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May 7 biomedical engineering student invention expo to showcase real medical solutions

2009 Tong Biomedical Engineering Design Competition
2009 Tong Biomedical Engineering Design Competition. Jeremy Glynn and Andrew Dias earned the Tong BME R&D Award for their design, “Low-cost spirometer.” Larger Image

For an infant or child who has undergone a tracheotomy, an adult-sized adapter, which connects the tracheotomy tube to a ventilator, is much too large. This rigid, V-shaped tubing connector literally covers the child's chest, making it difficult or impossible for caregivers to monitor the child's heart, lungs and abdomen.

At UW-Madison, a team of biomedical engineering sophomores, working with Dr. Christopher Green of the American Family Children's Hospital, has designed a better, more compact solution.

The sophomores, plus nearly 150 other biomedical engineering (BME) undergraduates, will display biomedical inventions Friday, May 7, from noon to 2 p.m. in the Engineering Centers Building on the UW-Madison campus. This Biomedical Engineering Design Expo is free and open to the public.

Among the students' inventions is a moble phone application for gauging cardiopulmonary health through a guided six-minute walking test, an endotracheal tube that reduces the risk of ventilator-associated pneumonia, an assistive device to help patients transfer from a wheelchair to an exam table, a diet-logging mechanism for young people, and a liquid medication delivery system for delivering HIV-preventing medication to young children in third-world countries.

During the expo, student teams at the sophomore, junior and senior class levels also will compete for Tong Biomedical Engineering Design Awards, which are funded by UW-Madison electrical and computer engineering alumnus Peter Tong and the Tong Family Foundation.

The Engineering Centers Building is located at 1550 Engineering Drive, Madison. Paid public parking is available in the adjacent parking ramp.

Renee Meiller