(June 27, 2013 By ANDREW MOORE, Reporter with Silicon Hills News)
Leto Solutions won first place in the UTSA CITE $100,000 Student Technology Venture Competition[/caption]Iraq war veteran Gary Walters lost his lower leg in an improvised explosive device explosion outside Baghdad in 2006. He now wears a prosthesis. Walters likes to stay active, but simply mowing his lawn can cause so much sweat buildup in his prosthesis that it quickly becomes un-wearable – causing his limb to slide around and get friction blisters. “If you get a good blister you might be out of your leg for a day or two. If that doesn’t heal and becomes a real sore, you might be out of your leg for a week or two,” said Walters. It’s a common problem for amputees but also an unsolved one, and the only solution Gary’s Prosthetist could suggest was to “put deodorant on the limb” to try and keep it dry. As a University of Texas at San Antonio undergraduate engineering student, Walters later pitched this problem in his capstone design class. Fellow engineers Austin Darius, Jake Montez, and David Schultz tackled the problem head on. Their solution – now named the Aquilonix prosthetic cooling system – is a prosthetic component that keeps an amputee’s limb dry even while active. The device is now the central product of new San Antonio medical startup Leto Solutions. The team, Leto Solutions, went on to win UTSA’s $100,000 Student Technology Venture Competition. The biannual competition is held by the Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship – or CITE. In the CITE program that precedes the competition, business students and engineering students come together to market a product – in this case the Aquilonix system — and form a viable business model as company.