UNC team wins innovation competition

A team of Carolina students developing what they say will be a less painful treatment for sufferers of hyperhidrosis has taken the top prize at the third annual Emerging Issues Prize for Innovation.

The Carolina team includes Cameron Musler, a UNC alumnus who came up with the idea for the device, along with UNC students Justin Watson, Jacob Wang, Michael Wilson and Sahar Kazemzadeh. They competed against teams from UNC-Charlotte, Davidson College, N.C. State and Wake Forest.

The contest, hosted by the Institute for Emerging Issues at NC State University, challenges students across the state to work creatively and collaboratively to come up with an innovative product or tool that will benefit their communities.

The Carolina team is developing a product called No Sweat, a non-invasive device that the team says has the potential to help sufferers of hyperhidrosis and other conditions requiring Iontophoresis treatment.

Iontophoresis is a medical technique that uses an electric current to deliver medicine through the skin, says Julian Wooten, a UNC alumnus and No Sweat’s Emerging Issues team mentor. It’s non-invasive, avoids systemic side-effects and offers a range of treatment options. The problem with the current therapy is that it can often be painful, higher doses of the drug being administered may be necessary and long treatment can often result in burns and lesions, Wooten says. 

No Sweat is a self-contained Iontophoresis device that differs from the others because it allows for specific control over water temperature. The hot water that is produced within the device will open skin pores to deliver the medicine. Wooten says this will lead to faster medical treatments and lower doses of drugs. 

“It is a painless, more efficient way to treat people,” says Wooten. “There is a huge population of people that can really benefit from No Sweat.”

After the team won the 2013 Prize for Innovation, it found a new mentor in Phill Wilson, a local entrepreneur with experience in manufacturing.

As the winner of the contest, the team won $6,000 for product development and a consultation with Louis Foreman, founder and chief executive of Enventys, an integrated product design and engineering firm.

Read more at the Institute of Emerging Issues.

Published February 8, 2013. Updated February 25, 2013.