Prototyping Marvels: MAR Designs Win 3rd Rothberg Catalyzer with Innovative Orthotic Device

October 21st, 2019

Published by Rothberg Catalyzer at Penn 

Penn Health-Tech is pleased to announce the winners of third Rothberg Catalyzer at Penn, made possible by Jonathan Rothberg and organized by Penn Health-Tech: MAR Designs, created by Rebecca Li (MEAM’23), Ariella Mansfield (MEAM’23), and Michael Sobrepera (MEAM’21). The Rothberg Catalyzer at Penn Makerthon was held on October 19th and 20th at the School of Engineering and Applied Science on the University of Pennsylvania campus. The weekend event is a two-day makerthon that challenges interdisciplinary student teams to prototype and pitch their medical devices in hopes of addressing an unmet clinical need. It represents the summit of a six-week incubator featuring three workshops, known as Design Studios.

MAR Designs wowed the audience and judges with their orthotic device that aims to improve motor function and treat/prevent spasticity in patients in children with Cerebral Palsy. Parents of children have previous reported that current devices cause substantial discomfort to their children, leading to lack of compliance and preventing patient eligibility for surgeries. MAR Designs has developed a device that dynamically straightens out the wrist, allowing for greater range of motion while the child is asleep. The team hopes to decrease discomfort while providing parents with affordable, effective options that bring balance between caregiver and parent.

MAR Designs was selected at the Rothberg Catalyzer at Penn Makerthon, which featured 33 teams comprised of approximately 130 students ideating and prototyping the future of the health technology. The teams spend the first day of the catalyzer drafting and developing their rough concepts and working in labs within Penn Engineering to construct their vision. The second day marks a day of pitching and demoing in front of a panel of invited judges, competing for $10,000 in cash to further develop their prototypes. Penn Health-Tech is proud to be a leader in the health devices and technology space.

The Rothberg Catalyzer marks the start of an exciting year of innovation in the Penn community. The students engaged in the Catalyzer go on to develop startups around their concepts using the many resources available within the Penn and Philadelphia entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The winners of the Rothberg Catalyzer are:

1. 1st Place: MAR Designs

2. 2nd Place: Team Splash

3. 3rd Place: ONE Scope

4. Pioneer Award: SchistoSpot

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