WVU Inventor Katherine Bomkamp Recognized By Glamour Magazine - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

WVU Inventor Katherine Bomkamp Recognized By Glamour Magazine

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MORGANTOWN -

This year when Glamour Magazine revealed its Top 10 Women in College, WVU students saw a familiar face.

For the second time Glamour honored Katherine Bomkamp, 21, for her work.

The political science major is turning heads in the medical world with her patented invention to help millions of people.

Growing up in a military household Bomkamp saw veterans struggling with phantom pains every day.

"Phantom pains is the person's non-existent limb," she said. "It's experienced differently by everyone, but is experienced by about 80 percent of the world's 10-million amputees."

So at 16 she had an idea. 

"My thinking was very simple, when I pull a muscle, I put heat on it, and I wanted to see if I could apply the same concept to treating phantom pain," Bomkamp said.

Research conducted in Europe supported her intuition, so five years later Bomkamp's "Pain Free Socket," is on its third prototype. The prosthetic uses concentrated heat on the damaged nerves, forcing the brain to concentrate on the heat rather than send signals to the missing limb.

"We're getting really overwhelmingly positive response. My story has been pretty much shared on four or five different continents by now, so we really have a global audience and we have a lot of people watching."

Fundraising for clinical testing is beginning and Bomkamp hopes in five years to have it on the market.

"I think there is a lot of technology that can be adapted to other disabilities as well. We've gotten a lot of requests from paraplegics, diabetics, and people who suffer from chronic pain to make adaptive devices as well," she said.

Being recognized by Glamour has booked up her already busy schedule. She has already visited New York, NY and will soon be off to Washing D.C.

The exposure is helping Bomkamp spread her message, one she hopes inspires other teens.

"At 16 it's a very difficult time in any teen's life, but if you have a valid idea, you really have to find the motivation to go out and do it, no matter what people are telling you," she said."