Pictured above: BioE master’s students, from left: Nicolas Opalski, Peter Beidler, Sarp Orgul and Sebastian Bibat.

Concentric team member holds device up to eye

UW Bioengineering graduate students created a portable, low-cost device to screen for corneal disease.

A team from UW Bioengineering took home the second place prize at the 2020 Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge (HIC) March 5 on the UW Seattle campus. Concentric, a team of students in the Master’s of Applied Bioengineering program, won for their low-cost, portable screening device for corneal disease. Concentric’s team members are Peter Beidler, Sebastian Bibat, Nicolas Opalski and Sarp Orgul.

The award announcement featured some extra drama: Concentric tied for second place with University of Idaho team CatheterX, who created a solution to reduce bacteria in in the urinary tract. The two teams received the same score, down to the decimal point, from the dozens of investors, entrepreneurs and health experts who served as judges. It was the first time the competition has had a tie; competition managers decided to award two $10,000 WRF Capital Second Place prizes.

Front of device by team Concentric of UW Bioengineering

Concentric’s eye-catching device.

The 21 finalist teams were selected from a record 51 team entries to compete at the fifth annual event hosted by the UW Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. Finalist teams came from UW, Washington State University, University of Idaho, and University of British Columbia.

Eight teams involving UW BioE undergraduate and graduate students were among 21 finalist teams competing. An alternate team was also from UW BioE.

Some of the teams were highlighted by King 5 News before the competition. Learn about all the winners at the UW Foster School Blog.

A BioE team has taken at least one of the top prizes in each of the competitions held to date. In the inaugural HIC in 2016, teams from BioE took home the second and third place prizes, in 2017 a BioE team won second place, and in 2018, BioE teams received the first and second place prizes. In 2019, BioE teams won first and third place prizes, and an Judges Also Liked prize. The HIC is one of three Buerk Center innovation competitions; the other two are the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge and its signature event, the Dempsey Startup Competition, formerly the Business Plan Competition.

Other UW BioE-affiliated teams that competed in HIC’s final round:

Arogya                                                                                                                                                                                                              A low-cost, electricity-free, water-saving washing machine and dryer which provides women with a discrete and culturally acceptable way to clean small cloth items like sanitary napkins while reducing transmission of water-borne and blood-borne diseases. (Bioengineering, Psychology)

BacTrac                                                                                                                                                                                                          Our rapid and modular diagnostic device allows for the early detection of an infected wound by targeting S. aureus, one of the most common pathogens found in wounds, and can be modified to fit the needs of the end user. (Bioengineering)

CREST Urethral Catheter Simulator                                                                                                                                                           To tackle the problem of unrealistic urethral catheter simulation trainers, we created a hyper-bio realistic, patient-specific male urethral catheter simulator for use in the improved training of healthcare providers at all skill levels. (Bioengineering) CREST previously won the $1,000 Premera Grand Prize at UW’s 2020 Science and Technology Showcase Jan. 29.

GlideAssist                                                                                                                                                                                                        Medical device that will aid in placing endotracheal tubes (ETT) into infant airways that may be inaccessible with current technology. (Bioengineering, MBA)

GoVac                                                                                                                                                                                                                 We are developing a small, wearable pump that can perform negative pressure wound therapy on wounds to improve quality of care for people using wound vacs. (Bioengineering)

Insulin Anywhere                                                                                                                                                                                           Insulin Anywhere is developing a portable, standalone device that provides everything needed for a diabetic to safely treat themselves with insulin injections for 7-10 days. (Bioengineering)

RestNest                                                                                                                                                                                                             Addresses a problem for patients undergoing an MRI scan in which excessive movement by the patient compromises the imaging quality and requires a repeat of the imaging sequence. (Bioengineering – Master’s of Applied Bioengineering)


NeuroNav                                                                                                                                                                                                         Using augmented reality, NeuroNav overlays patient specific preoperative medical imaging onto a patient’s head in real-time for needle guided tumor resection and tumor biopsy. (Bioengineering)