After hearing his aunt, a primary care nurse, tell stories of catheters causing clotting and infections, University of Utah bioengineering student Nate Rhodes decided to come up with a solution. Along with a few classmates, he developed a type of catheter — a tube inserted into patients to remove and deliver fluids — that emits visible light killing bacteria to prevent infections from occurring.

Rhodes’ team of bioengineering and medical students recently won first place and $75,000 at the International Business Model Competition hosted by Brigham Young University. The competition drew more than 2,500 teams from 200 schools representing 20 countries from around the world.

The students created a startup company, Veritas Medical LLC, to develop the LIGHT LINE Catheter™, using high-intensity narrow spectrum light, which is known to kill bacteria without any harmful effects to human cells. They have already filed a utility patent on their technology and will complete laboratory testing later this year followed by clinical trials beginning next year.

Read more in the U News Center