June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.1268.1 - 12.1268.12
Senior Design Project in Biomedical Engineering Education
The Senior Design Project for the 2005-2006 academic year’s biomedical engineering students was a capstone experience, in which students participated in a real-world engineering project in consultation with their advisor. The topic of the project was “A Positive Reinforcement System for Children with Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy”. The main goal of this project was to develop an auditory and visual therapy device for infants and children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy (CP) through a non-invasive approach with the incorporation of positive reinforcement. The proposed device incorporates proximity sensors and auditory/visual aids to encourage children between the ages of seven months and three years to perform therapeutic movements of the affected arm. Two modifications of the proposed device were developed and tested in the laboratory by the two groups of students. The first modification was designed to train an infant or toddler to open his or her fist without the need for casting the unaffected arm. The second modification (described in this work) encourages the child to raise the affected arm. Multiple criteria and testing parameters have been created in order to ensure the safety, effectiveness, functionality, and accuracy of the device. Three 11-week terms were devoted to the research, development, and testing of this device, which required precise planning of each milestone. Funding for this project was the responsibility of the group; however, numerous corporations were contacted for contributions.
At Drexel University, the Senior Design Project is a three-term, nine-credit course that engineering and engineering technology students take during their senior year. The senior design project is a capstone experience, in which students select a topic in consultation with their advisor according to a department’s guideline and design and develop the working prototype. The following topic, among others, was introduced to the biomedical engineering students at the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science, and Health Systems: “A Positive Reinforcement System for Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy Children”. Three groups of students chose this topic for their Senior Design Project. Two groups were finally selected based on their experience in hardware and software development. The experience of one of the groups (Steven Calhoun, Sarah Myers, Laura Suhadolnik, and Nitu Thakore) is presented in this work. Dr. Chong-Tae Kim of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was invited by the students to Drexel University to discuss the medical concept of the project and the design criteria that would satisfy the FDA and hospital’s requirements for medical investigation of the device. Within the frame of the proposed project, only laboratory testing of the device was the students’ responsibility.
The main objective of this project was to develop a device that would provide auditory and visual feedback to the affected arm of a hemiplegic infant or toddler when the child uses that arm to engage in a given activity. Cerebral palsy (CP), defined broadly as “a
Genis, V. (2007, June), Senior Design Project In Biomedical Engineering Education Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1744
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