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Design And Prototype Of An Injection Location Indicator: A Senior Capstone Project And Multiparty Partnership

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

LABVIEW-Based Experiments and Robotics Laboratory

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.413.1 - 14.413.12



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Paper Authors

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Jason Yao East Carolina University Orcid 16x16

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Edwin Bartlett East Orthopedics

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Design and Prototype of an Injection Location Indicator: A Senior Capstone Project and Multi-Party Partnership


This paper presents a senior capstone project that was designed to explore the feasibility of using tissue flow impedance to indicate needle location to aid orthopedic injection. Four senior general engineering students designed and developed an instrument to prove this concept for the project client. Over the period of one year, the students experienced the entire process of a real-world engineering project, where they met the client to learn about the problem and discuss his needs; translated these needs into technical requirements; identified, evaluated and selected potential solutions; and implemented and tested the system. The prototype system consisted of a syringe equipped with a force sensor, a displacement sensor, an amplification circuit, and a laptop computer with a LabVIEW program. The LabVIEW program accomplishes data acquisition, converts force and displacement signals to pressure and flow rate, and calculates the tissue flow impedance. After the system was built, two categories of flow impedance data, when the need tip is located in the joints and the tendon, were collected from pig feet. Experimental results demonstrated that tissue flow impedance serves as a good indicator for needle tip locations. The project was financially supported by the university Office of Technology Transfer. This paper describes the technical aspects of the project and discusses the students’ experience, outcome assessment, and the multi-party partnership.


Three years after the General Engineering program was established at East Carolina University, the department had their first group of seniors. Given the “general” nature of the program, a broad variety of senior projects was made available to the students, from manufacturing process monitoring, building electricity conservation, to bus schedule efficiency examination, electrical system integration, and medical instrument design. While the capstone project ideas were first initiated by the faculty coordinator and external clients, the students had the opportunity to select their preferred project topic. Four students were assigned to a project that was designed to develop a system that can help to train medical students with orthopedic injection. The training system should be able to indicate whether the needle is at the proper location (joint cavity).

The project required students to go through the entire design process over a period of two semesters. The student formulated the client’s needs into attackable engineering problems, designed instrument circuits, developed data acquisition software with LabVIEW, and tested the integrated prototype system. Although the students experienced frustrations, they were excited about the opportunity to be able to work on this real-world project partnered with their client, Dr. Bartlett (an experienced orthopedist in town), and the Office of Technology Transfer at East Carolina University. The overall outcome of the project was good.

Yao, J., & Bartlett, E. (2009, June), Design And Prototype Of An Injection Location Indicator: A Senior Capstone Project And Multiparty Partnership Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5127

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