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UC undergrads present innovative medical devices to industry leaders at "Do It or mDIEp Day!"

Teams of University of Cincinnati undergraduates will be unveiling more than a dozen new, viable medical devices they designed at the second annual "Do It or mDIEp Day!" event today.

This event - part showcase, part competition - is presented by the Medical Device Innovation & Entrepreneurship Program (MDIEP) at UC's  biomedical engineering department. Students have worked in teams, some with the help of other universities, to create innovative solutions to a wide variety of real-life medical challenges.

The showcase is a culmination of work started in the fall, and the devices will be unveiled before industry professionals from across the country, said course director Mary Beth Privitera.

"They learn through experimentation and create a fully functional prototype," Privitera said.

Among the devices is one that stimulates blinking in comatose patients (whose eyes often dry out from a lack of movement), one that improves rotator cuff surgery, one that captures tissue in the chest cavity and another that can rapidly detect stroke in patients during an emergency.

In total, students will show 8 devices, including some that were created to solve problems at the request of industry partners including AtriCure, Inc. and Procter & Gamble. Those designs generated are the property of those organizations, Privitera said.

Each team of students worked with a technical advisor, and participating students come from a variety of backgrounds including design, business and biomedical engineering. During the showcase, they'll have five to seven minutes to explain the design, then breakout into groups where people can ask deeper questions.

"It's kind of an investor's pitch to the audience. They lay out what the problem is, what the solution is, why their device is better, why someone would want to buy it," Privitera said.

Once all the devices are described by the teams, each member of the audience will vote for the ones they like best with $1 million in
"BearCash Dollars" they can invest. The device that gets the most BearCash wins the contest.

But the real prize comes later. Where appropriate students have filed provisional patents through UC's tech transfer office, and will be listed as an inventor on any device that is patented and/or becomes a reality.

The device technology can be licensed or used to start new companies. Last year, four provisional patents were filed with Intellectual Property developed by students and are actively being licensed by the University.

In previous years, students have licensed this intellectual property and have started their own businesses.

Writer: Feoshia Henderson

Source: Medical Device Innovation & Entrepreneurship Program Director Mary Beth Privitera

You can follow Feoshia on Twitter @feoshiawrites
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