Cassandra Parent, a third-year student studying biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins, was recently named a track winner in the Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs, earning a prize of $10,000.
This annual competition is designed to hone the skills that undergraduate women need to advance from idea to venture creation. Through multiple rounds of competition, students demonstrate an understanding of a problem, why the problem requires a new venture to address it, and how their idea presents the best solution possible.
Parent is part of DioTeX, an undergraduate design team that is working to create a rapid internal hemorrhage diagnostic tool for combat care.
Heavy internal and external bleeding can often lead to hemorrhagic shock, a condition where the body shuts down critical functions such as breathing and consciousness. Internal bleeding can be difficult to diagnose, typically requiring advanced imaging and highly trained personnel. In combat situations, this method is impractical.
Working with mentors and stakeholders who are experienced in military medicine and biochemical assay development, DioTeX is designing a portable and reliable internal hemorrhage diagnostic tool that detects a hemorrhage-specific biomarker. With a small sample of blood, this immunohistochemistry-based test will be able to quickly identify a hemorrhaging patient.
The team is finalizing the biological assay that will be placed in the mechanical model, and plans to use the winnings to complete their prototype and begin clinical trials.
“We hope that this tool will eventually be used by the combat medics on the battlefield to diagnose internal hemorrhage, which will subsequently save lives,” said Parent.
DioTeX was also named Fan Favorite, earning the team an additional $1,000.