(SciTech Intern Jennifer Chmura and Manufacturing Supervisor and Biomedical Engineer Daniel Hoban)

A stent, for those who don’t know, is a tube that is cut in a way that allows it to expand within an artery or other parts of the body. Simply put, they’re used to open up obstructions. An issue that’s commonly faced with this medical device is the body’s natural reaction to reject foreign objects which causes the obstruction to reoccur. That’s why Peytant Solutions has developed an organic covering designed to encapsulate a stent with biomaterial that the body will accept while a patient is recovering.

SciTech Intern Jennifer Chmura, a graduate student studying biomedical engineering at the University of Minnesota, already had experience working with stents and even designed one for the brain before she secured her internship with Peytant Solutions this summer.

“We knew we needed the extra help,” said Daniel Hoban, a Manufacturing Supervisor and Biomedical Engineer at Peytant. “The fact that Jen had experience with that was great.”

The student becomes the teacher
Hoban also started his career at Peytant as a SciTech intern. After his internship in 2017, the company brought him on to work full time. Now he’s helping Chmura find her way in the biotech industry as well.

“I’m very happy being in the biomedical sector, especially working with a startup,” Hoban said.

Chmura agreed. She’d had two internships prior to this one, both at larger companies: Abbot (then St. Jude) and Vascular Solutions (now part of Teleflex). But, she said, she always wanted to work at a small company, “You can learn so much more there.”

Internship tip: document everything
As a CAD Technician intern, Chmura did a lot of work designing and updating Peytant’s 3D CAD files. She also assisted with making fixtures for their catheter process. One practice that proved really beneficial, she said, was keeping a daily journal. Chmura recorded everything she worked on so she could refer to it later.

Hoban agreed. He used the same practice when he was an intern, too. When you’re starting off, he said, “you think you know everything. The worst lie you can tell yourself is ‘I’ll remember that.’” Especially when working in the biomedical and medical device field, you don’t want to take any chances.

What’s next?
Of all the projects Chmura worked on this summer, her favorite was getting to build a catheter. Hoban’s most memorable moment, he said, was helping her figure it out.

After this internship, Chmura will be finishing her masters. From there, her future is open. Perhaps she’ll follow in Hoban’s footsteps and use her connection at Peytant to work there full time.

Other small businesses looking for affordable ways to host internships should apply for the SciTech Internship Program. Our new program year begins September 1, 2019. SciTech is a completely free to use resource designed to connect your company with the talent it needs while reimbursing you for half the wages they make, up to $2,500 per student hired. Learn more and apply online at SciTechmn.org