Invention focuses on treating respiratory diseases in developing countries
MILWAUKEE -- A Marquette engineering senior design team will exhibit their project, a human-powered nebulizer, at the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance’s annual March Madness for the Mind showcase Saturday, March 27, in San Francisco.
The Marquette team is one of 16 to be recognized as a top Excellence and Entrepreneurship Team by the NCIIA, which works with many of the nation’s leading universities and colleges to help students grow their innovative technologies from concept to commercialization.
Working under the direction of Lars Olson, associate professor biomedical engineering, the student team of Alex Loy, Marissa Naslund, Alex Palutsis, Charlie Shen and Mike Siebert, refined the human-powered nebulizer, which has been developed by Marquette senior design teams since 2005.
A nebulizer is a device that turns liquid medicine into a vapor that can be inhaled deep into the lungs. Commercial nebulizers use electric compressors or batteries to maintain a constant rate of flow. Marquette’s design replaces the electric compressor and uses bicycle petals and a 20 oz. soda bottle to produce and regulate the air flow. This would allow the Marquette nebulizer to be used in developing countries where chronic respiratory diseases are a major cause of morbidity and mortality – and where many people do not have electrical power.
“Millions die from respiratory conditions every year because they don’t have access to electricity or a nebulizer. The human-powered nebulizer is an attempt to help those individuals,” Olson said. “Making the human-powered nebulizer has been a fun engineering challenge not because it is very high-tech but because we had to build it simply and with parts that are readily available in developing countries. ”
In addition to the showcase in San Francisco, Inventors Digest, the nation’s longest-running publication for independent and professional innovators, is hosting an online video competition among the top Excellence and Entrepreneurship Teams. The public can vote for their favorite video at http://www.inventorsdigest.com/?p=3042 until Friday, March 19. Winners will be announced at the event.
Other schools participating in the competition include Brown University, Northwestern University, Cornell University, Colorado State University, University of Iowa, University of California Berkley, Michigan Technological University, San Jose State University, Lehigh University, Rice University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, California Polytechnic State University, University of Pittsburgh and Stanford University.
Media interested in interviewing Olson should contact Andy Brodzeller in the Office of Marketing and Communication at (414) 288-0286 or email@example.com.
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