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Brain Surgery Device Developed with Help from Rose-Hulman Ventures being Featured on National Television

March 18, 2013

The NICO Myriad brain surgery device, developed, and manufactured by Indianapolis-based NICO Corporation with assistance from Rose-Hulman Ventures, will be featured on Monday, March 18, at 10 p.m. in the first episode of the new TNT cable network show, Monday Mornings.

       Nico Project
  Saving Lives: A former student intern at Rose-Hulman Ventures tests the NICO Corporation’s Myriad brain tumor removal system. The device is being adapted by surgeons throughout the U.S. because of its convenient size, weight and performance skills..

Television stars will use the device in a simulated operating room environment to save a baby with a hypothalamic hamartoma who is suffering from chronic laughing seizures. The script mirrors the story of Nico Bastolla, who NICO Corporation was named after and the first patient ever operated on the NICO Myriad.

“The series features what television thinks is the every-day life of neurosurgeons, with pumped up drama by the docs,” states a NICO press release.

The brain tumor removal system was a technological breakthrough refined with the help of Rose-Hulman Ventures’ project managers and student interns, and is now being used in 21 of U.S. News & World Report's top 40 neurosurgery hospitals. The device helped NICO Corporation win the most recent Health Care Heroes Award for Advancements in Health Care by the Indianapolis Business Journal.

“We’re doing some amazing things (at Rose-Hulman Ventures),” says Mitch Landess, Rose-Hulman Ventures’ manager of client programs. He adds that product development for brain surgery devices “is just phenomenal stuff.”

Brian Dougherty, Rose-Hulman Ventures’ engineering manager and project manager for the NICO Myriad work, adds that Myriad gives student interns unique real-world experiences and are saving lives every day.  “Imagine you are 20 years old, and right before you walk in to take an exam, you get a call from your boss telling you a device you’ve worked on for the last nine months has…saved the life of someone who wasn’t supposed to survive,” he states.

Dougherty, a 1993 electrical engineering alumnus, led another student team to help NICO develop its newest product, BrainPath, which has gained U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to be marketed in the United States. The device was taken from prototype to finished product in Rose-Hulman Ventures' labs.

James R. Baumgardt, a 1970 chemical engineering alumnus, is chairman of the board for the NICO Corporation. "We think we'll revolutionize the way brain surgery is done (through Myriad and BrianPath)," he says.

The Monday Mornings show, being broadcast at 10 p.m. on Mondays, is produced by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, neurosurgeon and CNN chief medical director. He is the author of the book Monday Mornings, which the series is based on.  It was Dr. Gupta who wrote the storyline using the NICO Myriad as he recognized the technology as new and innovative.