Chemotherapy at home: Four undergraduates are finalists in the Collegiate Inventors Competition

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Four Harvard College undergraduates who invented a chemotherapy patch have been named finalists in the national Collegiate Inventors Competition.

Nikhil Mehandru ’15, Alydaar Rangwala ’15, Aaron Perez ’15, and Brandon Sim ’15, creators of the ChemoPatch, are one of six undergraduate teams selected to present their inventions to a panel of expert judges at the United States Patent and Trademark Office near Washington, D.C., on November 11. The competition, operated by Invent Now and the National Inventors Hall of Fame, serves as a national platform for showcasing emerging ideas and technologies that will benefit society in the future.

The Harvard team’s invention is a low-cost, disposable patch that electronically delivers to cancer patients a precise formulation of up to three chemotherapy drugs at specific intervals. By reducing the number of required hospital visits, the ChemoPatch is designed to expand access to early-stage cancer treatment.

“It has the potential to really improve cancer treatment and benefit cancer patients,” says the students’ adviser, Sujata Bhatia, assistant director for undergraduate studies in biomedical engineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). “The ChemoPatch will make treatment more cost-effective, less error-prone, and more convenient for cancer patients. This will ultimately enable multidrug, targeted cancer treatment regimens and improve patient compliance.”