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Students’ innovation earns raves at CSU biotech competition

Nursing A Sacramento State student team earned raves from CSU judges and the audience for its innovative medical device that would allow doctors to monitor bilirubin levels in jaundiced newborns without subjecting the infants to frequent and painful blood draws. The team’s Biliblu Biomedical monitor was recognized at the I-Corps Challenge, held Jan. 7-9 during the California State University’s 28th annual Biotechnology Symposium in Garden Grove.

The I-Corps Challenge teaches students how to take biotechnology research projects from idea to marketplace. Team Biliblu used a $2,500 micro-grant to find a better way of monitoring bilirubin levels in newborns. Bilirubin is produced by the normal breakdown of red blood cells and causes yellowing of both the skin and the whites of the eyes.

Nathaniel Johnson, the engineering student who served as the team’s entrepreneurial lead, noted that the only current reliable method of measuring bilrubin is by needle-sticking the baby’s heel. “Our device will completely avoid that,” he says. “This monitor will provide a noninvasive way to measure bilirubin that is completely accurate.”
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