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Tuskegee University veterinarian acquires new patent for a medical device

December 20, 2021

Contact: Kawana McGough, Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing

Dr. Deidre Quinn-Gorham

Tuskegee University veterinary faculty member Dr. Deidre Quinn-Gorham is making it her mission to use a new patent to produce a multiple blade handle system for performing surgeries. Many surgical or medical procedures require the use of distinct types and sizes of scalpel blades which may also require the user to change to a different scalpel handle to accommodate those blades. Her new method may have proved helpful in being a “do-all” scalpel handle in the hands of a medical or veterinary medical professional.

Quinn-Gorham’s device, “Multiple Blade Handle System, also called the Manifold Scalpel Handle,” allows for an easier fit for a distinct size and type of scalpel blades to fit onto a single handle. She projects the new handle system will eliminate the need to use other individual handles.

“The handle idea was created from an experience that I had while performing a surgical procedure as a third-year veterinary student at Tuskegee University’s School (now College) of Veterinary Medicine,” explained Quinn-Gorham. “Midway through the surgery, the procedure required changing to a different sized scalpel blade that fit a different sized scalpel handle.”

Since then, Quinn-Gorham always had an idea for one scalpel handle that could conveniently fit diverse sizes and types of blades. This idea inspired her to experiment and create a few rough 3D designs. She then sought the expertise of one of her mentors in additive manufacturing (also known as 3D printing), aerospace engineer Dr. Sharanabasaweshwara Asundi. Asundi, in conjunction with one of his former students, Jimesh Bhagatji, further developed the design idea into a finalized drawing and then into a functional prototype.

“The Manifold can be produced in different models (i.e., double ends or with an extendable shaft), different types of materials such as metals, eco-friendly plastics for disposable use, and using different methods of production such as machining or 3D printing,” noted Quinn-Gorham.

Under the patent, commercially, the handle can be marketed and utilized in industries where scalpel handles are in high demand. The diversity of the handle’s use, production, and marketability will make it an asset to economic growth and technological advancement.

About the Inventors:

Dr. Deidre Quinn-Gorham, a native of Tuskegee, is a faculty member in the Department of Pathobiology at the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine. She is currently involved in various teaching and research activities in Parasitology, focusing on continuing her research on the environmental control of zoonotic small animal Hookworms. She has established a 3D printing lab within her department to incorporate 3D printing technology into the veterinary medical program. She aspires to teach this technology to veterinary students and have veterinary, and engineering students collaborate on 3D printing projects in veterinary medicine. Dr. Quinn-Gorham has remained active in using her vast and diverse background in technology to create several teaching animations, learning modules and provide technical support or consultation for various veterinary medical courses, including Parasitology. She is a three-time graduate from Tuskegee University, receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, a Master of Veterinary Science degree, and a Doctoral of Veterinary Medicine degree.

Dr. Sharanabasaweshwara Asundi, a native of India, is a Ph.D. from the University of Florida working as an Assistant Professor of Space Systems Engineering in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Old Dominion University (ODU). Currently, he is engaged in several teaching, and research activities focused on furthering the Space Systems Engineering Program at ODU. He has been involved in research collaboration with NASA Goddard as a Science Collaborator. He has been awarded grants by the U.S. Air Force, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture to research Magnetic Mapping of Pico/Nano/Micro-Satellites and study the impact of magnetic field exposure on plant germination, growth.

Jimesh Bhagatji, specializes in bringing ideas to life through constant innovation and is currently pursuing an M.S./Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Old Dominion University. Bhagatji is experienced in product development from the ideation phase to the qualification phase across a wide range of Industry from space-qualified systems to medical instruments and devices. He specializes in structure simulation of solid and fiber composites on various commercial CAE platforms.


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