Summer Course for Undergraduates

General Page Media
Medical Device Innovation Experience for Undergraduates (MDIEU)

This summer course is an exciting opportunity for you to participate in the medical device innovation process through an experiential learning project where you will be developing a real medical device. MDIEU is a course through the Earl E. Bakken Medical Devices Center whose mission is to facilitate medical device innovation and commercialization.

MDIEU takes place over eight weeks of the summer and is open to currently enrolled University of Minnesota Twin Cities undergraduate students in any major. The course targets students who are interested in medical technology, eager to gain device development experience, and who seek leadership and team-based experiences. The course will train you to become a medical device innovator by teaching you the medical device design process. This includes how to understand clinical needs, how to design and build early-stage prototypes of medical device concepts, and how to work with a clinician to co-develop a concept, all while working on a real-world medical device that solves a clinical problem.

Along with weekly lectures and guided tutorials on topics ranging from hands-on CAD and building electronics to patent searching and how to FDA-classify your device, you will practice what you have learned by working in a team on a real medical device development project with an experienced technical mentor and a medical professional.

Need more information about the Medical Device Innovation Experience for Undergraduates (MDIEU)? 

Students: Information on how to apply for the Summer 2023 course is here

Clinicians: Information on how to have your project be part of the Summer 2023 course is here

Still have questions? Contact Instructor Paul Rothweiler, [email protected], or Instructor Cyrus Rezvanifar, [email protected], or Course Director Prof. Will Durfee, [email protected].

Expand all

Course Logistics for Summer 2023

The 2023 Course is now full. We will open the 2024 application form in May of 2024.

  • The course sessions will be on Tuesday evenings from 5:00 to 7:30 pm, starting on June 6, 2023 and ending on July 25, 2023. Sessions will include a lecture component and a team meeting component. To participate in the course, you must be available to attend in-person for at least seven of the eight sessions, and preferably for all eight. Attendance at the first session and last session is mandatory. The detailed course schedule will be posted mid-May.

  • The course does not carry UMN course credit, but could lead to you being a named inventor on a patent application, or a co-author on a paper, plus course participation looks great on your resume.

  • For Summer 2023, we will accept up to about 25 students into the course, depending on the number of projects in the course.

  • You will be assigned to a project, with each project having about five students. Just before the course starts, you will be provided with information about the projects and will be able to submit your project preferences. We cannot guarantee that you will be assigned to your top project choices. The good news is that all of the projects will be awesome.

2022 Projects

Expand all

Abdominal Entry Aid

Abdominal Entry Aid Project Team

Surgeons accessing the abdomen need to be able to lift the abdominal wall during laparoscopic surgery to gain access to internal sites. Existing tools include clamps, towel clips and a plunger-like device. However these devices can damage skin, cause vascular injuries and risk displacing bowels. They also don’t work well for all patient body types.

Dr. Mattson, a Fellow in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health at the University of Minnesota and clinical champion for this project, needs a better tool for grasping the skin to pull the abdominal wall out of the way. The team developed a solution that is low-cost, distributes the force over a large area reducing the risk of tissue damage, and is easy to remove once the procedure is over.

Team Members: Carter Doolittle, Evan Gill, Abigail Kyllo, Samantha Schmitt, and Gracine Sime
Clinical Lead: Jordan Mattson

Watch the team's exit interview and hear about their experience.

Awake Fiberoptic Intubation Simulator

Awake Fiberoptic Intubation Simulator Project Team

Anesthesia is normally administered before a procedure and the anesthesia prevents the patient from breathing. To help the patient breath, doctors will intubate the patient within minutes of administering anesthesia. During intubation, patients typically lie flat, making the path from the throat to the trachea a straight shot. However, what if the patient was unable to lie flat? Awake Fiberoptic Intubation is an oxygen delivery method used when an anaesthesiologist believes there may be difficulty in placing an oxygen tube down the patient's windpipe. During this procedure, it is typical for the vocal cords to be moving due to coughing, gagging and other movements while the patient is awake.

Dr. Budde, an Anaesthesiologist at the University of Minnesota and clinical champion for this project, needs an intubation simulator that incorporates coughing and vocal cord movements to train residents so they are prepared to practice Awake Fiberoptic Intubation. The solution the team developed is the Motile Trachea Model. The trainer is small-scale, portable, anatomically accurate with moving ‘vocal chords,’ and designed to be cost-effective so that most hospitals and medical institutions can afford one.

Team Members: Aarush Bothra, Shivangi Pandey, Mia Tran, Rana Abdelshahed, and Aniruddha Paranjape
Clinical Lead: Anna Budde

Watch the team's exit interview and hear about their experience.

External Ventricular Drainage Control

External Ventricular Drainage Control Project Team

Hydrocephalus is a condition where excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) builds up in the ventricles of the brain. To assist the patient, clinicians perform a Ventriculostomy, where an External Ventricular Drain (EVD) is placed to drain excess CSF. The current EVD system must be manually adjusted when the patient moves, they can not measure and drain the fluid at the same time, and there are always concerns about overdraining.

Dr. Miller in the Department of Neurology at the University of Minnesota and clinical champion for this project, needs a better device to stay level with the hydrocephalus patient’s zero-line while providing accurate pressure readings. In response the team designed a wearable sensor that detects changes in the zero-line and measures inline pressure in real-time.

Team Members: Smrithi Karthikeyan, Mihir Madhaparia, Khadar Abdulkadir, Aidan Golish, and Clara Cashin
Clinical Lead: Benjamin Miller

Watch the team's exit interview and hear about their experience.

IV Tubing Organizer

IV Tubing Organizer Project Team

Patients in the ICU often require multiple treatments through multiple feedtubes. All too often the result is a ‘spaghetti syndrome’ of tubing. To untangle the tubing can often cause significant delays for clinical staff.

Doctors Krithika Anand & Elena Zupfer, both Pediatric Anesthesiologists with M Physicians and clinical champions for this project, need a tool to keep multiple tubing organized and prevent ‘spaghetti syndrome.’ The solution the team developed was a low-cost organizing device that prevent the tubes from intertwining and allows clinicians to quickly and easily identify which tube is carrying what treatment.

Team Members: Kyra Van Batavia, Abarna Anandaraj, and Theo Kakacek
Clinical Leads: Krithika Anand and Elena Zupfer

Watch the team's exit interview and hear about their experience.

Modular Resistance Trainer

Modular Resistance Trainer Project Team

Bedridden patients lose muscle mass within a short period of time, particularly in the lower extremities. If the muscle performance loss is significant enough, the patient may not have the strength to return home and need to receive care in a rehabilitation center.

Dr Shernan Holtan, a hematologist with the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation at the University of Minnesota and clinical champion for this project, needs a system to assist patients in retaining their muscle mass/performance during hospital stays. The solution the team produced was a portable, low-cost, high-performance resistance training system that can be placed in any hospital room.

Team Members: Quan Dang, Ketim Lamessa,  Srivats Srinivasa, and Alec Wesala
Clinical Lead: Shernan Holton

Watch the team's exit interview and hear about their experience.

2021 Projects

Expand all

Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunt Failure

Cerebral Shunt Failure 2021 Team

Neurosurgeons need a way to detect and analyze the failures of specific shunt components, because the failures themselves and current shunt failure detection methods can negatively impact patients and cost health centers valuable resources.

Team Members: Isaac Wahlstrom, Alanna Carlson and Peter Fitterer (Not Pictured: Malachi Lehman*)

Clinical Authentication

Clinical Authentication Team

Hospitals need an efficient system to authenticate users of medical devices because improper use threatens the physical wellbeing of patients.

Team Members: Khaled Kansou, Khoi Nhuyen, Ken Hoyme, Briana Chang, David Carlson, Zane Siddiqui and Bill Betten

Digital Forensics

Digital Forensics Team

The Healthcare industry needs a better way to log and review data from medical devices in order to identify and distinguish incidents from events to ensure proper patient care.

Team Members: Ken Hoyme, Atishya Ghosh, Adam Boeckermann; Carson Dock, Anu Bompelli and Bill Betten

Enhancements for Newborn Incubators

Enhancements for Newborn Incubators 2021 Team

Premature infants need less exposure to disruptive noises because reduced sensory exposure in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is necessary for proper development and the mitigation of hearing impairment.

Team Members: Ali Al Hinaai, Niyati Alluri, Sadhika Prabhu, Alex Olson, Megan Johnson and Roger Sheldon

Fibrosis Detection

Fibrosis Detection 2021 Team

Healthcare workers need a way to assess and quantify fibrosis in patients with breast cancer-related lymphedema to detect early formation of fibrosis and determine treatment goals.

Team Members: Ian Knoll, Isidora Mack, Emily Graba, Hannah Loukusa and William Durfee

Foley Catheter

Foley Catheter 2021 Team

Medical professionals performing catheter insertions require a feedback mechanism to determine if they are applying excessive force that could result in injury to the patient so that subsequent trauma, ensuing costs, and appended hospitalization periods for patients are reduced.

Team Members: Paul Rothweiler, Rick Marcusen, Andy Thai, Vivian Pham, Autumn Schuldt and Paul Gleich


Hydrocele 2021 Team

Physicians need a way to perform an office-based hydrocele treatment because the procedure requires a great amount of time, money, and staff to complete.

Team Members: Eric Little, Anders Gloege Torp, Molly Reighard, Gabriella Mullally, Kaden Braden and Chunxiao Guo

2019 Projects

Self Cannulation

Wearable Athletic Sensing

Prosthetic Hip

GI Motility

Vascular Doppler

Urethral Erosion

2018 Projects

Perianal Workstation

Catheter Insertion Simulator

Low Profile Airway Stent

Veterinarian Surgery Device

Brain Craniectomy Helmet

Facial Dermal Filler

2017 Projects

Innovative Light Bulb

Warm Oxygen Delivery

Canine Pedicle Screw Placement

External Nose Metrics

Urinary Catheter

Flexible IV Catheter

2016 Projects

Cesearean Sling

Video styl-ET-ube

Biomechanics Exoskeleton Modeling (Magic Arms #1)

Chassis (Magic Arms #2)


Warming Device for Peripheral Artery Disease

Digital PEP Spirometer

Neuropathy Measuring Device

2015 Projects

Wearable Vitals Sensors

Compression Stocking Donner

Pressure Ulcer Feedback Monitor

Peripheral Neuropathy Foot Injury Diagnostic

Rotational Lung Biopsy Device

2014 Projects

Ventilator Induced Atrophy

Vaginal Dilator


OR Suction Device

Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction Diagnostic

Pressure Modulating Spine Brace and Cast

Peripheral Neuropathy Testing Device with Heat

Peripheral Neuropathy Testing Device with Vibration

Simulator for Catheterization of Obese Female Patients

Simulator for Catheterization of Men

Bladder Stethoscope

Hand-held, Low-cost Ultrasound Unit to Determine the Size and Volume of Bladder

PCB Milling Machine