Devon

Plymouth graduate wins $35,000 for syringe design

Oliver Blanchard with his syringe prototype
Image caption Mr Blanchard hopes to return to India in the summer to further research and develop his winning product

A Devon graduate who designed a syringe that cannot be re-used has won $35,000 (£22,500) in a global competition.

Oliver Blanchard, 20, who studied at Plymouth University, entered the India Future of Change contest, competing against more than 750 entrants.

His Sachet Syringe was designed so that a cap locks in place over the needle once the drug has been injected.

Mr Blanchard, health care category winner, will travel to India in March for an award ceremony.

He will then go back to the country in the summer to develop his product.

More than 760 designers from 50 countries entered the competition, which the product design student from Bournemouth, went on to win.

"I was short-listed down to the final 50 and then the final 10 and they flew us out to New Delhi and I was lucky enough to win," said Mr Blanchard.

His winning idea was a simplified version of a regular syringe.

"I began investigating how syringes were used around the world, and I discovered that every year 1.3 million people die from the re-use of dirty syringes in healthcare environments in developing nations," Mr Blanchard continued.

"The idea is there's a pre-filled medical sachet which attaches to a needle and then once the drug is administered a shroud covers the needle and locks into place so it can't be re-used.

"This eradicates the risk of diseases being spread, and I believe it could help millions of people worldwide."

He said that while similar syringes were already on the market his had been designed to use about 50% less plastic, dropping manufacturing costs from 3.25 pence to 1.74 pence.

He said he plans to use his winnings to develop the product and is hoping to work with a consultancy company in India next year.

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