Teams of fourth-year NE students presented the results of their Capstone Design projects at the program’s Design Symposium on March 24, 2017. Capstone Design challenges students to work in teams, applying the skills and knowledge they learned through their undergraduate degree, to conceptualize and design a solution to a real-world problem.
Projects were categorized within the four themes of study: nanobiotechnology & biomedical systems; MEMs & nanofluidics; nanofunctional materials; and nanoelectronics & photonics. The class of 2017 presented a variety of interesting and useful projects to the public and a panel of judges that included faculty, lab instructors and teaching assistants. The teams with the best poster and prototype demos were awarded prizes for their achievements.
Many outstanding projects
Judges recognized the outstanding achievements of four teams whose projects could revolutionize oxygen therapy delivery, improve blood pressure testing, provide painless and precise marking for lab animals, and change the way glaucoma is monitored and treated.
First place: High-performance and Lightweight Devices for Long-term Oxygen Therapy
Pablo Enrique, Mostafa Saquib, Chris Hajduk and John Grousopoulos
People with cardiac or respiratory disease must carry heavy breathing equipment, including oxygen tanks and air compressors that provide a steady oxygen supply. This team incorporated an oxygen-absorbing nanomaterial into lightweight and slim wearable technology that will someday help people who are affected by these illnesses breathe easier.
Second place: Ultrasonic Blood Pressure Sensor
Jasper Chow, Yuddish Manna, Savanah Wille and Glendon Ngo
This team set out to improve the compressive cuff that is integral to current blood pressure sensing technology – it causes discomfort and pain and cannot continuously acquire blood pressure measurements. Their device’s non-compressive, non-invasive blood pressure sensor employs piezoelectric ultrasound sensing technology to achieve continuous measurement. It would provide a more comfortable and simple measurement procedure for people suffering from blood pressure related medical conditions.
Third place (tie): RatTattooille: Painless and Precise Lab Animal Marking
Emma Reesor, Yohan Laffitte, Lauren McMillan and Ulises Schmill
While the tracking of lab animals used for medical research is essential for reliable data collection, current methods are painful for the animal and unreliable for the researchers. This team created a tattooing platform that uses a biocompatible microneedle patch to precisely and painlessly mark lab animals. It uses a quick, simple and scalable micropatterning technique to make microneedle arrays that will enable easier, more accurate and humane tracking of laboratory animals.
Third place (tie): Advanced Contact Lens for the Treatment and Monitoring of Glaucoma
Shannon Banero, Rhiannon Lohr, Lori Polli, and Tina Dekker
The elevated eye pressure associated with glaucoma makes it the second most common eye disease to cause blindness. While medication to reduce eye pressure is typically administered via eye drops, this delivery method is inadequate. This team designed a contact lens that pairs an integrated senor that measures eye pressure with a hydrogel that contains and controls the release of medication. Optometrists will be able to use this technology to tailor drug doses to individual patients based on their eye pressure response to the delivered drug.