Johns Hopkins undergrad team takes second place at Collegiate Inventors Competition

November 4, 2017
AssistENT

AssistENT team included (clockwise from back row, left): Harrison Nguyen, Clayton Andrews, Pooja Nair, and Talia Kirschbaum

A Johns Hopkins student invention aimed at helping people breathe easier won the silver prize in the 2017 national Collegiate Inventors Competition. The second-place award was announced Friday afternoon after final judging at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia.

The entry from a team of four undergraduate students is a simple, discreet nasal dilator, dubbed AssistENT, designed to open obstructed nostrils, a common problem that can cause snoring and other sleep disruptions, as well as exercising difficulties.

The Johns Hopkins students were one of six undergraduate finalist teams announced in September by the National Inventors Hall of Fame, which has organized the event since 1990. This was the 14th time a Johns Hopkins student team was a finalist in the competition.

Team members Clayton Andrews, Harrison Nguyen, Talia Kirschbaum, and Pooja Nair received $5,000, which will be used to further test and refine their prototype and move it closer to commercialization.

The AssistENT project was developed in a course offered through the Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design within the Department of Biomedical Engineering. The department is shared by the university’s Whiting School of Engineering and its School of Medicine.

Excerpted and adapted from The Hub.

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