June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.198.1 - 24.198.9
Artificial Organs Leading to Real Engineering Learning [Work-in-Progress]Examined at a holistic level, the human body is composed of unit operations maintaininga steady state known as homeostasis. Many of these unit operations have engineeringanalogs. These parallels are explored readily for pedagogical purposes, either as novelproblems or as hands-on tools for enhancing conceptual knowledge. In this paper, wepresent two strategies for using the study of artificial organs in chemical engineeringcourses at XXXX University.The first strategy promotes self-guided discovery and design through a semester-longproject. This strategy has been implemented into a graduate and senior level electivecourse at XXXX University. In the beginning of the semester, each student group selectsan existing artificial organ. Students are then challenged to research the organ payingattention to the engineering aspects needed to create the organ artificially, and to proposean innovative design to address at least one of the outstanding challenges. These projectsprovide opportunities for open-ended problem solving, collaborative learning and design,and the application of chemical engineering principles to novel problems. This paperdescribes the project, sample student solutions, and student feedback.The second strategy involves the development of laboratory experiments that mimicartificial organs in order to reinforce engineering principles. Faculty at XXXXUniversity are developing a set of modules focusing on various artificial organs. In thispaper, we highlight the work on the thermoregulatory properties of artificial skin.Human skin contains incredible networks of microcapillaries that, in addition todelivering nutrients, enhance heat exchange between the body core and the environmentas a result of increased surface area. In this work, we have created an artificialmicrocapillary network by encapsulating cotton candy in an elastomer. We are currentlyadapting this as a laboratory exercise where students will investigate conductive andconvective heat transfer in this networked path. The objective of this laboratory activityis to reinforce the importance of heat transfer surface area. In this paper, we present thelaboratory activity and our progress in adapting the activity in chemical and mechanicalengineering heat transfer courses.
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