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Development Of Educational Materials For A Bioengineering Fundamentals Course

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.474.1 - 11.474.9



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Paper Authors


Ann Saterbak Rice University

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Ann Saterbak is Director of Laboratory Instruction and Lecturer in the Bioengineering Department at Rice University. She received her B.A. in Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry from Rice University in 1990 and her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in 1995. She conducted research and provided technical support within Shell Development Company from 1995 to 1999.

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Ka-yiu San Rice University

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Dr. San is a professor in the Departments of Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering at Rice University. Dr. San received his B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Rice University in 1978 and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 1981 and 1984, respectively. His research interests include genetic and metabolic engineering of microbial and plant cells, and modeling and optimization of bioreactors.

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Larry McIntire Georgia Institute of Technology

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Dr. McIntire is Professor and Chair of the Biomedical Engineering Department at Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. McIntire received his B.Ch.E. and M.S. degrees in chemical engineering from Cornell University in 1966 and his Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University in 1970. Dr. McIntire has edited two texts: Biotechnology - Science, Engineering and Ethical Challenges for the Twenty-First Century [Joseph Henry Press (NAS), 1996] and Frontiers in Tissue Engineering [Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd., 1998].

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

Development of Educational Materials for a Bioengineering Fundamentals Course


A significant effort has been made to develop educational materials for sophomore-level bioengineering and biomedical engineering students. The materials focus on the conservation laws and include: a textbook, a problem-based learning (PBL) module, a computer-based simulation, and a communications module.

The textbook, Bioengineering Fundamentals, which covers the conservation laws with applications in biological and medical systems, has been written. Its publication by Pearson- Prentice Hall is expected in 2006. The conservation laws of mass, energy, charge, and momentum form the foundation of engineering. Focusing on applications in biological systems to teach these conservation laws provides a new and unifying approach to the introductory, interdisciplinary fundamentals course in biomedical engineering departments.

Chapter 1 begins with a basic review of engineering calculations with an emphasis on elaborating physical variables, which are introduced in the context of different biomedical technologies. The fundamental framework of the conservation laws is described in Chapter 2. Chapters 3-6 cover conservation of mass, energy, charge, and momentum in biomedical systems. Each chapter begins with a challenge problem that presents a current bioengineering design challenge. Within each chapter, the accounting and conservation equations are restated and explicitly formulated for the property of interest. The derivation of Kirchhoff’s current and voltage laws, Newton’s laws of motions, Bernoulli’s equation, and others from the key accounting and conservation equations are also presented. The text includes ten or more worked examples per chapter that span physiology, kinematics, biomaterials, cellular engineering, instrumentation, imaging, and biotechnology. Each chapter has 25-40 homework problems.

One unique feature of this textbook is the inclusion of three case studies in Chapter 7 that integrate the different conservation applications of mass, energy, charge, and momentum. The case studies include the heart, the lungs, and the kidneys. We developed a problem-based learning (PBL) module in conjunction with another university. We completed a computer simulation of the kidneys that supports the conservation concepts. Finally, we developed and implemented a communications module that improves students’ communication skills, while simultaneously encouraging students to explore the emerging field of bioengineering.

The effectiveness of the textbook and students’ progress toward established educational goals have been assessed over two year in several bioengineering departments across the country where the manuscript is currently being used. Based on a course impact surveys and pre- and post-tests focused on the conservation equations, statistically significant gains in acquired knowledge and problem-solving skills development were seen. The NSF Division of Undergraduate Education Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Instruction (CCLI) program (DUE-0231313) funded this work.

Saterbak, A., & San, K., & McIntire, L. (2006, June), Development Of Educational Materials For A Bioengineering Fundamentals Course Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--626

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