When I was an undergraduate, I wrote bad poems and had a radio show. So while I admire the team of Johns Hopkins undergraduate students who just took home the top prize (and $12,500!) in the 2012 Collegiate Inventors Competition, I’m a little bit mad at them for making me feel bad about myself.
The group of eight biomedical engineering majors came up with a disposable suturing tool that surgeons could use to help guide the placement of stitches (and, in turn, help them to not accidentally puncture any internal organs). FastStitch, as they called their device, looks something like a hole punch crossed with a pair of pliers. It would help doctors properly close up incisions and thus minimize the risk of infection and herniation, which lead to billions of dollars of follow-up treatment and medical malpractice expenses.
“We’re developing the future of suture,” said recent grad Sohail Zahid, who lead the team. He and his teammates have formed a fancy-sounding company (Archon Medical Technologies) to further the research and development of FastStitch. Not bad for an undergraduate project.