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Student Highlights

Johns Hopkins BME students win two top awards in BMEidea competition

June 20, 2013

Michael I. Miller, Ph.D.

The National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (“NCIIA”) awarded Johns Hopkins BME students first and third place in the Biomedical Engineering Innovation, Design, and Entrepreneurship Awards (“BMEidea”) competition. The EchoSure system, developed by five Johns Hopkins biomedical engineering (“BME”) graduate students, placed first receiving an award of $10,000. The Gala Pump, invented by two BME doctoral students, placed third and was awarded $1,200.

Working within BME’s Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design, the EchoSure team, Kaitlyn Harfmann, Ting-Yu Lai, Adam Lightman, David Narrow and Devin O’Brien-Coon, focused on a setback that can occur during free flap reconstruction. To help prevent this setback, the team developed an internal marker and ultrasound software system to monitor blood flow in the transplant area giving doctors an early warning when a clot begins to form. David Narrow stated that, “EchoSure has the potential to prevent thousands of surgical failures and otherwise unnecessary reoperations.”


Johns Hopkins biomedical engineering doctoral students Susan Thompson, left, and Adriana Blazeski. Inventors of the Gala Pump for nursing mothers, third-place winners in the 2013 BMEidea competition.


Third place winners, Andriana Blazeski and Susan Thompson, both BME doctoral students, invented the Gala Pump. A device designed as a hands-free, concealable and quiet breast pump, the device allows nursing mothers to discreetly pump in the presence of others, eliminating the need for bulky vacuum pumps. Early seed funding from the Johns Hopkins-Coulter Translational program, also based in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, helped in the development of the device.

NCIIA sponsors the BMEidea competition, with support from the Lemelson Foundation, to recognize the best of the best in student-driven, innovative biomedical engineering design with high commercial potential and social impact.

Read the full story:

JHU Press Release

Additional information

National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance