Siddharth Iyer, Jasmine Hu, Mathias Insley, Diane Lee, and Eric Lin

Johns Hopkins University
Augeo: A cryogel polymer-based embolization solution to treat hemorrhaging patients
Undergraduate Team Winner

The Augeo team is comprised of five undergraduate engineering students at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) who are solving problems with the current surgical procedure to treat hemorrhages called embolization. An embolization procedure uses platinum coils to cut off blood flow to specific areas of the body, but these coils are expensive, restricted to certain blood vessel sizes, and difficult to use. The team focused on creating a new, cost-effective embolization device that could efficiently expand to fit a large range of blood vessels throughout the body. The result is a flexible and inexpensive sponge-like material that uses cryogel polymers to fit many blood vessel sizes. The Augeo team received the 2020 $10,000 “Cure it!” Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for their invention.

Siddharth Iyer served as the leader of the team. He is a junior from Freehold, New Jersey, majoring in materials science and engineering with a concentration in biomaterials, and minoring in applied math and statistics. He was responsible for leading and organizing the research and entrepreneurial efforts for the team. He is very passionate about biomaterials and their applications to medical devices, tissue engineering, gene editing, and cancer immunotherapy. In his spare time, Siddharth participates in clubs that focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) outreach and promote menstrual health.

Jasmine Hu is a junior from Shanghai, China, majoring in materials science and engineering and applied math and statistics. Her role on the team, along with Siddharth and Eric, was to optimize the composition of the device and ensure that it was functional and injectable. Outside of the lab, Jasmine is the financial officer for the JHU chapter of Engineers Without Borders and is the lead manager on a project to build a bridge for a community in Ecuador. Jasmine has also served as a teaching assistant at JHU, where she mentored students in mathematics. Jasmine is excited about the opportunities JHU offers for students to do work on an international scale.

Mathias Insley is a sophomore from Sunnyvale, California majoring in materials science and engineering with a minor in computer science. He and Diane were responsible for creating the shape of the cryogel and making sure it could withstand blood pressure. He also worked on research and entrepreneurial efforts with Siddharth. Mathias has a passion for speech and debate and has coached young people in these skills. The experience has taught him the importance of sociopolitical issues and how they can be improved through effective discourse and community engagement.

Diane Lee is a sophomore from Seoul, Korea, double majoring in materials science and engineering and biomedical engineering. She was responsible for testing prototypes to find the best shape for expansion and resistance to blood pressure, as well as designing the final delivery method. Aside from research, Diane is passionate about the potential for undergraduate inventors to lead innovative changes in healthcare and medicine. As Head of Community Outreach of the MedHacks organizing team, she has a leading role in hosting MedHacks, a very successful student-run medical hackathon.

Eric Lin is a freshman from Fremont, California, majoring in materials science and engineering. He worked with Siddharth and Jasmine to test the device’s biocompatibility and injectability. Eric is passionate about volunteering and was a part of the tutoring program at his high school where he was dedicated to helping students struggling with STEM subjects.