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Dysphagia Cup 

Biomedical Engineering Capstone 

Fall 2023 - Ongoing (2024) 

This project focuses on redesigning a drinking device for patients suffering with dysphagia and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). Simply explained, these patients have difficulty swallowing liquids, as well suffer from impulsivity causing them to drink suddenly and choke. 

The inspiration for this Project came from Dr. Edward A. Burton, who is also giving us feedback throughout this project. The wife of one of his patients suffering from Dysphagia found she was able to get her husband to drink safely if she pinched his straw between small sips. Dr. Burton came to CMU on her behalf looking for a better solution.


Our goal is to design a cup that only delivers a set bolus of fluid at a time, and can be locked by a caretaker to improve quality of life and drinking independence of the patient. 


As a designer, I worked alongside engineers as an advocate for the patient. My responsibilities included setting design goals, presentation, mechanism functionality, as well as prototyping.

Meet the team:

Evette LaComb - Design 

Stanley (Yu-Hin) IP - Design  

Emily Lannen - Chemical E.

Timothy Yang - Biomed, Material E.

Christina Tavlarakis - Biomed E.

Erin Magid - Biomed, Mechanical E.  

Somya Pathak - Biomed, Electrical E. 

Zoe Phares - Biomed, Mechanical E.

Prototype 0:


Original design with electronic compartment in the bottom and cup holder base.