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Development and Delivery of a Physiological Transport Phenomena Course

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Emerging Areas: Biotechnology, Microtechnology, and Energy

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.466.1 - 22.466.10



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Paper Authors


Arthur Felse Northwestern University

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Dr. P. Arthur Felse is a Lecturer in the Master of Biotechnology Program and the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering at Northwestern University. Before joining Northwestern University, Dr. Felse completed his post-doctoral training at the New York University's Polytechnic Institute where he was awarded a NSF fellowship. He and his colleagues at the Polytechnic Institute received the EPA’s Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for their work on mild and selective polymerizations using lipases. Dr. Felse is a member of the American Chemical Society and the American Society for Engineering Education.

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Development and Delivery of a Physiological Transport Phenomena CourseTransport phenomena principles are applied in many areas of biomedicine, especially thoserelating to the functioning of human body. There are several reasons to study transport processesin living systems: (i) To better understand the physiological functions of the human body, (ii) todiagnose pathological conditions which are typically reflected by changes in transport processes,and (iii) to develop instrumentation and intervention technologies for therapies. As more andmore chemical engineers get involved in biomedical process development and in biomedicalresearch, a course in physiological transport phenomena is necessary and appropriate.The intrinsic challenge in developing a physiological transport phenomena course is theintegration of fundamental transport principles and the structure, function and physiology of thehuman body. A unified approach is necessary to teach transport fundamentals in a biomedicalcontext. A particular challenge in this unified approach is developing and delivering coursematerials that provide an immediate relationship between physiological processes and transportprocesses.This paper will discuss some experiences in developing an integrated physiological transportphenomena course that is targeted to students at the junior to graduate level. Transportphenomena and physiology were taught concomitantly thus instantly establishing the connectionbetween these two disciples. Several instructional methods adapted from medical educationprograms will be discussed in this paper. The course content included a wide a variety of topicsranging from cellular transport processes to transport in organs and tissues to transport underpathological conditions to transport in biomedical devices. Instructional materials for this courseincluded parts of multiple textbooks, several journal articles and web resources. Students wereactively engaged in peer instruction through weekly journal club discussions.Despite the intense cross-disciplinary nature of this course, it is consistent with several ABEToutcome requirements. Hence the “a - k” program outcomes were used to evaluate this course.Students were evaluated through traditional homework assignments and exams and through non-traditional methods such participation in journal club discussions, project work and peerevaluation. This paper will discuss future plans for this course which include: (i) Guest lecturesby medical school faculty on physiology topics, and (ii) annotating currently available virtualphysiology education modules with transport phenomena concepts.

Felse, A. (2011, June), Development and Delivery of a Physiological Transport Phenomena Course Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17747

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