June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.200.1 - 14.200.32
An Integrated Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering Laboratory Course
Laboratory courses are an essential part of a successful undergraduate engineering curriculum. An integrated laboratory course was developed to provide undergraduates in biomedical engineering with the opportunity to make measurements on and interpret data from living systems. Through a combination of lectures and laboratory experiences, the students were exposed to five areas of biomedical engineering: cellular and molecular biotechnology, bioinstrumentation, bioimaging, biomaterials, and biomechanics. These areas were selected because they correspond to the biomedical engineering tracks at Carnegie Mellon University.
The cellular and molecular biotechnology module consists of two labs. The first is an introductory lab that consists of a pipetting exercise and practice of sterile technique in handling cells. The second lab involves transforming E. coli with a green fluorescent protein (GFP) plasmid, a common procedure in biological laboratories. The bioinstrumentation module incorporates data acquisition basics and the measurement and analysis of EKG (electrocardiography) signals. In the bioimaging module, the students collect biological images using an automated microscope. These images are then analyzed using both standard and customized MATLAB functions. The biomaterials module involves the fabrication of photopolymerizable monomers and adhesion peptides to make hydrogels of varying peptide concentrations. Changes in cell adhesion and spreading of NIH-3T3 (mouse fibroblast) cells on these hydrogels are then observed. In the biomechanics module, students measure and analyze EMG (electromyography) signals and relate force generation and limb movement to these signals.
This course also includes a research project. Students research how a technique presented in this course is used to develop a medical device, clinical therapy, or to study a biological process. Students present their projects as both a poster in a public setting, and in a written report.
This class has been taught to over 150 students to date over the last two years. This integrated approach has consistently received favorable course evaluations from students and faculty and meets several ABET criteria.
The Department of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University uses a track system to provide in-depth exposure to an area of biomedical engineering that complements the second major (Chemical Engineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering). Four tracks are offered:
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