University of Virginia
First Place Winner
People's Choice Winner

In developing countries, advanced chronic wound care management is costly and usually inaccessible for many patients. Specifically, for diabetic patients, there is a heavy reliance on traditional gauzes as the current method of treatment for their chronic foot ulcers. However, this often results in low patient compliance, and additional complications or long-term infection.

Using data from laboratory research and extensive interviews with patients, we determined that the best-required solution for combating foot ulcers needs to integrate (what we have coined) the ABC's of chronic wound healing: Accelerate the healing of the wound, Block infections to the wound, and Comfort the wound. Our solution is Phoenix-Aid, a durable, cost-effective multilayer wound site dressing designed specifically to address the needs of diabetic foot ulcer patients.

Phoenix-Aid’s core technology comprises of a biocompatible five-layer cloth. Our product safely absorbs large amounts of exudate, and maintains a moist and oxygenated environment for accelerated healing, while protecting the wound from external pathogens through active and passive methods.

Our initial market focus will be positioned in South India, specifically Tamil Nadu. India has the largest diabetic population in the world, with over 60 million diabetics, a number estimated to double by 2030. In India, current tactics to combat infection involve a multi-step care process of bandages, gauze, and ointments. We seek to differentiate ourselves by creating a product with a single-step care process that contains the necessary ointments and adhesives already embedded so that patients and practitioners may change the dressing conveniently without difficulty.

Ashwinraj Karthikeyan
Aerospace Engineering