Engineenering seniors Glenn Fiedler, Peter Jung, Lemuel Soh and Kevin Jackson, collectively called “Chemomatic” designed the AutoSyP to dispense controlled, round-the-clock doses of medications for patients with cardiac conditions. The group won third place in the 2013 University of Minnesota Design of Medical Devices student competition, and was soon after contacted by health professionals from UTHealth to test the device in Fiji.
Rohith Malya, M.D., assistant professor and director of the Division of Global Health in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the UTHealth Medical School, and one of Chemomatic’s mentors, explains that Fiji would be a good start to establish the efficacy of the AutoSyP, seeing as how it has a mortality rate from heart attacks about five to eight times that of the United States.
The AutoSyP delivers force to syringes of various sizes through a spring-driven ratchet-and-pawlescapement system, like those found in timepieces. “The idea is to regulate something that wants to unwind quickly,” said Jung, also a future medical student, explaining why the team used a battery-driven stepper motor to disengage the two pawls from the ratchet in turn.
With a few adjustments, the device allows the use of various syringe sizes and brands, uses very little battery power to be able to safely operate a full 24 hours, and should be portable enough to be used in ambulances to deliver crucial pharmacologic management to cardiac and stroke patients accurately and efficiently.