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Novel Dental Implant Wins NDSU’s Innovation Challenge ’12

Fargo, N.D. — Bison M-Venture, a team of 15 NDSU students, won first place and $5,000 for their novel dental implant in the Innovation Challenge ’12 competition Jan. 26. The team is developing a porous ceramic dental implant for people who cannot use traditional titanium implants. Because the implant is made from a type of inexpensive ceramic that has bone-like properties, it has the potential to reduce rejection rates, help patients heal faster, be more cost-effective and change using titanium as the standard material in dental implants and other biomedical devices.

“With this funding, we can pump out more data and research to take this project to the next level,” said team captain Erica Pfarr, a senior biochemistry and molecular biology major from Rochester, Minn. “The next step will be writing a grant proposal to make this idea into an option for those seeking a dental implant.”

The team includes student engineers who build the implants and student scientists who grow cells on the implants and analyze that growth. Other team members are junior Derek Holt, manufacturing engineering major from Fargo; senior Cody Mathison, manufacturing engineering major from Mora, Minn.; junior Deanna Webster, zoology major from Penn., N.D.; sophomore Danielle Stromme, zoology major from Crary, N.D.; senior Tyler Johnson, biology major from Bismarck, N.D.; sophomore Shelby Schields, zoology major from Beulah, N.D.; junior David Sundquist, mechanical engineering major from Cottage Grove, Minn.; sophomore Andrew Dalman, mechanical engineering major from Minneapolis; sophomore Lucas Budzien, mechanical engineering major from Blaine, Minn.; senior Austin Vetter, zoology major from Minot, N.D.; senior Brittany Korynta, horticulture major from Gilby, N.D.; sophomore Joel Hedlof, mechanical engineering major from Willmar, Minn.; senior Brittany Gagner, zoology major from Fergus Falls, Minn.; and senior Derek Hiam, zoology major from Lisbon, N.D.

The Aphasia Therapy team, which includes senior Trisha McDonald, university studies major from West Fargo, N.D., and senior Amanda Beller, psychology major from Morganville, N.J., won second place and $2,500. McDonald and Beller’s project is therapy for people who have aphasia, an acquired communication disorder that impairs a person’s ability to process language. The therapy includes a collection of software that uses word recall and association, audiovisual matching and complex sentence patterns to help rehabilitate people who have lost complex language skills.

The CPM team, which includes Rajan Bodkhe from Amravati, India, and Chavanin Siripirom from Bangkok, Thailand, won third place and $1,000. Their project is a coating system to prevent the growth of marine organisms on ship hulls. This growth, known as biofouling, causes speed reduction, loss of maneuverability, as well as increased fuel consumption, pollution, dry-docking frequency and voyage time. Bodkhe and Siripirom are both graduate students in coatings and polymeric materials.

The Innovation Challenge ’12 was a new component of the third annual Innovation Week held by NDSU and the NDSU Research and Technology Park. “The success of the first Innovation Challenge ’12 competition is due to the very bright and talented NDSU students who participated in the event,” said Tony Grindberg, executive director of the NDSU Research and Technology Park. “The caliber of projects was outstanding and truly reflects the first-class research and innovative work being done on campus and in the park.”

Judges were Tom Walter of Tasty Catering, John Cosgriff of Invest America, Rick Kasper of MinnDak Farmers Cooperative, Carol Schlossman of Insight to Action, Arjan Giaya of Triton Systems, Andrew Christensen of Arthur Ventures, Joe Sandin of OnSharp and Bob Allen of Appareo Systems.


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