Optimized & Subject-Customized Breast Pump

Unmet Medical Need:  Breastfeeding is widely accepted as the optimal method of feeding infants, providing critical nutrients and immunities from the mother. Some mothers experience breastfeeding problems, others need to maintain breastfeeding in the face of mother-infant separation and especially when returning to employment. Current breast pumps and bottle nipples do a poor job of mimicking natural breastfeeding. Furthermore, the highest quality devices are not covered by basic insurance, leaving a sizable portion of the target demographic with pumps that deliver suboptimal performance.

Envisioned Healthcare Product: Based on a comprehensive study of the biomechanics of breastfeeding, the Breast Pump team developed new technologies that lead to new devices that can mimic the infant’s normal suckling to improve breast pumps and alternate feeding. These inventions can also be utilized for diagnosis of breastfeeding complications, as well as allow for greater product customization, as each device can be tailored to mother’s breast and nipple characteristics. 

Stage of Development:  Prototype Testing

Collaborative Research Team:  David Elad and Catherine Watson Genna

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Columbia-Coulter Funding Cycle: 2014-2015