Asee peer logo

Work in Progress: A Multi-Faceted Laboratory Module in Cardiovascular Fluid Mechanics to Develop Analysis and Evaluation Skills in Biomedical Engineering Undergraduates

Download Paper |


2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Biomedical Engineering Poster Session

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1378.1 - 23.1378.5



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Jeffrey A. LaMack Milwaukee School of Engineering

visit author page

Dr. LaMack teaches full-time in the Biomedical Engineering program in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at the MIlwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). His areas of specialty include biophysical transport phenomena, biocomputing, physiology, and engineering design. Dr. LaMack holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University, and he is an alumnus of the Biology Scholars Program of the American Society of Microbiology. Prior to becoming focused on engineering education, his research interests included hemodynamics and the study of how vascular cells respond to fluid forces and its implications in vascular pathologies.

visit author page


Charles S. Tritt Milwaukee School of Engineering

visit author page

Dr. Tritt has been the director of the Biomedical Engineering program at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) since 2009. He has been teaching at MSOE since 1990. His Ph.D. is in Chemical Engineering from the Ohio State University as is his B.S. degree. He holds an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering, also from Ohio State. His research interests include biomedical applications of mass, heat and momentum transfer; medical product and process modeling; biomaterials; and entrepreneurship, innovation and commercialization in engineering education.

visit author page

Download Paper |


A Multi-Faceted Laboratory Module in Cardiovascular Fluid Mechanics to Develop Analysis and Evaluation Skills in Biomedical Engineering Undergraduates (Works in Progress)Beyond the capstone design experience, engineering curricula often struggle to find opportunitiesto systematically instruct students how to evaluate alternative solutions to complex engineeringproblems. Here, a multi-faceted module was designed for an interdisciplinary junior-levelbiomedical engineering laboratory course that guides students through the solution of acardiovascular fluid mechanics problem using three very different approaches in consecutivesessions: an analytical solution, a solution using computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and anexperimental solution.The specific problem involves the determination of the fluid mechanical effect of the presence ofa catheter on aortic blood flow. The analytical approach requires that students solve for thepressure drop per length based on solutions derived from reduction of the Navier-Stokesequations. Students are then introduced to CFD for the first time in the curriculum to solve theproblem. Challenges such as mesh-independence are explored in the context of this problem, asare potential benefits, such as versatility in the geometric placement of the catheter and extensionto non-Newtonian blood models. Finally, in the experimental session, students gain experienceusing peristaltic pumps, pressure and flow sensors, and various types of tubing and fittings asthey design and implement an experiment to determine the pressure drop per length across anaortic tube model containing a catheter, while accounting for confounding minor losses.As each approach introduces a unique set of limitations based on implicit assumptions ormethodologies used, students are asked to consider the validity and benefits of each approachfollowing its implementation. Upon completion of the three-week module, they are asked togenerate pairwise comparisons between the approaches and then to evaluate all three alternativesolutions and make a defendable recommendation on which approach is best for a prescribedscenario. Assessment tools are currently being devised to determine the extent to which analysisand evaluation skills are developed by students as a result of completing this module.

LaMack, J. A., & Tritt, C. S. (2013, June), Work in Progress: A Multi-Faceted Laboratory Module in Cardiovascular Fluid Mechanics to Develop Analysis and Evaluation Skills in Biomedical Engineering Undergraduates Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22763

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2013 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015