a $10,000 award and a plaque presented at the Annual Biomedical Engineering Society Meeting. in Atlanta in October. For more information, visit http://nciia.org/node/1839.