2010 Capstone teams


Project & Title:  Alveolar Breath Collection Device for Study of Lung Cancer Biomarkers in Volatile Organic Compounds

Team Members:  Jonathan Chang, Youcef Ouadah, and Daniel Yang

Capstone Client:  Cyrill Hornuss, M.D., UCSF research fellow in anesthesiology

Lung cancer kills more people worldwide than any other cancer subtype. VOC (volatile organic compound) pattern analysis in exhaled breath is hypothesized to be a reliable strategy for early lung cancer diagnosis. This capstone project created a device to transport patient breath from the mouth into a storage container, to be later analyzed ‘off-line’ for volatile organic compound contents by mass spectrometry.

2010 anesthesiology prototype

Sketch and photograph of exhaled breath collection and storage device.

Emergency Medicine

Project & Title:  Ultrasound Probe Assist For Ultrasound Guided Central Line Insertions

Team Members:  Amy Chang, Wynne Chyou, Nickesh Viswanathan, Bryan Williams

Capstone Client:  John Stein, M.D. UCSF Asst. Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine; Director, Emergency Ultrasound

By engineering a simple, sterile, and efficient device to hold an ultrasound probe steady during line insertions, the medicine innovation introduced here will free up the doctor’s hands so they can dedicate their skills to an accurate vein puncture.

2010 emergency medicine prototype

Functional prototype of the ultrasound probe assistance device to aid in ultrasound guided central line insertions.


Project & Title:  Revamping the Polyp Snare

Team Members:  Salar Assadian, Rose K. Leu, Brian K. Dang

Capstone Client:  Ma Somsouk, M.D, Assistant Professor at UCSF, Medicine/Gastroenterology

Current polypectomy snares employed to desiccate polyp tissue are often entrapped in the polyp tissue, making retraction of the snare difficult. To reduce snare entrapment during polypectomy, this project introduced a new snare design to reduce snare entrapment in cases of pedunculated polyps (i.e., a poly that is attached to the surface by a narrow elongated stalk). An important polyp type, as entrapment in pedunculated polyps leads to hemorrhaging and may require surgical intervention.

2010 gastroenterology prototype

Schematic of polypectomy snare redesign for desiccation of pedunculated polyps.

Maternal Care in Global Health Settings

Project & Title:  Appropriate technology for a mobile maternity clinic

Team Members:  Danielle Beeve, Karthik Kothandapani, Christopher Richardson, Syed Abdul Aziz

Capstone Clients:
– Nick Pearson, Entrepreneur, Nairobi, Kenya
– Megan Huchko, M.D, MPH, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, UCSF

Maternal health is of paramount importance in both the developing and developed nations. In East Africa, mobile material health clinics would benefit from low-cost technology that allows fetal heart rate monitoring that can easily differentiate between maternal and fetal heart rates. The team introduced a self-contained monitoring diagnostic that readily differentiates maternal from fetal heart rates.

2010 maternal health prototype

Computer aided design rendering of the portable, self-contained fetal heart rate monitor.

Neurology medicine

Project & Title:  At-Home Seizure Detection

Team Members:  Mihir Bawal, Aaron Ho, Gaber Saleh, Jasper Shau

Capstone Client:  John Hixson, M.D , UCSF, Asst Prof of Clinical Neurology

Currently, there are no FDA approved devices for seizure detection. Children suffering from epilepsy require 24 hour monitoring. The impact is the disease not only affects the patient, but the entire family as well. The team designed an easy to use, at-home child seizure detection device for use during periods of sleep.

2010 neurology medicine prototype

Photograph of prototype interface for at-home nocturnal seizure detection system.

Neurology Research

Project & Title:  Developing an Alcohol Consumption Monitoring Device for Behavioral Research Settings

Team Members:  Larry Liu, Seyed Bozorgi, Daniel Chen, Eri Takami

Capstone Client:
– Howard Fields, M.D., Ph.D., UCSF Professor of Neurology, Director, Wheeler Center for the Neurobiology of Addiction, Principal Investigator, Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center
– Elyssa Margolis , PhD, UCSF, Assistant Adjunct Professor Gallo Center

Studies of alcoholism often require longitudinal monitoring of the patient’s alcohol consumption. While technology does exist to address this goal in police settings, the alcoholism research field would benefit from a lower cost and customizable device. To address this gap, the capstone team developed a device continuously measures the alcohol consumption of a patient in a non-invasive manner.

2010 neurology research prototype

Pediatric Medicine

Project & Title:  Tympanocentesis Device for Use in Pediatric Exams

Team Members:  Trisha Bartlett, James Che, Francis Chen, and Elaine Lee

Capstone Client:  Wilbur Lam, MD, PhD, UCSF Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Pediatric Oncology Specialist

Tympanocentesis is the removal of fluid from behind the eardrum. Currently, a physician employs a special needle with a tube attached to collect the sample of fluid. A culture and sensitivity test is typically performed on the fluid sample. The capstone team introduced a new approach to tympanocentesis that allows the physician to achieve stable access to middle ear fluid with single handed device operation.

2010 pediatric medicine prototype

Schematic of tympanocentesis device for pediatric medicine.