Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Team Sweeps Business Plan Competition

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The “MAID” Team (Magnetically Assisted Intubation Device) of biomedical engineering undergraduates swept the Georgia Tech Business Plan Competition finals on March 9.

Team MAID is composed of seniors Alex Cooper, Elizabeth Flanagan, Shawna Hagen and Jacob Thompson.  Their plan and presentation won first place in the Undergraduate Competition, 1st Place in the Overall Competition, Most Commercializable Plan and the Alumni Award in the poster session for total winnings of $42,500.

Their win represents the first time a team of undergraduates has won the overall competition, which draws undergraduate and graduate students from across Georgia Tech. The Business Plan Competition is organized annually by Georgia Tech’s College of Management.

MAID is a simplified approach to intubation that utilizes magnets to guide the endotracheal tube into the airway of a patient easily and quickly, with less risk and without the need for visualization. MAID has two components: the single-use magnetic stylet and the reusable guide magnet. The external guide magnet is placed above the cricoid cartilage of the patient. When the endotracheal tube with the magnetic stylet is inserted into the patient’s mouth, it is pulled directly into the airway by the guide magnet, resulting in near effortless intubation.

Last year the team MAID also won second place in Georgia Tech’s InVenture Prize competition, winning $10,000 cash and a patent application by the Office of Technology Licensing. In summer 2011, the Translational Research Institute for Biomedical Engineering & Science awarded the team a seed grant of $25,000 to for further prototype development of the device.

The Saint Joseph Translation Research Institute has tested their functioning prototype on multiple human cadavers with considerable success. The Office of Technology Licensing filed a full non-provisional patent in March 2012. Currently, additional design work is being conducted to improve manufacturability and reliability. The MAID design concept to improve the safety and effectiveness of the intubation procedure began as a team design project in BMED 2300, Projects in Biomedical Engineering. Franklin Bost, Professor of the Practice in biomedical engineering, and Leanne West at the Georgia Tech Research Institute, continue to advise the MAID team.

Kevin Lewis, another biomedical engineering student, whose plan for “Cold Crate” came in third in the Undergraduate Track of the Business Plan competition. Graduate student Melissa Li was a finalist for her team’s CARDIAM device and the winner of a $10,000 services package for Most Innovative Technology.  The CARDIAM Team was also a co-winner in the Elevator Pitch Competition.

Written by Adrianne Proeller, Wallace H. Coulter Dept. of Biomedical Engineering.



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