Brace Yourself! A Redesigned Scoliosis Brace

A Brandeis Innovation

Ingrid Marko, Luke Buquicchio, Megan Robidas, Chiquita McCoy-Crisp, Dorothee Kern (PI)

Brandeis University

Product Description

The ModiBrace (patent pending) is a modifiable back brace designed to offer improved scoliosis treatment. The brace can be easily adjusted to precisely target and correct curvature in the spine. The quick customizability of the brace results in the most accurate treatment of scoliosis possible. The easy modification is due to three adjustable bands in the brace that can be changed throughout the treatment period. The ModiBrace is primarily made for children and adolescents diagnosed with scoliosis and is the only brace that can grow along with them!

Interviews with orthopedic surgeons showed that current back braces do not have high rates of success in treating scoliosis and most adolescent patients require 2-3 braces throughout their period of growth. These braces are manufactured according to an old-fashioned mold process that can take up to a month. An adjustable brace model will eliminate manufacturing delays with the ability to be mass produced as well as allow adolescent scoliosis patients to use one brace throughout puberty. Additionally, the brace will be designed to offer more comfort, adjustability, and be more aesthetically pleasing than other braces. The ModiBrace will improve the quality of life for patients with scoliosis and will be released in 2020.

Team

Ingrid Marko

(B.S. Worcester Polytechnic Institute)

CEO, PhD candidate (Brandeis University)

Ingrid is a student at Brandeis University in the Biochemistry and Biophysics Ph.D program. She works in Dr. Dorothee Kern’s lab studying enzyme dynamics. Motion is an important factor in both biochemistry and biomedical engineering. The ModiBrace was developed to incorporate motion into a static medical device. Ingrid was diagnosed with scoliosis as a child and endured a long 6 year treatment period that later inspired her to design a new type of back brace. Her experience with scoliosis motivated her to make the ModiBrace to provide children and adolescents the possibility of a treatment that can improve or correct their scoliosis and enhance their quality of life.

Luke Buquicchio

(B.S. Worcester Polytechnic Institute)

CTO, PhD candidate (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)

Luke is a student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the Data Science Ph.D program. Luke is interested in incorporating data analysis and machine learning techniques with the healthcare industry. His research project at WPI is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), aims to use “smartphone biomarkers” and machine learning to create an early warning system for soldiers and veterans who may be suffering from traumatic brain injuries. Luke is also passionate about improving treatment available for scoliosis and is serving as the head of research and technology for Modibrace.

Megan Robidas

(B.S. Worcester Polytechnic Institute)

Graduate Researcher (Brandeis University)

Megan is a student at Brandeis University in the dual MBA and MS Biotechnology program. Megan is interested in pursuing a career in healthcare management. Her work for the ModiBrace project was based on market analysis. Megan developed a value proposition and business model canvas for the ModiBrace to reflect the opportunity of this adjustable brace in comparison to other braces currently available.

Chiquita McCoy-Crisp

Undergraduate Researcher (Brandeis University)

Chiquita is a student at at Brandeis University pursuing a BS in Biochemistry. Chiquita also works in Dr. Dorothee Kern’s lab studying enzymatic evolution. She is interested in a medical career as a surgeon. Chiquita is currently working on making models of the ModiBrace and using 3D printing to produce them.