Prototype of medical device used for screening tests developed by aMDI students, staff

November 9, 2021 (Volume 45, Number 6)
Article by Michele Coffill

portraits of, left, Brent Nowak, and Renzo Garza Motta, who is standing outside on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus

From left are Brent Nowak, executive director of aMDI, and student Renzo Garza Motta. They were part of a team that designed a working prototype of a scope that would improve screening tests for women.

Photo Credit: University Communications

Students and staff members at Grand Valley's applied Medical Device Institute (aMDI) developed a working prototype of a scope that would improve screening tests for women, like a pap smear.

The prototype of the FemScope, which is similar to an endoscope and a device that would replace the speculum during exams, was completed in September. 

Brent Nowak, executive director of aMDI, said the idea behind the device came from Marilyn Filter, an associate professor of nursing at the University of Michigan-Flint and longtime midwife. 

The FemScope team brought the technology to the team at UM Innovation Partnerships to assist with licensing and commercialization, then connected with aMDI after securing funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation's ADVANCE grant program.

"Over the years, aMDI has built a reputation of being able to take these early ideas and move them from invention to prototype to demonstrate technical feasibility and business viability," Nowak said. "The result is that it sets the stage for the entrepreneurs to attract investors." 

Renzo Garza Motta, an undergraduate student who is majoring in electrical engineering, worked on the FemScope last summer. Garza Motta, also a resident assistant, worked on prototyping, 3D modeling and 3D printing of the device. 

"As a team we went over multiple review iterations of the system to allow for improvements on earlier designs to become closer to designing and printing a minimal viable prototype," he said.

Garza Motta said he enjoyed his co-op experience at aMDI, adding that completing a project different from his emphasis in electrical engineering will help diversify his resume.

"I believe this project will showcase the versatility of my skills to future employers. I am proud of the work done for this project, and the level of satisfaction achieved with our client," Garza Motta said.



Across Campus

This article was last edited on November 9, 2021 at 12:58 p.m.

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