A student startup from the University of Utah has racked up another business competition win, netting $75,000 to develop and market a bacteria-killing catheter.
That brings the company's total business competition winnings to nearly $100,000, money the team of students and graduates plans to use to continue to develop the Light Line Catheter, which uses high-intensity narrow spectrum light considered harmless to human cells to kill bacteria and prevent infection.
U. bioengineering master's degree student Nate Rhodes came up with the idea about three years ago after hearing his aunt, a nurse, tell stories about clotting and infections caused by the thin tubes used to drain urine or other substances from the body. Catheters are responsible for about 40 percent of hospital-acquired infections. The Light Line product is now being tested in the lab, and Rhodes hopes to have it for sale by 2016.