Filling the need for organ phantoms in surgical practice
We aim to design synthetic organ models to advance surgical preparation and give surgical students a humane, affordable, and accessible tool to practice with.
The University of Illinois Biomedical Engineering Society is pitched a cardiac imaging phantom project by Dr. Wawrzyniec Dobrucki. Hiba Shahid helms the project and a host of primarily bioengineering students join the team.
Having studied heart phantoms available on the market, the team begins designing prototypic designs to address shortcomings in cost-efficiency, cross-platform imaging capabilities, and dynamic reconstitution of heart movement. Materials are explored for single heart ventricle model fabrication, and the pumping system begins development.
The stepper motor driving the pumping apparatus is programmed to individual heart pulse waveforms, and the team’s progress is presented at UIUC’s annual Engineering Open House.
PhantomCor travels to the 2016 Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Annual Meeting for both a poster presentation and a booth presentation with the UIUC BIOE department.
The team presents at the Engineering Open House once again and is recognized as the Most Innovative project exhibited. PhantomCor also competes in the Cozad New Venture Competition, UIUC’s flagship entrepreneurship competition; placing 3rd amidst 100+ pitched ideas and projects, PhantomCor is awarded lab space, legal services, and prize money.
PhantomCor officially incorporates to become a startup!
PhantomCor returns to the BMES Annual Meeting for an oral presentation by Dr. Dobrucki, wins the UIUC Technology Entrepreneur Center’s Illinideas pitching competition, and showcases its progress through the new Carle-Illinois College of Medicine as an example of the synthesis of healthcare and technology.
The team connects with industry leaders in cardiac phantom technology at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Annual Meeting and is featured by the Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology.
The PhantomCor team expands, bringing on three new members: a Mechanical Engineering Intern (Chris Chong), a Staff Engineering Intern (Rena Kanegae), and a Marketing Intern (Emma Lee). PhantomCor is also selected as a finalist for the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation’s Student Startup Award.
PhantomCor is selected to participate in the iVenture Accelerator, a student startup incubator at the University of Illinois! CEO Hiba Shahid and VP of R&D Teresa Yang spend the summer developing PhantomCor’s business model and connecting with entrepreneurship resources in Chicago.
The team is accepted to the National I-Corps Program! Hiba and Teresa begin connecting with and documenting customer needs, and they travel to Austin, TX, for mentorship on startup development.
After conducting extensive customer discovery interviews, the team decides to pivot its focus from developing heart phantoms for imaging machine calibration and cardiac education to developing phantoms for several organ systems and with a focus on surgical practice and training.
The team restructures itself into two major avenues of focus, the first to continue iterating on our cardiac phantom design and the second to investigate liver phantom design. The team also begins to explore how bleeding could be simulated from phantom models to aid with surgical practice.