Veritas Medical, a Salt Lake City company comprised of University of Utah bioengineering and health science students, won second place in the Collegiate Inventors Competition in Washington D.C. with their LIGHT LINE Catheter, a high-tech catheter that can fight off infections with light.

The team, which is made up of former and current U bioengineering students Mitch Barneck, Ahrash Poursaid, and Nate Rhodes, as well as health sciences student Martin de la Presa, took second in the graduate student category.

“It’s fantastic,” says Rhodes, the company’s CEO who has a master’s in bioengineering. “It was great to be judged by… amazing engineers and brilliant people. We’re very pleased to not only meet them but to have them give us feedback on our technology.”

LIGHT LINE is a catheter that uses light from the visible light spectrum to kill bacteria. According to Veritas, about 250,000 catheter-related blood stream infections and more than four million urinary tract infections occur every year.

The device has been under development for three years, and Rhodes says they are about 18 months away from introducing the device to the market. He credits the U’s bioengineering department’s programs, such as Utah BioInnovate and Utah BioDesign, with their success.

“They’re great programs,” Rhodes says. “They really help design medical devices and teach us to do what we are doing now. We’re fortunate to have some great success and represent the U. of U. well.”

The annual Collegiate Inventors Competition is hosted by Invent Now and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Read more about the competition’s winners