You're Invited to Senior Design!

The Weldon School's undergraduate curriculum capstone course, Senior Design, culminates with the public presentation and demonstration of each team's project. Participation and questions from our friends and alumni are literally the icing on the cake of this rich experience. Your expertise brings a new dimension to the experience as students fine tune their softer skills while showcasing their harder, engineering skills. On December 17th from 3:20 - 5:20pm, we are proud to showcase this semester's senior design teams. You are invited to join us in our Martin C. Jischke Hall of Biomedical Engineering Room 1001. A reception with light refreshments and project demonstrations will follow the more formal presentations. This semester, each of nine teams was challenged with a unique problem:

• Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. High intraocular pressure (IOP) is one of the major risk factors associated with glaucoma; however, increased IOP is commonly undetectable by patients, until severe damage has already occurred. The Los Ojos team has developed an optical pressure sensor device to monitor intraocular pressure as a preventative measure to notify patients and their ophthalmologist when the patient is displaying early predictors of glaucoma.

• Currently, there are minimal options available to quadriplegics to allow them independent motion. To eliminate the need for an assistive technology device which will promote a more independent lifestyle for quadriplegics, Team CFX has developed a brain-computer interface system that employs changes in a user’s electroencephalogram (EEG) signals to control a motorized wheel chair.

• In developing countries, respiratory distress is one of the leading causes for preterm infant deaths. Studies have indicated that the noninvasive ventilation method of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) can improve the survival rate of these infants. Team Fantastically Awesome was challenged with developing a CPAP device that was not cost-prohibitive and functioned in the diverse environmental climates of developing countries.

• With the increasing prevalence in cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the population, there is a need for early recognition of contributing factors. Team Restenosis Watch has developed a wireless stent-based restenosis monitor to record and alert physicians of changes in a patient’s artery blockage.

• Poor blood circulation and neuropathy cause complications for diabetics that can lead to limb ulceration, chronic infections, and, ultimately, limb loss. To avoid these complications, Team Amputee has designed a therapeutic device to improve blood circulation and sensation in the legs of at-risk diabetics by introducing controlled compression and heat therapy.

• To better improve the lifestyle of insulin dependent diabetics, a more effective disease monitoring and treatment device needs to be developed. Team Sweet Tooth has designed a wireless artificial pancreas device that continuously monitors and regulates a patient’s blood glucose level.

• Modern day prosthetics continue to evolve in order to improve the everyday lives of amputees. While great strides have been made, there are still obstacles to overcome, such as, poor gait characteristics, limited range of motion, and limited ability to participate in activities such as walking, driving, and running. Team Kid Kangaroo has developed a myoelectrically controlled lower limb prosthetic device that allows a user to participate in impact activities.

• Atherosclerosis is a disease in which fatty substances build up on the wall of arteries to form what is called plaque. While atherosclerotic plaques reduce blood flow, a more substantial danger exists when the plaque breaks off and becomes mobile; these mobile, plaque particles travel through the circulatory system where they can block arteries, possibly resulting in heart attacks or strokes. The PowerGrate Team has developed an atherectomy catheter to remove hard plaque buildup without causing damage to arterial walls and improve blood flow in the coronary artery.

• The API team has a 2 component project: Initially, team API found themselves working with Abbott Point of Care (APOC) to develop a companion device to the i-STAT system. The i-STAT 1®, a handheld system that can perform a variety of in vitro diagnostic tests (blood gases, electrolytes, coagulation, etc.) from a small blood sample. To improve the diversity of tests available for near-patient care the API team has developed a hand-powered companion device that can separate plasma from whole blood collected from a whole blood sampling container within 45 seconds. This device was designed to readily integrate with an i-STAT cartridge®. Using their experience from developing a plasma isolation device, Team API took on an additional challenge to design a point of care device to detect sickle cell anemia. It is hoped that the development of this device will decrease costs and improve testing availability for this life-crippling disease in developing nations.