Pictured above: Andrea Pesse Roman, Isabella Conti, Roxana Chabok, Emma Proud and Meghan Pell

Capstone Team 2 had two big wins at this year’s Capstone Design Symposium. They won the Baylis Medical Award along with Team 3. They also won the UN Sustainable Development Goal Award for the Nanotechnology Engineering Program. The team’s project was titled “ A+ Blood Typing”.

This team aimed to address the increasing demand for O-negative blood for blood transfusions. The demand for O-negative blood, also known as the "universal donor" blood type, is high because it can be safely transfused to patients of any blood type in emergency situations. This is critical when there isn't enough time to determine the patient's blood type. O-negative blood use is crucial in trauma situations, where quick transfusions are necessary to save lives.

Red blood inside the chip

Blood inside the chip

Team members Roxana Chabok, Isabella Conti, Meghan Pell, Andrea Pesse Roman and Emma Proud created a rapid low-volume antigen blood typing device.

The ideal use for the device is to allow EMS to use it enroute to the hospital. The device uses microfluidic chip cartridges with a hardware setup to type patients’ blood in under five minutes.

There are five key components to the prototype. There is an antibody component which is the biosensor detection mechanism. The device also has  microfluidic chip cartridges that the blood sample is inserted into.

 The prototype also has electronics and hardware components. These include the cabling, the screen, the microcontroller, and hardware that has onboard software that walks the user through a navigation menu and a file storage system. The mechanical casing that holds it all together is the size of a cell phone and can be easily hand-held while testing.

“It was fulfilling to experience our overall growth during our undergraduate degree. We made use of the skills we learned in the program. To develop our final product, we constantly had to improve, iterate, and optimize all the individual components and in the end, it worked! We got so much support and interest in our project during the symposium. All that support was really satisfying, and it was very nice to have that to end our undergraduate careers. We could actually apply the knowledge that we've learned over the past five years and come up with a successful idea and product,” says Pesse Roman.

The team members hope to work toward developing and patenting their technology down the road. They also have more immediate plans for their future. Chabok would like to find a position in industry that has a multidisciplinary aspect. Working on this Capstone project required integrating different aspects of Nanotechnology Engineering and she would like to continue with interdisciplinary work post-graduation.

Conti has had a few enjoyable co-op positions entailing developing software for biomedical devices. Based on that experience, she would like to find a job in the biomedical field. Pell enjoyed co-op jobs in the environmental field. She hopes to have a career where she can make a positive impact in the environmental sector.

Proud is interested in pursuing project management positions in the biotech sphere. She hopes to develop management skills that could aid in creating a start-up based on the team's Capstone project in the future. After graduation, Proud will explore opportunities for employment in industry.

silver metal case with blue numbers on a screen

Mechanical casing with digital screen

Peese Roman is passionate about nanomedicine. She is interested in continuing to develop biological sensors for varied applications including targeted drug delivery, and would like to continue lab work within the field of nanobiotechnology.

Congratulations to Team 2 for taking two prizes at this year’s Capstone Symposium!