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Winner - Gold
Competition: Spark:Spring Student
Designer: Maryam Nuru
Design Type: Health & Medical
Company / Organization / School: Purdue University
Team Members: Maryam Nuru, Maria del Mar Davila, Bethany Balash & Renxiang Tang
Infants born prematurely or with certain health conditions may require additional calories to ensure healthy development. The milk they consume must be fortified to achieve this however, fortification is not currently individualized per the infant’s needs and the mother’s breast milk content. A significant portion of the calories in each ounce of breast milk are contributed from fat, thus it would be important to know the calories from fat in the breast milk to be able to provide individualized fortification. The team’s solution to this problem is NUTRIX; an affordable, accurate, and portable breast milk analyzer. The device consists of a reusable tube to contain the milk sample, a screen displaying kilocalories per ounce from fat secured in an outer shell, which houses the electrical components. It functions by sending an electrical current through the milk sample, measuring the sample’s impedance, correlating the impedance values to grams of fat, translating the grams into calories from fat through the use of a standard curve, and outputting the reading to the user on the screen. Overall, Nutrix will provide an affordable and portable option for providing targeted breast milk fortification to improve premature infant outcomes without sacrificing accuracy.