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Board 5: WIP: An Interdisciplinary Project Development Pipeline Connecting Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering and Medicine Students

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2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

Biomedical Engineering Division (BED) Poster Session

Tagged Division

Biomedical Engineering Division (BED)

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Paper Authors


Anthony E. Felder University of Illinois at Chicago Orcid 16x16

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Anthony's current focus is on engineering education and its restructuring to better meet the diverse needs of students and industries. Anthony is also active in ophthalmology research for the multimodal imaging of retinal oxygenation and novel medical device design.

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Michael Gordon Browne University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Biomedical Engineering

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Clinical Assistant Professor teaching engineering design, medical device quality and regulatory processes, innovation, and entrepreneurship to University of Illinois at Chicago Biomedical Engineering Students and Medical Students the University of Illinois College of Medicine Innovation Medicine Program. Research interests focus on the emulation of realistic medical device design in education and the quality assessment of educational design projects for between-project comparisons.

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Miiri Kotche University of Illinois Chicago

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Miiri Kotche is the Richard and Loan Hill Clinical Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Illinois Chicago and currently serves as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs in Engineering. Her research interests center on experiential learning, interdisciplinary collaboration, and promoting biomedical engineering through high school science teacher professional development.

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Modern engineers need to match technical competence with global and competitive awareness. For biomedical engineers (BMEs), efforts to support this require understanding healthcare needs, capacity for commercialization, and processes for innovation. To meet this goal, we are establishing an interdisciplinary pipeline for student-driven innovation. This work encompasses a comprehensive curriculum across disciplines to drive longitudinal project development and innovation. Our first aim is to enhance senior design (SD) project preparedness by both redesigning our interdisciplinary Clinical Immersion Program (CIP) to identify and validate clinical needs using the IDEO innovation framework and introducing a new course to enhance students’ prototyping skills. Needs fully validated by BME and first-year medical students in our summer CIP ensures project development is aligned with the ability to commercialize a product, and enhanced student prototyping skills support realistic project development with enhanced fidelity. Together these efforts enable our second aim, which is to leverage interdisciplinary collaboration to enhance medtech device design by revising the undergraduate BME SD courses to incorporate the same medical students from the CIP. Moreover, the SD course will accept projects based on validated needs from CIP, which enables accelerated pacing and inclusion of both engineering design verification and validation. Projects from SD are then transitioned for further development to the same medical students who originally participated in CIP with their own required co-curricular capstone course. Continuing projects from CIP to SD and then to medical capstone has substantial benefit including the ability to retain technical progress and pursue further development that would not otherwise be possible by one capstone experience alone (e.g., publication, execution of limited studies, filing of intellectual property). In an initial implementation, demonstrating a project that transitioned through this interdisciplinary pipeline, a need related to the acquisition of tear film fluids was first identified in CIP and then transitioned to SD for technical development. The BME students rendered a functional prototype which the medical students further developed during their medical capstone. In a more methodical implementation of the pipeline in the summer of 2022, three of five proposals from CIP were transitioned into SD. Of these projects, two retained BME students from CIP. Each CIP project in SD was also benefited from comprehensive documentation. Ultimately, this distribution of projects will establish four comparative assessment groups in SD defined by the permutations between projects originating from CIP or traditional solicitation, and students having participated or not in CIP. We plan to evaluate the effects of these groups and participation in the prototyping class on project outcomes in SD and medical capstone with continued data collected for longer-term assessment. As demonstrated by our initial implementation, this pipeline has the potential to enable significant student-driven innovation.

Felder, A. E., & Browne, M. G., & Kotche, M. (2023, June), Board 5: WIP: An Interdisciplinary Project Development Pipeline Connecting Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering and Medicine Students Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--42830

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