Hands-on Labs and Project Development for Bioinstrumentation and System Control

Project Title: Hands-on Labs and Project Development for Bioinstrumentation and System Control

Project Lead's Name: Hui Wang

Project Leads Email: hui.wang@MiamiOH.edu

Project Lead's Phone: 513-529-4880

Project Lead's Division: CEC

Primary Department: Chemical and Bioengineering

List Departments Benefiting or Affected by this proposal:

  • Chemical and Bioengineering
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Estimated Number of Under-Graduate students affected per year (should be number who will actually use solution, not just who is it available to}: 100

Estimated Number of Graduate students affected per year (should be number who will actually use solution, not just who is it available to}: 0

Describe the problem you are attempting to solve and your approach for solving that problem: The technical fee requested by this proposal is to develop new laboratories and projects for all bioengineering students to learn fundamental knowledge and practical skills related to bioinstrumentation, including sensing, acquiring and processing signal, programming with Labview, designing bioinstrumentation, and building a PIO controller with a microcontroller. All these skills are essential for bioengineering students to find career opportunities as a manufacturing, process control, or development engineer in medical device companies or commercial electronics companies.

One of major career tracks for bioengineering students is to develop bio-instruments. With the advancing of the technologies, many bio­ instruments have evolved into a complex system with the integration of sensors, signal acquisition and processing, displaying, interactive user interface, and active feedback loops. Bioengineering students in CPB have received theoretical training in fundamental circuit and then signal processing. However, bet\Neen them, students are not trained to learn the knowledge and practical skills to design, build, and test a real instrument. For example, for measuring heart beating using light absorption, a popular wearable device, students need to understand the blood absorption of the light, the principle of LED and photodetector, the way of amplifying and digitalizing the detected signal, the software of processing these signals. The best way of learning them is to design and build one. In current curriculum of CPB, we do not have any courses to cover these topics, but they are essential for all bioengineering students. Below, is a list of related courses from the biomedical engineering programs of three universities in Ohio. All these courses emphasize hands-on lab when learning bioinstrumentation.

Case Western Reserve University

EBME 309 and 359: Principles of Biomedical Instrumentation and Laboratory.

A laboratory which focuses on the basic components of biomedical instrumentation and provides hands-on experience for students in EBME 310, Biomedical Instrumentation. The purpose of the course is to develop design skills and laboratory skills in analysis and circuit development.

Ohio State University

BIOMEDE 3702: Measurements and Instrumentation Lab Measurement and interpretation of data from living systems; measurement and analysis of signals generated by bioelectrical potentials, and their relationship to human physiology and function.

University of Cincinnati

BME3020C: Sensing and Measurements

Basic principles of biomedical electronics and measurements with an emphasis on operational performance and selection of transducers, instruments and systems for biomedical data acquisition and processing will be studied. Topics covered will include biopotential electrodes, analysis and selection of physical, electrical, mechanical, and thermal transduction mechanisms that form the basis of the sensor design. Clinical laboratory instrumentation and electrical safety problems in the clinical environment will also be covered.

We plan to develop new courses and laboratories to help students to develop these skills. The plan including two parts:

  1. Develop a project based new course CPB328 Bioinstrumentation: In this new course, students are going to learn through a series of projects. Most of projects will be based on Labview and myDAQ, which is an entry level data acquisition (DAQ) card but similar to popularly used normal DAQ. Students will be taught to program in Labview and complete laboratories related to sensor calibration, operational amplifier, circuit simulation, and digital 1/0. Then they will team up to design a bio-potential measurement device by applying all learned knowledges and skills.
  2. Introduce Arduino based controller design for CPB 422 (Biological Systems and Controls): CPB422 is a control courser specifically provided for bioengineering students. Although this course is heavy in theory, low-cost single-board microcontrollers like Arduino make it possible for students to build a real controller to practice what they learned from the lectures. We are going to introduce two laboratories. The first one is based on propeller used in drone and the second one is related autopilot car. Through these projects, the students not only apply the control strategies through programming in Matlab and Arduino but also link them to real applications. For example, motor control in both projects is an essential part of many medical devices, such as surgery robot.

Through all this training, students will also learn to use a 3D printer to prototype all necessary parts.

How would you describe the innovation and/or the significance of your project: The motivations behind the proposal are to promote learning by applying and develop marketable skills for the students. We believe the plan will significantly enhance the breadth and depth of the current curriculum of CPB. In our current curriculum, no courses can provide such training. Our students are facing challenges when they are looking for medical device-related jobs when compared to peers from other universities. In addition, these new skills will open many new opportunities for the students in their future capstone projects.

How will you assess the success of the project: We expect that the students have learned fundamental and marketable skills in programming in Labview, using Arduino to control mechanical and electrical parts, and design and build a prototype with 3D printer. The success of the projects relies on the learning outcomes of the students. We will include specific question on student evaluations to evaluate the satisfaction with these laboratories and projects. Hovvever, these evaluations are very subjective. For an objective evaluation, we will encourage students to attend exams provided by national instrument to become a certified Labview Associate Developer. We also encourage student to record the process of developing the project and put the video link on their Linkedin web pages. We will survey graduated students to find how these skills help them to find a job opportunity.

Financial Information

Total Amount Requested: $15,000

Is this a multi-year request: Yes

Justification for multi-year request: The labs and projects will be fully developed through a few semesters.

Length of multi-year request: 3

Spending plan for multi-year request:

  • First year $8,000
  • Second year $4,500
  • Third year $2,500

Please address how, if at all, this project aligns with University, Divisional, Departmental or Center strategic goals: This request Is in-line with 2020 objectives and the Boldly Creative Strategic Initiative.

For the 2020 plan, this request is in-line with the Unifying Goal of uPromoting a vibrant learning and discovery environment that produces extraordinary student and scholarly outcomes." Specifically, it addresses Objective 1: "Preparing students for success at Miami and beyond through liberal and applied education emphasizing inquire-based experiential learning that integrates many disciplines." The plan in the proposal emphasizes developing the practical and marketable skills with the purpose of improving the quality of education that our undergraduate students receive, so that they can be competitive for employment opportunities in industry or in advanced degree programs. The hands-on opportunities that the laboratories and the projects will provide are the type of experiential learning necessary for bioengineering students to compete for these opportunities, such as software or hardware engineers in medical device or electronic device companies.

In addition to existing courses, the proposal is also aligned well with the approved first-round Boldly Creative Initiative "Realign Engineering Programs for the new Industrial Landscape". With the evolving technologies, the students have to become familiar with programming, new software, and hardware. The laboratories and the projects designed with clear purposes to train students to master these skills and apply them to solve practical problems through hands-on practices. These knowledge and skills are the bases of robotics and process control, topics related to the initiative.