What if, in an emergency, you reach for your epinephrine shot and it’s not there? It would be if you were wearing it.
Rice University students have designed a small, foldable epinephrine delivery device meant to be worn on a wrist, like a watch, or elsewhere on the body by a person at risk of an allergic reaction that requires an immediate response.
The trifold device they call EpiWear has a unique, spring-activated injection system that would provide a full dose of the drug to a person experiencing an allergic reaction.
The team – junior bioengineering majors Albert Han, Alex Li, Jacob Mattia and Justin Tang, and freshman Callum Parks – said the device is intended for all but small children, and could be a good alternative to other delivery systems on the market.
Rice University engineering students have prototyped a wearable epinephrine delivery device for people at risk of serious allergic reactions that require a quick shot. The trifold device, seen in a larger version here, will make it easier for people to keep with them if needed quickly. Photo by Brandon Martin
“The idea came from me, because I suffer peanut allergies,” said Tang, who worked on the device at the Brown School of Engineering’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen with adviser and Rice lecturer Deirdre Hunter. “I’m very self-aware and worried about my life, but it was always difficult for me to bring something as bulky and obtrusive as this when going to dinner with friends or just going out at night.”
Tang held up the penlike syringe he carries in case of emergency. Such pens were the focus of controversy a few years ago when Congress held a hearing on the sharply rising price of the devices.
The Rice team hopes its creation will lead to a delivery device that is less expensive, more stylish and thus more likely to be worn by users.
“We designed the optimal device to house the minimal amount of epinephrine necessary for injection,” Mattia said, holding a scaled-up prototype.
EpiWear is designed to inject a dose of 0.3 milliliters of epinephrine, the same as commercial devices that contain more of the drug.
“They actually only inject a fraction of what they hold,” Li said.
When unfolded, the hinged device will be about the same length as the epinephrine pens on the market now, with the dose in the middle section and a strong spring in the top. Releasing a safety lever will allow the user to push a cap on top that, in the prototype, cuts a line and releases the spring, plunging the syringe into the user’s thigh.
Along with the lever, Li said the nature of the trifold is itself a safety feature.
A breakdown shows the internal mechanism of an epinephrine delivery device prototyped by Rice University engineering students. Photo by Jeff Fitlow
“None of the compartments are linear, so the needle would be in one compartment while the spring is in another,” he said. “Even if the spring were to go off accidentally, it wouldn’t be able to push the needle.
“We also plan to have a case that goes around the whole device that will prevent the button from hitting anything and allow you to wear it comfortably without risk of triggering it accidently,” Li said.
They realize, too, that a fashionable EpiWear is more likely to be worn.
“There has been research on which patients carry pens and which don’t,” Mattia said. “We’ve been focusing on the mechanism itself, but some of the ideas we’ve thought about are designing it with cool colors or integrating a watch to make it a dual-purpose device.
“If it’s something that’s going to save your life, we think that would be enough to persuade people to maintain it on their bodies,” Li said. “At the end of the day, it’s better to have it on you.”
Team EpiWear, from left: Alex Li, Justin Tang, Jacob Mattia, Albert Han and Callum Parks. Photo by Jeff Fitlow
Drill Team Six won the top prize in the Brown School of Engineering Design Showcase. From left, adviser and bioengineering lecturer Sabia Abidi, Hannah Jackson, Takanori Iida, Will Yarinsky, Ian Frankel, Babs Ogunbanwo, Byung-UK Kang and Matthew Elliott, a lecturer in mechanical engineering. Photo by An Le/Luxe Studio Productions
Drill Team Six won the top prize in the George R. Brown Engineering Design Showcase held April 11 at Rice University’s Tudor Fieldhouse. The Excellence in Engineering Award includes a prize of $5,000.
The team has created a device to simplify the placement of screws that secure metal rods to fractured bones in limbs. The process could cut the time, effort and number of X-rays necessary to complete the procedure.
“I don’t think any of us were really expecting it, so it’s an incredibly pleasant surprise,” said team member Ian Frankel. “A lot of hard work is paying off right now.”
“The prizes we were shooting for would be best medical technology or medical device, or the popular vote,” he said. “I mean, we’re a team of six people, and that’s six people with friends. Or possibly innovation in design because what we’re doing, nothing has been done like it before. But I don’t think we were expecting this.”
Photos by Jeff Fitlow
Willy Revolution Award for Outstanding Innovation ($3,500): BuoyBOTS.
Willy Revolution Award for Outstanding Innovation ($1,500): Take a Breather.
Willy Revolution Award for Outstanding Innovation ($500): UV Chamber.
Excellence in Capstone Engineering Design Award ($1,000): M&M.
Excellence in Capstone Engineering Design Award ($1,000): EasyScope.
Excellence in Independent, Multi-year or Club Engineering Design Award ($1,000): OxyMon.
Excellence in Freshman Engineering Design Award ($1,000): EquestriCAN.
Best Interdisciplinary Engineering Design Award ($750): Take A Breather.
Best Conceptual or Computational Modeling Engineering Design Award ($500): PIONEER.
Best Technology for Low-Resource Settings Design Award ($500): Clean Machine.
Best Energy-Related Engineering Design Award ($500): M&M and Crossing Streams.
Best Robotic Technology Award ($500): Mechatron.
Best Medical Technology Award ($500): Lapras.
Best Environment and Sustainability Engineering Design Award ($500): Flood.
Best Gaming, Creative or Innovative Technology Award ($500): Vignette.
Best Aerospace or Transportation Technology Award ($500): Club Rice Eclipse-Luna.
People’s Choice Award ($500): Biofuels Production Group.
The annual public event put on by the Brown School of Engineering and the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen features senior capstone design and other projects by Rice undergraduates. Read about all the participating teams at http://oedk.rice.edu/showcase.
HOUSTON — (March 25, 2019) — Rice University bioengineer Maria Oden has been elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows.
Oden is a teaching professor of bioengineering, director of Rice’s award-winning Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK) and co-director of the Rice 360° Institute for Global Health.
She is one of 156 new fellows elected this year by peers and members of the college for her “seminal contributions to the advancement and acceleration of medical and global health technologies through programs in invention education and training.”
A formal induction ceremony for Oden and the 2019 class of AIMBE fellows will take place today at the AIMBE Annual Event at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington.
AIMBE is an organization of leaders in medical and biological engineering that consists of academic, industrial, professional society councils and elected fellows who communicate with and respond to U.S. and state government agencies and lawmakers to advocate science and contribute to policymaking that benefits the public.
Election to the AIMBE College of Fellows is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to a medical and biological engineer, with AIMBE fellows comprising the top 2 percent of medical and biological engineers. College membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering and medicine research, practice or education” and to “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of medical and biological engineering or developing/implementing innovative approaches to bioengineering education.”
Oden earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in biomedical engineering from Tulane University and served as both a postdoctoral fellow and instructor at Harvard Medical School, as a senior research associate at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and as a faculty member at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston prior to joining Rice in 2004.
As the founding director of the OEDK, a 20,000-square-foot design studio used by more than 200 undergraduate student teams each year, Oden collaborates with Rice faculty members to develop and implement engineering design and innovation curriculum programs. Her previous honors include the American Society for Engineering Education’s 2012 Fred Merryfield Design Award, the Lemelson Foundation’s 2013 Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation, Science magazine’s 2012 Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction, and Rice’s George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching in both 2012 and 2016.
As a leader in biomedical engineering and design education, Oden was selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering’s 2012 Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium, is deeply involved with the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance and the Biomedical Engineering-Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship Alliance, and has served as a AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassador to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Lemelson Foundation. She is a fellow of Rice’s Center for Teaching Excellence and a founding member of NEST360°, an international initiative between Rice 360° and partners on three continents that aims to enable African hospitals to provide comprehensive newborn care.
The Rice Board of Trustees recently recognized the staff of the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK) for 10 years of providing transformative undergraduate education, a tenant of the university’s Vision for the Second Century, Second Decade (V2C2).
Honored for their impact at the board’s Feb. 28 meeting were Amy Kavalewitz, executive director; Danny Blacker, engineering design supervisor; Marilee Dizon, department administrator; Fernando Cruz, engineering design technician; Sukaina Ahmed, accounting specialist; Lea Aden Lueck, engineering design coordinator; and Sondra Hernandez, purchasing assistant. The Department of Mechanical Engineering’s Joe Gesenhues, department technician and shop manager, was also recognized for providing invaluable assistance to OEDK teams.
Maria Oden, director of the OEDK and a full teaching professor of bioengineering, commended the staff for making the kitchen a success for the more than 1,200 students who use it annually.
“This group of people is willing to put in their all, go the extra mile, work as a well-oiled team – all for the benefit of Rice, our students and our faculty,” Oden said.
The world’s first design kitchen, the OEDK was established in a building that was literally Rice’s campus kitchen, before separate serveries fed the residential colleges.
The OEDK facility fosters collaboration between Rice students and industry professionals, physicians at the Texas Medical Center and globally, and entrepreneurs and community partners developing solutions to problems with potential societal impact.
“When our students receive their dream jobs at SpaceX, Tesla, GE Healthcare … or are accepted into their dream graduate school and they tell us the main topic of their interview was the projects and experiences at OEDK, we can point to these staff members for making that possible,” Oden said.
Custom laser-cut coasters greeted partygoers at the OEDK event. Photo by Jeff Fitlow
Hundreds of Rice students, faculty, staff and friends came out for the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen’s 10th anniversary bash on Feb. 22. The two-stage event began with a gathering of the facility’s backers at the OEDK and then moved to the North Lot for a public party featuring food and drink, an engineering art competition and ’80s music by the Spazmatics.
Rice President David Leebron, speaking at the early event, said of the return on investment on money the university has spent over the last 10 years, “nowhere has it been better than where we are standing right now.”
Read more about the OEDK’s early days here: http://news.rice.edu/2019/02/18/the-kitchen-at-10-is-really-cooking-now/
Reginald DesRoches, the William and Stephanie Sick Dean of Engineering, left, get a high-five from his predecessor, Ned Thomas, at the OEDK party. Photo by Jeff Fitlow
OEDK Director Maria Oden gives early attendees a taste of what’s to come at the kitchen in the years to come. Photo by Jeff Fitlow
A crowd grooves to the Spazmatics in the large tent outside the OEDK.
Fernanda Lago’s “Generating an Idea,” first place winner in the Engineering Art competition. Photo by An Le/Luxe Studio Productions
A sophisticated sample of laser-cut wood sculpture was among the entries in a student art contest. Photo by Jeff Fitlow
Winners of the OEDK engineering art competition, from left: Scout Kan for “Gears of Inspiration,” third place; Braden Perryman and Maggie Webb for “Natural Reflections,” second place, and Fernanda Lago for “Generating an Idea,” first place. Photo by An Le/Luxe Studio Productions
Video by An Le/Luxe Studio Productions
SAVE THE DATE!
Friday, February 22, 2019
5:00pm - 10:00pm
Parking Lot Party @ the OEDK
Mark your calendars for a very special day!
The OEDK will be turning 10 and we are going to celebrate BIG!
More Details to come...
Special Guest Performance!
You won't want to miss this!
By Holly Beretto
Special to the Rice News
Vegetables are part of a healthy diet, but urban apartment dwellers in some places around the world don’t have regular access to them. A group of Rice University senior engineering students set out to remedy that for their capstone design project.
Team Växthus — mechanical engineering students Mary Bao, Mike Hua, Jack Kaplan, Harrison Lin and Colin Losey and electrical engineering student Lingbo Chen – has developed an automated, modular, indoor greenhouse to provide high-throughput food growth aimed at young professionals in urban settings.
“This allows them to grow fresh produce, everything from leafy greens to herbs to root vegetables,” Lin said.
Växthus (Swedish for greenhouse) was developed for the HSB Living Lab at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. The lab is a residential community of 29 apartments for students and visiting researchers, all of whom are involved in finding solutions for more sustainable living. The Living Lab partnered with Rice on a previous project to develop a device to simplify composting at home.
READ MORE AND SEE VIDEO
AMY MCCAIG – MAY 3, 2018
Team Cherrypick (Photo by Jeff Fitlow)
The software, Cherrypick, was designed by James Grinage, Connor Heggie, Rebecca Lee, Victor Gonzalez, Sachin Jain and Betty Huang as part of their senior engineering design course. The software is the first kind capable of automatically analyzing volleyball matches and providing analytics. It allows coaches to record a game, upload video and receive statistics from the game within an hour. Cherrypick is powered by machine learning and computer vision algorithms developed by the team and is the first software capable of delivering game statistics in an hour.
Rice University students are working toward a long-standing goal of making the benefits of hippotherapy – equine-assisted therapy – available to those without access to a real horse.
The students’ robotic device adds levels of sophistication to the project started several years ago. Their steed, named Stewie, is more comfortable and they believe more controllable for riders with neurological or movement disorders or problems with balance who could gain physical and mental benefits.
It should go without saying it takes guts to develop a low-cost procedure to treat gastroschisis. A team of Rice University students working on the problem had them in every way.
The three members of Team Si-Low built a sophisticated system that would be simple for doctors in developing countries to execute as they help infants born with the condition, in which the abdominal wall is not fully closed and some of the child’s intestines remain outside the body at birth.
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