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Board # 3 :An Engineering Student Project: Microfluidic-based Head Trauma Sensors

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Biomedical Division Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Michael G. Mauk Drexel University

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Michael Mauk is Assistant Professor in Drexel University's Engineering Technology program.

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Richard Chiou Drexel University

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Dr. Richard Chiou is Associate Professor within the Engineering Technology Department at Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA. He received his Ph.D. degree in the G.W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. His educational background is in manufacturing with an emphasis on mechatronics. In addition to his many years of industrial experience, he has taught many different engineering and technology courses at undergraduate and graduate levels. His tremendous research experience in manufacturing includes environmentally conscious manufacturing, Internet based robotics, and Web based quality. In the past years, he has been involved in sustainable manufacturing for maximizing energy and material recovery while minimizing environmental impact.

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Tamra Duke Drexel University

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Qayum Malik Drexel University

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Novel sensors enable and expand new industrial, environmental, and biomedical applications. Most sensors are based on electrical transducers. Alternatively, sensors based on flow in microfluidic channels formed on plastic ‘chips’ can also detect forces and torque, with visual or electrical readout. Students designed, fabricated, and tested simple, thumb-sized microfluidic sensors for deployment in helmets and other sports and protective equipment to detect excessive impact forces and torques. These sensors are based on inertial forces and torques exceeding a threshold level and thus actuating colored liquids through microfluidic channels formed in a small plastic chip. While design and fabrication of prototypes was relatively straightforward, testing the sensor elements proved more involved and challenging for students. Students constructed instrumented test rigs to simulate impacts and torques representative of various injurious events and situations. In addition to its potential for offering a low-cost and practical means of sensing dangerous impacts in sports and military operations, this project had many educational and instructive facets to engage students: literature and patent surveys, interactions with researchers and clinicians, assessment of risks, societal and human costs and benefits in various endeavors, as students developed new designs and approaches to gain some comparative advantage in a highly competitive and emerging area of medical sensors.

Mauk, M. G., & Chiou, R., & Duke, T., & Malik, Q. (2017, June), Board # 3 :An Engineering Student Project: Microfluidic-based Head Trauma Sensors Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27825

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