The Coulter Project and Global WACh teamed up again to offer a seed grant award. The Bioengineering Solutions Seed Grant supports collaborative translational research in biomedical engineering addressing the clinical needs of women, adolescents, and children.
This year we received a fantastic pool of innovative applications and ultimately awarded funds to Drs. Wendy Thomas (UW Bioengineering) and Anthony Roche (Anesthesiology). Their project titled An Affordable, Portable Drawover Vaporizer was selected for funding by a team of expert reviewers and we couldn’t be more excited!
The project aims to develop an affordable and easily portable anesthetic delivery device to help in low resource settings, particularly in Uganda. Most anesthetic delivery devices are bulky, difficult to transport, not sufficiently durable, expensive, or can’t function without reliable power sources making them an unrealistic solution in low resource settings.
PI Wendy Thomas says she volunteered to help with Bioengineers Without Borders (BWB) when they asked her to suggest a bioengineering co-advisor for the project.
They are hard-working, passionate about learning and helping people, and very capable. I want to particularly compliment David Peeler and Eric Swanson, the graduate BWB team members who put the most work into writing this proposal.
This project is hoping to use a simplified design that requires no additional power source other than the patient’s breathing to draw anesthetic from the device.
PI Anthony Roche also expressed his thanks to Global WACh and The Coulter Foundation for the support of the project.
I am constantly inspired by the vision and passion of our team, as well as their dedication and tireless effort to improve healthcare in low resource settings.
The funding process served as a great catalyst for their team. They have been working hard for months solidifying design constraints, identifying key engineering questions, and collaborating with experts at PATH. “All of this was done before the award was even made!” Dr. Roche says.
Eric Swanson, a 3rd year Bioengineering PhD student and team leader for BWB’s Anesthesia Device Team says the team is comprised entirely of undergraduate and graduate students.
My hope is that this funding will not only enable us to take steps towards developing a device that could have a significant impact on an important global health problem, but that it will also increase awareness of the Bioengineers Without Borders student group and promote future funding and collaboration opportunities for our other projects.
Congratulations are in order for this dynamic team! Global WACh is proud to support such innovative work and can’t wait to share the results with you.