When the Micro C™ Co-Founders, Greg Kolovich MD, Chief Medical Officer, and Evan Ruff, Chief Executive Officer, met James Stubbs, Professor of the Practice in the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory and Capstone Design course industry liaison, he shared the opportunity for a team of senior engineering students to engage with Micro C to design, build, and test a prototype with a real world application. Micro C enthusiastically signed up as a sponsor.
Micro C™ enables surgeons and physicians treating disorders of the extremities to conduct surgeries and other procedures for patients with greater accuracy, clarity, and safety, and speed. The product is a lightweight hand-held x-ray and still, video and infrared camera and image receptor that is ergonomically designed for surgeons and physicians treating disorders of the extremities. The student team’s objective was to design a robotic arm to flexibly manipulate the Micro C emitter during surgeries.
The Capstone Design course is a pinnacle course offered to undergraduate engineering students at the Georgia Institute of Technology. It provides students the opportunity to work on real-world, interdisciplinary challenges proposed by industrial and research project sponsors. They learn and apply the engineering design process: defining functional requirements, conceptualization, analysis, identifying risks and countermeasures, selection, and physical prototyping. The students showcase their efforts at the “Capstone Design Expo”, this year held on April 25th at Georgia Tech’s McCamish Pavilion. In addition to competing for recognition and cash prizes, they get exposure to potential employers while learning how to pitch their projects and answer tough questions about it, much like they might do as future tech entrepreneurs.
The Micro C-sponsored students who won the top prize in the Interdisciplinary Team category are from two engineering disciplines. They are Haoli Du and Dhara Patel – Biomedical Engineering majors and Aman Bendi, Minh Tran, and Quynh Tran – Mechanical Engineering majors. The X-FIVES team, as they branded themselves, described their project as follows: “The MICRA (Micro-C Robotic Arm) is ceiling mounted and will hold, move, and position our sponsor’s x-ray machine. The MICRA allows the surgeon to take x-rays without needing the assistance of a technician and then can be retracted back into the ceiling, thus reducing the amount of time and effort needed to take an x-ray during surgery.”
The Micro C Co-Founders gave the team members valuable guidance throughout the project. Dr. Kolovich provided them with the necessary clinical information and enabled them to observe actual surgical procedures, in which the Micro C would replace existing older imaging technology. Kolovich remarked, “We welcomed mentoring a Georgia Tech team with a fresh perspective and access to cutting edge engineering technologies.” Evan Ruff tutored them through building a prototype device, going through the freedom to operate exercise, and conducting market research. As a sponsor the company funded the parts and materials the team required.
For Kolovich and Ruff, Georgia Tech Engineering alums, the Capstone Design project was a familiar undergraduate engineering experience. As senior engineering students, the two had teamed up to build a video picture frame that, according to Ruff, was “awful”. He adds, “Now thirteen years later we were able to sponsor and mentor five students as they tackled a real world challenge for our own company, Micro C.” He added, “We look forward to participating next year and to recruiting engineering talent from Georgia Tech, our alma mater.”
About Micro C™
Micro C™ is a groundbreaking medical imaging solution designed for surgeons and physicians treating disorders of the extremities that combines a compact, hand-held X-ray and digital still, video and infrared camera, sensor plate, software, service and consumables. It is designed to deliver greater accuracy, clarity, safety, speed, and integration, replacing 60-year-old x-ray and fluoroscopy equipment that is bulky, expensive and less safe. The Co-Founders and inventors are Greg Kolovich MD/MPH, orthopedic surgeon and Chief Medical Officer and Evan Ruff, Chief Executive Officer.