Virus-Repelling Plastic Wins Top Prize in "Create the Future" Contest

"RepelWrap" Technology Could Reduce the Spread of COVID-19


NEW YORK, Nov. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A research team at McMaster University has developed a self-cleaning surface that instantly repels viruses and bacteria – and could potentially prevent the transfer of superbugs (strains of bacteria resistant to most antibiotics). The transparent flexible film can be shrink-wrapped to fit onto door handles, railings, and other surfaces that act as magnets for bacteria. Inspired by the water-repellant lotus leaf, RepelWrap can be manufactured onto biodegradable and green plastic materials to alleviate concerns about sustainability and recyclability. RepelWrap has been awarded the Grand Prize of $20,000 in the 2020 "Create the Future" Design Contest, produced by SAE Media Group.

Leyla Soleymani, Co-inventor, said "I'm really thankful to the judges, and the contest sponsors for proving the opportunity for us to present our innovation to the world. We believe the recognition from this contest will provide us with tremendous opportunities in our efforts aimed at translating this innovation into a marketable product for improving health and wellbeing in our society."

Engineers and students from 60 countries submitted new product ideas to the contest, which was established in 2002 to recognize and reward engineering innovations that benefit humanity, the environment, and the economy. This year's contest was co-sponsored by COMSOL ( and Mouser Electronics ( Analog Devices and Intel were supporting sponsors.

"COMSOL is grateful for the opportunity to support innovators and their important work through the Create the Future Design Contest," said Bernt Nilsson, Senior VP of Marketing with COMSOL, Inc. "The need for innovation is more important now than ever before as we are fighting the worst pandemic in a century. Congratulations to all the winners and their much-needed solutions to challenges we are facing in healthcare, transportation, energy, and other crucial industries."

"We congratulate this year's winners and thank all of the entrants for their participation," said Kevin Hess, Mouser Senior Vice President of Marketing. "Mouser strives to empower innovation, and we are proud to sponsor the Create the Future Design Contest and its mission to foster and reward ingenuity."

In addition to the grand prize, first-place winners were named in seven categories and received HP workstation computers:

Aerospace & Defense
Niobium Connector
A self-insulating underwater connector technology that will not short out, corrode, or cause an electrical shock if touched while powered in harsh environments like saltwater.
Harvey Hack, James Windgassen, Keith Johanns, Megan Owens, Carrie Wheeler, Vincent Iorio
Tim Patterson, David Knuteson
Northrop Grumman, Annapolis, Maryland, United States

Low Noise Laser for LiDAR
MicroR has introduced a compact optical laser technology that improves the purity of a laser's color 1000x, enabling more precise distance measurement by LiDAR systems on autonomous vehicles.
John Jost, Nikolay Pavlov, Grigorii Likhachev, Prof. Tobias Kippenberg, Pierre-Yves Cattin
MicroRsystems, Lausanne, Switzerland

Consumer Products
Ring – Prosthetic Leg Grows Along with Children
An adjustable, custom-made prosthetic leg for transtibial amputee children in developing countries.
Snezana Jeremic
Komiric, Serbia

PrintIC – Flexible and Recyclable Integrated Circuits and Systems
PrintIC is a unique technology for the realization of integrated circuits and system made only with organic carbon-based materials and employing standard printing techniques.
Dr. Giorgio Dell'Erba, Dr. Andrea Perinot, Mr. Paolo Colpani –
FLEEP Technologies S.r.l., Milan, Italy

Radibond – Superior Assembly of Lightweight Materials for Transportation
A sustainable bonding technology, based on nanometer-thin coatings of polymer brushes, that provide ultra-strong and ultra-tight bonding between metals and challenging plastic or plastic composites used for automotive and aerospace applications.
Espen Hvidsten Dahl, Mikkel Kongsfelt
Radisurf ApS, Aarhus, Denmark

Medical – sponsored by Zeus (
A Chip Off the Old Box: Painless Defibrillation
A miniaturized implantable, wireless, battery-less pacing system that can painlessly deliver pacing to an unlimited number of locations on the heart.
Mehdi Razavi, M.D., Mathews John, MBE, Allison Post, Ph.D., Aydin Babakhani, Ph.D. –
Texas Heart Institute, Houston, Texas, United States

Sustainable Technologies/Future Energy
Flash Graphene
A new process that quickly and cheaply turns bulk quantities of just about any carbon material into valuable graphene flakes. With a flash of light, it can convert a ton of coal, waste food or plastic into graphene for a fraction of the cost used by other methods.
Duy X. Luong, Ksenia V. Bets, Wala Ali Algozeeb, Michael G. Stanford, Carter Kittrell, Weiyin Chen, Rodrigo V. Salvatierra, Muqing Ren, Emily A. McHugh, Paul A. Advincula, Zhe Wang, Mahesh Bhatt, Hua Guo, Vladimir Mancevski, Rouzbeh Shahsavari, Boris I. Yakobson & James M. Tour
Rice University, Houston, Texas, United States

Finalists were selected by senior editors at SAE Media Group, producer of the contest, and judged by an independent panel of design engineers. For more information, visit

COMSOL is a global provider of simulation software for product design and research to technical enterprises, research labs, and universities. Its COMSOL Multiphysics® product is an integrated software environment for creating physics-based models and simulation applications. COMSOL has 20 offices worldwide and extends its reach with a network of distributors. Visit

About Mouser Electronics
Mouser Electronics, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is an authorized semiconductor and electronic component distributor focused on New Product Introductions from its leading manufacturer partners. Serving the global electronic design engineer and buyer community, the global distributor's website,, is available in multiple languages and currencies and features more than 5 million products from over 1,100 manufacturer brands. Mouser offers 27 support locations worldwide to provide best-in-class customer service in local language, currency and time zone. The distributor ships to over 630,000 customers in 223 countries/territories from its 1 million-square-foot, state-of-the-art distribution facilities in the Dallas, Texas, metro area. For more information, visit

For Information Contact:
Kaitlyn Sommer
Director of Marketing
SAE Media Group
212-490-3999, ext. 5514

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