San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.345.1 - 25.345.13
Controlled Drug Delivery from Alginate Spheres in Design-Based Learning CourseEngineering design is the central concept driving our engineering curriculum and the broader practice ofengineering. Unfortunately, design concepts are typically not introduced in Biomedical Engineering atthe university level until the senior year. While students have been exposed to the scientific method sincegrade school, many of these students reach their senior year in college surprised to find out that a designmethod also exists. Design is characterized by an iterative sequence of steps that involve identifying aneed, defining the problem, developing solutions, evaluating solutions, and communicating results.Surveyed exiting seniors consistently request introduction to design earlier in their academic experience.Earlier introduction to design has also recently been recognized as a retention tool of engineering students(Monroe et al., Int J Eng Ed, 2006) because they are able to understand the dynamic and creative nature ofengineering, a topic often lost in the first two years of engineering. Increasing enrollment and retention inengineering has been a major focus of the National Science Foundation in an effort to keep the UnitedStates technologically competitive.Controlled drug delivery is an important application of biomedical engineering incorporating key aspectsof mass transport, physiology, and biomaterials. This paper reports the design, implementation, andoutcomes of a design-based laboratory course featuring experiments in biomaterials design and controlleddrug delivery. This lab segment, which spanned five laboratory sections and four 1 hour lectures, led thestudents through the design, synthesis, and characterization of a particle-based matrix drug deliverydevice using ionically-crosslinked alginate spheres (1-5 mm diameter) and several model drugs,fluorescein, tartrazine, and erythrosin A. The students were tasked with describing a system that couldprovide long-term drug release. Through course instruction and group discussion, they were led towardusing particles loaded with a drug. The experimental portion of the segment included the synthesis ofcrosslinked alginate spheres of differing sizes, the sizing of the spheres using microscopy and ImageJ, theloading of a model drug into the spheres using equilibrium partitioning, the release of the dye, and finallythe quantification of the dye using absorbance on a UV/Vis plate reader. This information was used tocalculate the diffusion coefficients of each dye and qualitatively interpret the results as a function of dyemolecular weight and particle size. A common theme throughout these experiments was that the studentteams had to investigate what route was necessary to complete the final design objective.The main method of assessment of the students was the evaluation of their laboratory notebooks. Duringeach session, the students were required to record everything in their notebooks, including their methods,observations, and answers to questions posed by the professor. Some of these questions involved internetand literature searches, whereas others required calculations or original thoughts.Ultimately, this course is an interesting approach to provide the first-year students an overview of whatthe biomedical engineering field encompasses by providing hands-on experience in several different areasof research and getting the students excited about their field of study.
Marek, S. R., & Liechty, W., & Tunnell, J. W. (2012, June), Controlled Drug Delivery from Alginate Spheres in Design-based Learning Course Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/21103
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