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Introducing Biomedical Engineering Using Creatinine Based Time In Dialysis Experiment

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

BME Potpourri

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.822.1 - 10.822.6



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Paper Authors

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Daniel Cutbirth

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Brett Hughes

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Sundararajan Madihally

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Paper # 854

Introducing Biomedical Engineering Using Creatinine Based Time-in-Dialysis Experiment Daniel Cutbirth, Brett Hughes and Sundararajan V. Madihally School of Chemical Engineering, Oklahoma State University Author for correspondence – Sundar Madihally email address:

In the emerging field of biomedical engineering, there is a need for experiments which can illustrate the importance of engineering concepts in medicine. One of the laboratory exercise used in demonstrating the fundamental concepts is hemodialysis device. Typically it is used under simulated conditions via salt solutions with the focus of providing hands-on experience on separation concepts. At OSU, we extended the experiment to a more clinically relevant project by using creatinine to represent blood toxins; the function of the kidneys is measured clinically by determining the clearance rate of creatinine, a metabolic by-product of the muscles that remains fairly constant. Thus we asked the students to evaluate the clearance rate of creatinine in a commercially available hemodialyzer, and model the system; pure water represented blood. They were told to monitor the pressure difference across the membrane in the removal of water from blood and also to alter the flow rates. A picric acid based spectroscopy was used to monitor the changes in creatinine concentrations in the blood. The “patient” was modeled as a Continuous Stirred Tank with a known initial creatinine concentration, and sodium chloride concentration. Furthermore, the dialysate osmotic pressure was altered by introducing sugar. Using concepts of compartmental modeling and shell-and-tube heat exchanger, differential equations were developed. These equations were solved using a math solver, POLYMATH, to predict the outlet blood concentration, the amount of excess water removed, and the required time-in-dialysis given initial blood conditions and machine operating conditions. This multi-level experiment not only reinforces the engineering concepts and physiology but also sound mathematical approach to problem solving. Implications of this experience will be discussed in detail.

Introduction The recent boom in biomedical and biotechnology programs has necessitated new bio- based experiments in the engineering curriculum. At Oklahoma State University, two new courses have been developed in the School of Chemical Engineering to integrate the biological concepts. These two courses a) Introduction to Biomedical Engineering and b) Bioprocess Engineering are offered as electives for students in the senior year. In addition, to provide hands-on experience with the few concepts discussed in each course, two new experiments a) bioreactor design for the conversion of renewable resources and b) dialysis experiment for the clearance of creatinine, have been added into the second Unit Operations Laboratory (UOL) offered in the Fall of the senior year. In tandem with this course, students are enrolled in an optional “Introduction to Biomedical Engineering” course. In UOL, students work in teams of three, on three different projects. Teams are assigned by the instructors and care is taken to avoid repetition of members in more than one project. While assigning the project, the bio-related projects are allocated preferentially to the students either enrolled in the biomedical course or committed to the Bioprocess Engineering courses. Each project covers a 5-6-week period. It includes a week of planning which has to be approved by the instructor prior to students’ working in the laboratory. This is followed by three 6-hr

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition 1 Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Cutbirth, D., & Hughes, B., & Madihally, S. (2005, June), Introducing Biomedical Engineering Using Creatinine Based Time In Dialysis Experiment Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15514

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