msnbc News   |  May 05, 2013

What's the Right Dose Syringe Clip?

The “Big Idea” – Rice University bioengineering professors Maria Oden and Rebecca Richards-Kortum join MSNBC’s Craig Melvin to talk about the Right Dose Syringe Clip.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> making sure your child gets the right dose of medicine, that's today's big idea . students at an engineering design initiative called beyond traditional borders at rice university , they developed this device that you see on your screen right now. it helps solve dosing problems and will likely save a lot of lives as well. our next guest just won the 2013 $100,000 award for this thing, mit award for global innovation, rice university bioengineering professors maria owe den, rebecca richards cordham, good to have you here. thanks for being here. really excited about this idea.

>> thank you.

>> you speak in stereo, i love it. i love t maria , let me start with you, i know you both invented this dose right syringe clip. it looks like an l-shaped plastic gizmo. how does it work, in the simplest of terms?

>> sure. so, it sticks in the back of the -- i actually have one here. the clip, looks a little bit like a shepherd's crook, sticks in the very back of the syringe and locks in place and then when you draw up the syringe, it doesn't allow you to draw more than the prescribed dose of medication.

>> go ahead, maria , i didn't mean to cut you off.

>> this particular clip allows someone to draw up 3 1/2 milliliters of fluid, so, every time you draw run the medication, you will get 3 1/2 milliliters of fluid.

>> rebecca , how was this born? where did you see the need?

>> so we work with physicians who are providing care to hiv-positive children in africa. and one of the challenges that they face is making sure that the caregivers provide the correct dosage of antiretroviral medications, and so they asked our students to help design a technology to improve the accuracy of dosing liquid medicine. and we asign that as a design project to our students. maria , what's -- i also understand that you guys run a program at rice, again, it's called beyond traditional borders, how does this -- how does the dose right syringe, the clip fit into the larger program?

>> sure, so the program includes a series of six courses that students in any major at rice university can take. and if they complete these six courses, they get a miner global health technologies and all of the courses that they take include a design project, so they are actually being asked to take challenges that are provided to us from physicians and nurses that deliver health care in very low resource setting, we provide these challenges to the students and we ask them to work in teams to solve those problems. so pretty much every one of the courses that they take, they are doing a design project such as this.

>> i understand, rebecca , that you guys have developed a low-cost continuous positive airway pressure system to help babies that are born with immature lungs as well as a portable field microscope to quickly born with undeveloped lungs, and something to diagnose disease diseases. you were awarded the mit award for global innovation. big con gratz on that. what does the award mean for both of you.

>> i think for both of us it's a recognition of all of the team of stupts and the team of faculty and physicians have dedicated toward improving health in some of the poorest parts of the world. we're going to donate the prize to the hospital that we've worked with for many years to renovate the nursery for premature babies and allow it to serve as a hub of innovations to continue the development of these technologies.

>> that's fantastic. you guys are going to donate the prize to a hospital in mill law we. when you go back, send us some pictures. we'd love to have you back. marie and rebecca , rice university prof fes sores with saturday's big idea . when we