Course: BIOEN 215 – Introduction to Bioengineering Problem Solving

Credits: 3; Two 50-min. lecture periods per week (TR) and one hour-long quiz section (F) per week.

Instructor: Alyssa Taylor

Texts and Supplemental Materials: Course Pack, provided by UW Copy Services and includes material from:

  1. Budinger & Budinger. Ethics of Emerging Technologies. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2006.
  2. Domach, Michael. Introduction to Biomedical Engineering. Prentice Hall/Pearson, 2010.
  3. Richards-Kortum, Rebecca. Biomedical Engineering for Global Health. Cambridge University Press, 2010.

UW Catalog Description: Introduction to bioengineering through a problem solving approach.  Topics include: creative problem solving techniques, self-directed inquiry, engineering ethics, social constraints, engineering design process.

Prerequisites by Course:  None

Prerequisites by Topic:  None

Required or Elective: Required

Overview:  This course is intended to introduce students to the types of problems we attempt to solve in bioengineering and the skills needed to address them.

Students will be taught engineering skills, including general design and problem solving skills. The course will be built around 3 units, each of which introduces a different bioengineering problem. Each module will introduce different engineering design constraints, including technological, ethical, and societal.  Many important issues in bioengineering, such as effective scientific communication and regulatory issues, will be introduced in the context of a relevant module.

Lectures will provide overviews and case studies of the bioengineering problems, which include topics from diagnostic tests for cancer, artificial organs, medical devices, and global health.  Lectures will also explore problem-solving techniques, including methods for self-directed inquiry, and information and tools to address ethical, social, and legal issues in bioengineering.  The steps of the engineering design process will be addressed throughout the quarter, in the context of the particular module’s topic.  Finally, students will utilize the knowledge and skills gained throughout the quarter by working in teams to identify bioengineering challenges and propose and evaluate solutions to those challenges, ultimately communicating results in oral and written reports.

Specific Outcomes: By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  1. Work constructively in teams to solve bioengineering problems.
  2. Apply engineering ethical analysis strategies and problem solving skills to design solutions to ethical problems, and identify ethical issues applicable to bioengineering.
  3. Identify potential global and societal impacts of proposed solutions.
  4. Conduct self-directed inquiry by finding, understanding, evaluating, and citing information and literature relevant to bioengineering problems.
  5. Identify the types of contemporary problems that can be solved with bioengineering skills and approaches.
  6. Execute the engineering design process: identify problem, identify design constraints on bioengineering problem, create solutions, and evaluate solutions with respect to these constraints.

Outcomes Addressed by this Course:

D. An ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams.

Work constructively in teams to solve bioengineering problems by:

  • Researching and Gathering information
  • Sharing information with teammates
  • Fulfilling assigned team roles
  • Contributing to group work effort
  • Preparing for and attending group meetings
  • Listening to team mates

F. An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility

  • Apply engineering ethical analysis strategies and problem solving skills to design solutions to ethical problems, and identify ethical issues applicable to bioengineering.

H. The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context.

  • Identify potential global and societal impacts of proposed solutions.

I. A recognition of the need for and the ability to engage in life-long learning.

  • Conduct self-directed inquiry by finding, understanding, evaluating, and citing information and literature relevant to bioengineering problems.

J. Knowledge of contemporary issues.

  • Identify the types of contemporary problems that can be solved with bioengineering skills and approaches.

Relationship of course to Program Educational Objectives:

In this introductory bioengineering course, students are introduced to a wide variety of bioengineering disciplines and are presented with a number of possible bioengineering-related career and educational paths through our guest speakers.  Students are introduced to fundamental concepts in bioengineering and science fields which are also important to employers, including FDA regulatory fundamentals, clinical trials, and effective scientific communication.  This course presents the wide variety of ethical issues that can occur in biomedical sciences and engineering, emphasizes the importance of being a responsible researcher, and provides students with a systematic analysis tool to deal with the ethical problems that they may encounter in the future.  They are exposed to service activities, bioengineering projects that serve the community, and professional organizations through class examples, announcements, and guest speakers.  The final month of this course involves a team design project in which students gain practice in leadership and teamwork as they design a solution to a real-world global health problem.  Thus, BIOEN 215 contributes to providing students with the tools necessary to reach the following Program Educational Objectives:

  1. Earn advanced degrees and/or obtain employment in bioengineering-related fields, such as medicine, device development, or biotechnology.
  2. Advance their careers by obtaining appropriate educational and professional qualifications.
  3. Serve their profession and community.
  4. Contribute to responsible development of new technical knowledge.
  5. Take leadership roles in addressing domestic or global bioengineering-related issues.

Topics Covered:

  1. Engineering Design Process
  2. Self-directed Inquiry
  3. Effective Scientific Communication
  4. Creative Problem Solving Techniques
  5. Entrepreneurship in Bioengineering
  6. Regulatory Fundamentals: FDA and Clinical Trials
  7. Identification and Evaluation of Design Constraints and Criteria
  8. Ethics in Bioengineering (including ethics of research, clinical trials)
  9. Global Health Challenges
  10. Engineering Solutions to Global Health Problems

Course Grading:

50%     Assignments (5 assignments total; a detailed description of each assignment will be posted on the course website)

20%     Class Participation (in-class activities specified in the course schedule below, plus a variety of additional short activities throughout the quarter, such as reflections on guest speakers, will be counted towards your participation grade)

Group Project:  Instead of a final exam, in this course you will work as a team to select a problem in global health that you would like to address.  Building upon all the activities and knowledge gained throughout the course, you will execute the steps of the engineering design process to propose a solution for your identified problem.  Your proposed solutions will be presented through an oral group presentation (1 per team) conducted during Quiz section and the final written report (1 per team) plus an individually-based component on Global and Societal Impact.  The final written report will contain sections on:

  • Problem Statement and Description
  • Prior Art
  • Design Specifications
  • Solution Generation and Selection
  • Design Description
  • Ethical and Societal Implications
  • Global and Societal Impact
  • Regulatory Issues
  • Conclusions and Future Work

15%     Oral Presentation of Group Project

15%     Written Final Group Project Report (includes peer evaluation component and individually-executed component on Global and Societal Impact)

Week

Date

Due

Topics and Activities

Readings

Assign

1

Jan. 4th

-Welcome to BIOEN 215-Intro to Bioengineering

Domach, pgs. 3-12; R.R.K. pgs. 149-181

Write short paragraph on what area of BIOE is most interesting to you and why (bring in on index card).

Jan. 6th

Paragraph on BIOE area of interest

Problem 1: Early Detection of Cancer-Intro to the Engineering Design Process: IdentifySelf-directed Inquiry

R.R.K. pgs. 248-260

Jan. 7th

Quiz Section: -Effective Team Work Skills-Discussion of Approach to Gathering Information and Reliability of Different Sources Assignment 1: Identifying Current Problems in Cancer

2

Jan. 11th

Engineering Design Process: Identification of Problems with Diagnostic Testing

R.R.K. pgs. 260-268

Jan. 13th

Engineering Design Process: Explore

Jan. 14th

Assignment 1

Quiz Section: -Engineering Design Process: DesignCreative Problem Solving Techniques-Group activity – brainstorming Assignment 2: Paper Critiques

3

Jan. 18th

Effective Scientific Communication

Jan. 20th

Problem 2: Artificial Organs/Medical Devices-Entrepreneurship in BioengineeringGuest Speaker: Tom Clement, Pathway Medical

Jan. 21st

Assignment 2

Quiz Section: Critical Review of Scientific Publications

4

Jan. 25th

Engineering Design Process: Constraints and Criteria Find an example of when an approved medical device or technology caused harm to users (bring in on index card)

Jan. 27th

Example of approved medical device/tech. that caused harm

Regulatory Fundamentals: FDA and Clinical Trials

Jan. 28th

Quiz Section: -Identification and Evaluation of Constraints and Criteria (Pugh Chart) Assignment 3: Pugh Chart for Heart Valve Replacement

Week

Date

Due

Topics and Activities

Readings

Assign

5

Feb. 1st

-Clinical Trial Ethics-Mid-quarter Evals

Budinger and Budinger, pgs. 277-286; R.R.K. pgs. 235-236

Feb. 3rd

-Designing Ethical Solutions: Artificial Organs

Feb. 4th

Assignment 3

Quiz Section: Use of Human Subjects: Cases Studies and Implications Assignment 4: Reflection on proceedings

6

Feb. 8th

-Ethics in Bioengineering

Domach pgs. 15-18; Budinger and Budinger pgs. 39-74

Feb. 10th

-Ethical Analysis (the Four A’s Method)

Budinger and Budinger pgs. 1-36

Feb. 11th

Assignment 4

Quiz Section: Applying the Four A’s to Bioengineering Case Studies Assignment 5: Ethical Analysis using the Four A’s Method

7

Feb. 15th

Problem 3: Global Health-Intro to Global Health ChallengesGuest Speaker: Tala de los Santos, PATH

Feb. 17th

Seattle BioMed (TBD)

Feb. 18th

Assignment 5

-Quiz Section: Global Health Group Design Project Session I Project Work: Identify problem for group project and write a one paragraph problem description

8

Feb. 22nd

-Current Major Global Health Problems IEconomic, Social, Technological Constraints

R.R.K. pgs. 31-45

Project Work

Feb. 24th

-Current Major Global Health Problems IIEconomic, Social, Technological Constraints

R.R.K. pgs. 181-182, 263-264

Project Work

Feb. 25th

Problem Description for Group Project

-Quiz Section: Global Health Group Design Project Session II Project Work

Week

Date

Due

Topics and Activities

Readings

Assign

9

March 1st

-Engineering Global Health SolutionsGuest Speaker: Paul Yager, Ph.D. Dept. of Bioengineering, UW

Posted article “Point-of-care Diagnostics for Global Health” by P. Yager et al.

Project Work

March 3rd

-Ethics in Global Health

R.R.K. pg. 239; Budinger and Budinger pg. 29

Project Work

March 4th

Informal Presentation of Status of Project

-Quiz Section: Global Health Group Design Project Session IIIOral Progress Reports and Feedback Session Project Work

10

March 8th

-Engineering Global Health ProjectsCase Studies of Design Solutions

R.R.K. pgs. 152-153

Project Work

March 10th

-Wrap-up and Evaluations-End-of-course activity Project Work

March 11th

Group Oral Presentations

-Quiz Section: Group Presentations Written Report

11

March 16th, noon

Written Reports submitted via Catalyst Collect It.

NO FINAL EXAM, INSTEAD WRITTEN REPORTS ON GLOBAL HEALTH DESIGN SOLUTIONS ARE DUE MARCH 16TH, BY NOON! Fill out peer-review evaluation via Catalyst by March 18th, by noon.

 

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