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The Audacity of New Ideas: MicaPlex Incubators Advance Medical Technology and More

THE EMBRY-RIDDLE NEWS ROOM / GINGER PINHOLSTER / SEP 15, 2017, 10:36 AM

Nurse-anesthetist Kristi Myers was suctioning blood and vomit from a patient 21 years ago when she looked at the medical device in her hand — the ubiquitous Yankauer suction instrument — and wondered where to stash it. “Everybody tries to use the package to contain the used Yankauer suction tip, but it falls off, so you stick it under the patient’s pillow or mattress, or you leave it on a countertop,” Myers explains. 

Nearly 94 percent of all tonsil suction devices are teeming with bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant organisms, 24 hours after use, research shows. Myers realized, given the risk of healthcare-acquired infections, that the haphazard placement of used suction tips was a significant problem. 

Enter the Yankaddy®. A disposable holster for the Yankauer suction instrument, Myers’ invention features an adjustable arm and a spring clamp that latches onto bedrails, counters and equipment. After Myers secured patent-pending status, Myers Devices LLC gained support from the John Mica Engineering and Aerospace Innovation Complex (MicaPlex) at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach Campus in Florida, where she became an incubator tenant.

Other MicaPlex incubators are pursuing equally audacious ideas. By supporting entrepreneurs, Embry-Riddle hopes to “speed innovation and generate meaningful, high-paying jobs for Volusia County,” says Rodney Cruise, senior vice president for administration and planning.