A team of students at the University of Pennsylvania, led by Indian Americans, was named the 2019 winner of the university’s Y Prize competition.
The team, Nosoco Technologies, was led by Ishir Seth of the Vagelos Life Science & Management Program; Tanvi Kapur of the The Wharton School; Beatriz Go of The Wharton School; and WenTao Zhang of the Vagelos Life Science & Management Program.
Nosoco Technologies beat out three other finalist teams to claim the top prize, according to a University of Pennsylvania report.
Each year, 13,000 patients die from catheter-associated infections due to severe complications including sepsis, organ failure, and nephritis. The impact of catheter-associated infections cannot be understated; there are 250,000 catheter-related bloodstream-infections and the total economic cost of catheter-related urinary tract infections is $3.5 billion annually, the university wrote about Nosoco.
The winning team says it believes that it is simply unacceptable that patients die from nosocomial infections in a location that is meant to be a haven of healing. Nosoco Technologies proposes to reinvent the outdated catheter by incorporating micro-structured wrinkled instabilities created through Roll-to-Roll methodologies into the material to physically disrupt biofilm formation and prevent infection at the source.
The Y-Prize Competition is a competition for student teams to propose innovative commercial applications for technology invented by University of Pennsylvania researchers.
The winning team receives $10,000, which they may use towards commercializing the Penn-owned technology that their proposal is based upon.
The competition promotes intercollegiate cooperation, entrepreneurial spirit, and collaboration among the many schools at Penn. Successful teams must possess a balance of skills in science, technology, and business, the university said.