In 1967, the School of Medicine and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Virginia teamed to form one of the first Departments of Biomedical Engineering (BME) in the country. Over the past thirty-five years, the department has focused on graduate education, developing strong doctoral and masters programs while carrying out world class research. In 2000, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) added a BME minor to supplement existing traditional majors. This venture met with success, and has led to the development of a BME major within SEAS. In fall 2002, the principal investigator obtained preliminary approval for the BME major curriculum.
The first course of the BME major is Introduction to Biomedical Engineering Design and Discovery. First offered in fall 2002, the course provides students with theoretical and practical design experience, an overview of issues relating to entrepreneurship in BME, and an introduction to the discipline. Within the first few weeks of class, students identify problems in the field of BME that they wish to address through their semester long design project. They then form design teams based on interest and backgrounds. The major student effort in the class is toward E-Team development of a novel device, method, program, or experiment. Whenever possible, teams develop prototypes to prove design feasibility. The second segment of the class focuses on tackling the issues involved in developing a new product in BME. The course covers basic management tools including Gantt charts, critical path diagrams, and criteria for team selection. Students attend lectures on intellectual property, entrepreneurship, and regulatory issues. The third segment of the class serves as an introduction to the BME discipline. At the end of the course, E-Teams present their final projects to a group of faculty and local entrepreneurs. This grant provides E-Team seed money, student team travel, speaker honoraria, equipment, tools, and a stereo microscope
Each year, approximately 140,000 patients are affected by deficit of the seventh cranial nerve, which provides signals for the facial expression muscles for one side of the face. Of these patients, about half are unlikely to recover, and many sustain permanent damage to the eye. Current treatments for this disorder include sewing the eyelids together, connecting other nerves to the facial nerve, and implanting gold weights into the upper eyelid. Unfortunately, these treatments can disfigure patients and do not restore dynamic restoration of blinking.
This E-Team is developing a prosthetic device to facilitate blinking in patients suffering from facial nerve palsy. The device will consist of a number of tiny silicon chips that act as both actuators and sensors. The devices will be implanted in upper eyelids, and function as sensors on the unaffected side to pace the actuators on the affected side. The dual sensing/actuating nature of the system will allow the device to sense any recovery of the nerve on the affected side and calibrate itself accordingly. Power is provided to the chips by a device contained on prosthetic eyeglasses with a powering antenna wound in the lens holders, and a battery in the earpieces.
This E-Team is developing a device for use in conjunction with current non-invasive surgical technology treating abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA)--ballooning of the aorta in the abdominal region. Currently, there are two FDA approved methods of treating the condition. One is open surgery, in which a large incision is made and the diseased portion of the aorta is replaced with an aortic graft that gets stitched in place. Although the surgery lasts a lifetime, it is not safe for patients with co-morbidities. The second method is endovascular stent-grafting in which a small incision is made near the groin and a compressed stent-graft is positioned using the frictional force it exerts on the wall of the aorta. This treatment is a lifesaving, less expensive solution for those who cannot undergo open surgery. It has become the standard method of treatment for AAA. However, the treatment is prone to leaks and device migration.
In response to the problems associated with endovascular stent-grafting, this E-Team has developed a method for stitching the graft in place from within the aorta. They have developed an alternative form of sutures for the stitching procedure using a device that will be inserted and positioned in the patient the same way as a stent graft.
Northeastern University is creating a School of Technological Entrepreneurship, and has already raised $3 million for the startup. The vision is a professional school that can become a national leader in education and research at the intersection of technology development and business creation--Technological Entrepreneurship. This grant supports an undergraduate concentration in Technological Entrepreneurship consisting of five joint courses, which will allow the engineering students to complete an accredited engineering degree and the business students an accredited business degree. This grant will help fund twelve undergraduate E-Teams consisting of ninety-six students--sixty engineering students and thirty-six business students
In 1997, the Department of Mechanical Engineering launched its Managing New Product Development course. This graduate course is part of the Management of Technology Program at the University of California, Berkeley. It specifically aims to develop interdisciplinary skills in students, for successful product development in today's competitive marketplace. To accomplish a truly multi-disciplinary course experience, the course is cross-listed in three UC Berkeley Colleges including Architecture and Engineering, Business, and Information Management and Systems, and at the California College of Arts and Crafts. Students from these colleges team to work through all stages of new product development, learning useful tools and techniques to execute each step of the process. The course is extremely popular with students, and tends to over-enroll. However, although the course is successful, it has several limitations. One, the course does not support E-Team projects past the end of the semester; two, it does not provide students with seed money to cover project costs.
Drawing from lessons learned in the Managing New Product Development course, the principal investigators will develop two new courses, and improve the Managing New Product Development course. In all three courses, NCIIA funding will provide seed money for E-Team projects during the semester, and support for especially promising teams at the close of the semester. The first new course is called Designing Technology for Girls and Women. This lower division course will cover gender issues associated with new product development. In it, students will apply state-of-the-art information technology and new tools to tackle and design solutions to crucial societal problems where women are the end users. A major goal of the course is to motivate women students to persevere and thrive in engineering. Designing Technology for Women and Girls will work closely with the Institute of Women and Technology and companies within the San Francisco Bay area. The second new course, Introduction to Product Development, provides students with an operational experience in the development of innovative and realistic engineered problems. The course will introduce design concepts and techniques, and will guide students through the process of developing a design or feasibility study. Students will make both individual and group oral presentations, and participate in conferences
In 2002, the Computer Science and Surgery Department at Stanford University offered CS277, Experimental Haptics, one of the first courses in haptics taught in the U.S. "Haptics" is the dynamic interaction of proprioception (our sense of space around the body), kinesthesis (our perception of external forces on the body), and tactility (our ability to sense the properties of surfaces on the skin), and of the science of using machines to stimulate these systems. The course provides students with basic knowledge of haptics, including current research and commercial potential. Students in the course gain a basic set of tools for developing hardware and software for haptics interfaces. They then form E-Teams to pursue independent projects in haptics with support of the course administrators and the Stanford Haptic Laboratory. Projects from last year's course included: linking the SensAble Phantom to a Sony Playstation to make the surgical simulation available on a low-cost computer platform; developing "Haptic Battle Pong," a video game that integrates the advanced sensibilities of the Phantom; and developing a haptic interface that uses mechanical brakes to simulate contact with virtual objects. In addition to project work, E-Teams attend a lecture series featuring key pioneers in haptic technology.
This project will improve Experimental Haptics with support from the NCIIA, based on lessons learned from the initial course. Though the first course was successful, it lacked several elements that would allow students to pursue even more complex projects or turn existing projects into commercially viable products. Students lacked access to computer hardware and haptic devices crucial to project development. The proposal requests funds for haptic interface hardware, three computers, additional supplies for hardware projects, and patent/publication/marketing funds.
Currently, the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater (UWW) offers only one course in entrepreneurship: Product Development. This course covers the process of developing a new product in the context of an established business. In an effort to expand its entrepreneurship program, the UWW Innovation Center will develop a new course in entrepreneurial marketing for new ventures, based on those offered at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and Syracuse University.
The Entrepreneurial Marketing course focuses on the key marketing strategies relevant for new venture initiation, as well as marketing decisions for small and growing organizations. In the course, students learn to:
apply marketing concepts to entrepreneurial company challenges
take on the special challenges and opportunities involved with developing marketing strategies
identify entrepreneurial opportunities from emerging trends in marketing practice
develop inexpensive, valid approaches to identifying customer needs and conducting market research
design creative approaches to marketing communications, and
explore the varying role of marketing strategies among entrepreneurial firms.
The course environment facilitates student acquisition and application of knowledge of new market venture strategies, recognizing variances in the process of different industries and companies
In 2000, approximately 40,000 marrow transplants were performed worldwide. In the field of bone marrow transplantation (BMT), an autologous transplant involves bone marrow harvesting from the patient, and feeding the marrow back to the same patient following treatment with high-dose chemotherapy. An allogeneic transplant refers to the procedure of harvesting bone marrow from a healthy donor and giving it to the patient who has received high doses of chemotherapy and radiation.
Because both of these harvesting methods are expensive and tedious, the MarrowMiner E-Team developed an innovative device and method for rapidly harvesting bone marrow and the stem cells bone marrow contains. The team incorporated as StemCor Systems.
In 2008, the team signed an agreement with Hospira, Inc. to develop and commercialize StemCor's proprietary system for the harvest of bone marrow.
The traditional method for resisting a flood involves filling individual bags with sand and stacking them to form a flood berm. This method is costly and slow, however, and requires large amounts of manual labor. This E-Team developed a new invention, the Flood Floatation Wall (FFW), which addresses the problems associated with traditional methods of resisting floods. The FFW is self-deploying: the user pre-positions the device at the anticipated flood level and then evacuates the area as needed. It consists of a flexible tubular flood chamber, skirts, and an air-filled flotation collar. As floodwater enters the flood chamber, it expands the chamber and activates the flotation collar, which rises to block incoming water. The FFW incorporates reasonable manufacturing costs, ease of transport, reusability and functional utility in one.
The Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and the Florida Institute of Technology are collaborating on undergraduate entrepreneurial projects in the area of wireless communication and radio-related fields. The Wireless Entrepreneurs Program builds on existing design curricula at both schools, but follows the entrepreneurial model developed at Rose-Hulman, rather than a traditional engineering course format. In the collaboration, faculty and students work on two projects. In one project, students from each school work together on multi-institutional teams on a development project. The student project focuses on developing interactive modules that visually depict and/or simulate the principles involved in cellular and PCS systems. Each team researches, proposes, and develops their own projects for a wireless application, starting in the teams’ junior years. The teams submit a proposal to a committee composed of industry and faculty from both institutions.
The second project involves the development of a small auxiliary radar device that senses the presence of a vehicle in an unsafe zone or detects the presence of a vehicle that is approaching with excessive speed. The project involves the evaluation of both technologies and techniques for sensing as well as providing wireless means for communicating to the dashboard. While faculty and students at each institution work independently, the faculty shares the team findings, approaches, and experiences as development progresses from concept through design, developing, and testing.