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Inventing Simple Surgical Solutions by Prototyping with Popsicle Sticks

Through a partnership formed by the Indo-US Science & Technology Forum (IUSSTF), educational institutions including Stanford University, the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences are collaborating to “train the next generation of medical technology innovators in India.” Fellows participating in the program are encouraged to identify problems that challenge doctors in operating rooms and hospital settings, and to subsequently develop innovative solutions for overcoming these obstacles.

One shining example of this program is a prototypical device created with popsicle sticks and a wire spring that can aid surgeons in applying the proper amount of pressure when inserting pacemaker leads into heart muscles. The popsicle stick version would not be used in an actual surgical setting, but the prototype shows that a very useful innovation for surgery could be produced with sterile materials for less than ten dollars per unit. This type of practicality and frugality is exactly what the Stanford India Biodesign program is hoping to foster.

Click here for more information about the Stanford India Biodesign program.