Cervical Cancer Screening Device Wins 2024 Bench to Bedside Competition

Despite a crowded field of over 30 other entries, the C-Blu team rose to the top to be named the $20,000 Grand Prize Winner at the 14th Annual Bench to Bedside Competition at the Utah State Capitol Building on April 8.

Comprised of five University of Utah students, C-Blu developed a blue-light colposcope which increases the sensitivity of images generated during cervical cancer screenings. To decrease high false negative rates, the C-Blu colposcope takes advances of the unique fluorescent properties of cancerous cells to make pre-cancerous lesions easier for clinicians to identify.

Presented by the Center for Medical Innovation at the University of Utah Health in partnership with the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, the Bench to Bedside program offers college students across Utah an opportunity to solve unmet clinical problems and build next-generation medical devices and innovative healthcare technologies. Over the course of the school year (August-April) students form interdisciplinary teams, meet with clinicians and industry professionals, build prototypes, and develop research-based marketing and regulatory strategies. The culmination of each team’s hard work is displayed each April at the annual Bench to Bedside Competition Night.

Find a complete list of winners, prizes, and team descriptions below.

With over 500 competitors, judges, family, friends, and spectators in attendance at this year’s Competition Night event, C-Blu and all of this year’s 32 competing teams at at the Capitol Building were able to showcase their projects to a wide range of audiences.

“Our country and our world are facing one of the biggest challenges we have every seen — more people are entering healthcare systems than ever before. The baby boomer generation is aging, and it’s going to take tremendous work to take care of everyone,” explained Mark Paul, executive director of the Center for Medical Innovation, during the awards ceremony. “The only way we can rise the challenge is through innovation — and it’s up to you, the next generation to help us make that possible.”

While all participating teams in Bench to Bedside have access to the Center for Medical Innovation’s Prototyping & Design Lab throughout the competition, the winning teams will have a bit more help going forward — over $80,000 in milestone funding to further develop their project. Sponsored by Zions Bank and the University of Utah Health, since the Bench to Bedside program began in 2012, over $1.4 million has been awarded to winning teams.

To learn more about the Bench to Bedside program, visit bit.ly/utah-b2b. To learn more about the Center for Medical Innovation, visit cmi.uofuhealth.org.

Competition Night Photo Gallery

Bench to Bedside 2024 Award Winners

C-Blu: C-Blu’s blue light colposcope increases the sensitivity and specificity of cervical cancer screening. Colposcopes are a tool used by clinicians to shine a light on and image the cervix when screening for cancer. To decrease high false negative rates, C-Blu has developed a colposcope that uses fluorescent properties of cancerous cells to make pre-cancerous lesions easier for clinicians to identify. Team Members: Libby Brooks, Derek Lewis, Ryleigh Smith, Nathan Wallace, Ethan Betts (University of Utah). Grand Prize Award — $20,000

OrthoBolt: OrthoBolt fills the gaps of the increasing challenges in spinal procedures, particularly in patients with osteoporosis, through the design of an expandable pedicle screw optimized with cutting-edge rotating strut technology. These screws offer optimal anchoring in both healthy and compromised bone, reducing the risk of complications associated with traditional screw fixation methods. Team Members: Brandon Wilde, Mitch Kirkham (University of Utah). Grand Prize Runner-Up — $10,000

SoundPass: SoundPass is a revolutionary ultrasound guidance system designed to offer neurosurgeons live intracranial imaging before and during the critical placement of life-saving external ventricular drains. This represents a huge paradigm shift within neurosurgery and addresses a well-known century-old clinical conundrum that has yet to be satisfactorily addressed. Team Members: Matt Findlay, Jordan Johnson, Travis Hotchkiss, Kyril Cole (University of Utah). Legacy Grand Prize — $15,000

Code Clock: A device used to optimize the care and communication among code team members in the setting of a cardiac arrest in an effort to improve patient survival. Team Members: Ziaul Karim, Josh Whiting, Diego Perez, Alicia Du (University of Utah). Patient Safety Technology Challenge — $10,000

NORISCOPE: NORISCOPE constitutes a flow-based laser diffraction analysis (LDA) system made to be incorporated into routine blood work. Blood samples are pushed through the sample holder as they’re scanned by the LDA, collecting images of passing cells. The images are presented to a trained convolutional neural network which categorizes images into cancerous or normal categories. Team Members: Caroline Torgersen, Tyler O’Loughlin, Ellie Evans, Vern Hart, Elis Bauer, Richard Pooley, Jeremy Tait, Brandon Jolley (Utah Valley University). Best in Medicine — $5,000

CathSecure: The CathSecure product aims to provide a method for a more securely attaching a shunt to a valve during surgical procedures, minimizing the risk of post-operative dislodgment and improving patient outcomes. Team Members: Matthew Sommer, Cat Wandvik, Cody Orton, Anit Jhaveri, Carson Minor, Julian Brown (University of Utah) Best in Business — $5,000

Electronic Grip Gauge (EGG) NeuroRobotic Technologies: NeuroRobotic Technologies, LLC (NRT) is developing a new fine sensorimotor assessment and rehabilitation tool for the hand, dubbed the Electronic Grip Gauge (EGG). The EGG allows stroke patients to measure and practice their ability to regulate their grip force using a fragile object, a task that the majority of patients struggle with but is often neglected in today’s rehabilitation clinics. Team Members: Monika Buczak, Michael Adkins, Nathan Toth (University of Utah)Best in Engineering  $5,000

Dream AI: Dream AI is an electronic healthcare record add on that aims to revolutionize the diagnosis of sleep apnea by leveraging modern health record advancements and machine learning. Team Members: Zachary Oatley, Jeremy Glasgow (Northeast Ohio Medical University & Kent State University). Best in Digital Health — $5,000

AdhesioNix: Addressing critical needs in post-C-section care, our innovative solution combats the effects of adhesions, a common complication impacting patient recovery. Featuring a novel tip for syringes, our device creates a consistent barrier between cut tissues, minimizing adhesion risks and ensuring optimal healing. With a simple yet impactful design, our solution sets a new standard in surgical aftercare, enhancing patient outcomes. Team Members: Amanda LeMatty, Robert Falconer, Jacob Bell (University of Utah). Eccles & Marriott Libraries Award — $5,000

T-Scope: A smartphone compatible stethoscope for telehealth visits, enabling health care professionals to better monitor a patient’s health remotely. Team Members: Sean Cunningham, Lily McClellan, Bryan Anderson, Alex LaPoint, Logan Haro, Xavier Grube (University of Utah). Consumer’s Choice — $2,500

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