Move Over MIT: Tulane BioMed Students Win ASAIO First Annual Student Design Competition

Scott Kleinpeter and his team of four fellow Tulane students and biomedical engineering majors (Gabriela Nunez, Seth Vines, Nick Chedid, and Chris Cover) won the first annual Student Design Competition for their project, “Development of a Novel Instrument for Use in Percutaneous Dilatational Tracheostomy.” The project was presented during the 59th annual ASAIO (formerly known as the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs) Annual Conference in Chicago.

Part of the EZ-View team, from left: Seth Vignes, Chris Cover and Nick Chedid (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano).

Part of the EZ-View team, from left: Seth Vignes, Chris Cover and Nick Chedid (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano).

The New Orleans-based, student-led team spent over six months designing a better endotrachael tube as part of their capstone focused on a medical technology. According to an announcement made by Tulane, self-proclaimed “Team Cut-Throat” developed a modified laryngeal mask airway (LMA) with dual lumen to allow for continuous bronchoscopic assistance while maintain the original, unobstructed endotrachael tube in place for continuous ventilation.

ASAIO representatives explained that the new competition was the perfect opportunity to expose undergraduates to ASAIO by enabling them to present work at a national level.

“It was a very intellectual experience for us to see the level of work of other senior BMEs (biomedical engineering students),” Cover says. “A lot of these teams had excellent work.”

Kleinpeter, along with finalists from six other schools, presented their information at the Student Design Competition, created for young innovators. Second place went to Johnny Zhang from Purdue University for “Safe Pace: Pacemaker Lead Placement Feedback System” and third place went to Sydney Williams for “Baby Sound Monitor.”

The Tulane team now calls the project EZ-View, which has been granted $20,000 to develop a prototype of the device in conjunction with the Tulane School of Medicine. Prototype development is expected to be relatively straightforward with the use of modern technologies such as 3D printing. “The money will be used to buy materials and equipment to produce a fully functional prototype,” Vignes says. “It will ideally meet FDA standards and be used for phase I clinical trials.”