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Rutgers Award-Winning Invention Aims to Reinvent Drug Delivery

Published: 10/12/2021


Source: Rutgers

The device was created by students of the Rutgers Honors College–New Brunswick to revolutionize the technology of targeted nutrient and drug delivery for infants
A group of former Rutgers students who developed a pacifier-like device that delivers medication and nutrients to malnourished infants are working to see their project put to use for the first time at a major hospital system.

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The concept was born six years ago during the first Honors College mission course, which teaches students how to transform ideas into action as they address issues related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The group continued their work over the next several years through the Honors College Innovation Lab and became one of the first teams from the program to bring their social innovation to the public sphere. Through the process they formed a company called Nutrivide to develop and market the device – called a Nutrifier – which stores and dispenses micronutrients and medicine vital for infant survival and development. Along the way they expanded the team to include younger, current Honors College students. Collectively, they have won more than $90,000 in prize money to advance the project, including a total of $63,500 this spring as part of the Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge.

“This experience taught me that storytelling is the most important skill entrepreneurs can learn to have their audiences follow their visions for and journeys to impact,” said Akshay Kamath, a 2019 Rutgers Honors College alum and co-founder and CEO of Nutrivide who was selected as and named a Forbes Under 30 Scholar in 2018 highlighting the nation’s trailblazers. “While our story isn't linear, the tough moments have made this path all the more rewarding.”

The Nutrivide team, which also includes Joseph Bajor (’19), Yash Dave (’19), Juliet Petillo (’24), Clairisse Whang (’22), Harrison Zhang (’22), and Alyssa Krisinski (’22), as well as Casey Speer, a Georgetown graduate whom Kamath met in the industry, is poised for a soft launch. The team has set their eyes on working with an innovative health system in New York to test the device as they continue to attract more funding and to help bring it to the vulnerable populations that need it the most.

Source: Rutgers
 
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