Engineering students create wearable treatment for infant jaundice

Around 60 percent of infants are born jaundiced and many spend their first days of life isolated underneath special lights that help them eliminate the excess bilirubin in their bloodstreams.

Three College of Engineering students at Michigan State University have created a wearable treatment for infant jaundice. The prototype device uses fiber optics inside an infant's swaddle blanket that breaks down bilirubin molecules while the baby is coddled in the arms of a parent.

The project, called Swaddle-mi-Bili, is one of 150 innovative projects that will be featured at the MSU College of Engineering 20th Anniversary Design Day on Friday, April 25.

Students Oliver Bloom of Holly, Mich., Vu Hoang of Okemos, Mich., and Alexa Jones of Metamora, Mich., set out to improve on the traditional phototherapy method for infant jaundice and came up with the swaddle idea. The project has already won a student business model competition in Lansing, finished in the top eight of 84 teams at the Michigan Collegiate Innovation Prize competition and will compete at the International Business Model Competition at Brigham Young University in May.

"Design Day is, without fail, one of the most important and popular days in our college," explained Leo Kempel, acting dean of the College of Engineering. "It brings together students, faculty, and corporate partners in a way that transforms the professional preparation of students," he said.

Design Day projects are sponsored by corporations and government agencies that provide support for students as they seek practical solutions for real-world problems. Activities include assessing a client's needs, research, planning, designing, testing and building. This semester's capstone projects have included industry leaders such as General Motors, Bosch, Dow, Meijer, Whirlpool, Boeing, and Google, as well as nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity.


Michigan State University

Posted in: Child Health News | Device / Technology News

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