Course: BIOEN 345: Failure Analysis of Human Physiology

Credits: 4

Instructor: Mike Regnier, Suzie H. Pun, Ying Zheng

Texts and Supplemental Materials: No single textbook is required but the course will use materials from the following coursepacks:

  • Cardiovascular Topics: Course pack including materials from the textbook ‘Human Physiology’ by Dee U. Silverthorn, handout and recent research publications
  • Cancer Topics: Course pack including materials from ‘The Biology of Cancer’ by Robert A Weinberg (also on reserve) and journal articles
  • Circulation Topics: Course pack including materials from the textbook Human Physiology’ by Dee U. Silverthorn, journal articles, and other relevant handouts

UW Catalog Description: Applies engineering analysis to understand human physiology and pathology of the engineering of solutions to medical and biological problems. Includes laboratory.

Instructor Overview: The purpose of this course and lab is to build a fundamental understanding of the biophysical and engineering principles that are the basis of cellular and systems human physiology. Discussion of disease processes and patho-physiology will be incorporated when appropriate. Recitation activities will teach and encourage design, critical thinking, quantitative analysis and an understanding of scientific methodology applied to physiological systems. An emphasis on communication skills will be reflected in recitation reports, group exercises and oral presentations. The recitation exercises complement the lecture material and emphasize the design of biophysical tools to underlying molecular mechanisms of human physiology and disease processes. The implications of various topics for medicine in general and the possible societal, economic or ethical consequences will be discussed.

Prerequisites by Course: BIOEN 215, 335, 336, 337, STAT 390 or IND E 315, BIOL 220.

Required or Elective: Required

Course Structure:

Lectures: 80 min lectures; meets twice

Laboratory and Recitation: 3 hr laboratory/recitation, meets once per week

Computer Use: Students will use computers to prepare their homework, final papers, and class presentations

 Laboratory/Recitation Projects: BIOEN 345 will have a laboratory or recitation component that will emphasize engineering and practical applications of the topics discussed in lecture.

 Course Grading:

Each physiological system module will be worth 150 points for a cumulative maximum of 450 points for the class. The grade distribution for each module will be determined by the lead professor for that module. The final grade is based on percentage of acquired course points.

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

  • Understand the physiologic processes based on the application of molecular and biophysical principles.
  • Appreciate the complexity of interactions between various physical, chemical and physiological pathways that underlie both normal and patho-physiological states.

Outcomes Addressed by this Course:

C. An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints.

  • Design a microvessel system to mimic microvessel bed in different disease conditions (e.g. aneurysm, fibrosis, and atherosclerosis) considering the microvessel geometry, flow resistance and blood flow rates.

Course recitations will include multi-disciplinary team projects. Students will work together on case studies, and/or examine an assigned scientific article that describes a diagnostic or therapeutic, and/or work collaboratively on laboratory exercises and reports of these exercises. Students are responsible for critical analysis to assess the design criteria used to develop the new technology or therapeutic, and to evaluate and recommend alternative approaches. Student competency is assessed in presentations and discussions during recitations.

F. An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.

  • Identify the ethical implications of proposed solutions.

Students will analyze the impact of technology in diagnostic and therapeutic solutions in the context of healthcare access and cost, and other ethical implications. The reliability of sophisticated medical instruments will also be emphasized. Concepts and techniques are presented in lecture and practiced in problem sets and recitation. Student competency is assessed during laboratory/recitations, from problem sets and quizzes, and in the student presentations.

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

  • Evaluate diagnostic and therapeutic solutions.

Students will be required to apply what they’ve learned to evaluate diagnostic and therapeutic solutions in vascular, cancer or circulation biology. For example, students need to analyze new cancer detections or therapies considering cost, availability, and efficacy in the context of global health. Concepts and techniques are presented in lecture and practiced in homeworks and recitation. Student competency is assessed during laboratory/recitations, from problem sets and quizzes, and in the student presentations.

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

  • Apply self-directed inquiry to identify diagnostic or therapeutic solutions to failures in physiology.

Students will apply self-directed inquiry to identify diagnostic or therapeutic solutions to failures in physiology. For examples, students will be exposed to a timely need in cancer detection or therapy and will select a specific problem that they will address through a new technology. Concepts and techniques are presented in lecture and practiced in problem sets and laboratory/recitation. Student competency is assessed during laboratory/recitations, from problem sets and quizzes, and/or in the student presentations.

 L. An understanding of biology and physiology.

  • Learn about biological systems, such as the immune system, cardiac mechanics, and cancer biology.

Students will develop a sufficient understanding of the physiology and failure of cardiovascular, cancer, and immunological systems. Topics in vascular biology include flow, hemostasis, inflammation and atherosclerosis, cardiac mechanics and electrophysiology, and angiogenesis in tumors and retina. Cancer biology topics include tumorigenesis and tumor physiology, solid tumors, and maintenance of genomic integrity. Immunological systems and failures will include topics on immune cells and the effector mechanisms that orchestrate an immune response to pathogens, foreign body response related to transplantation, immunity in cancer, and diseases caused by immune responses. Concepts and techniques are presented in lecture and practiced in problem sets and laboratory/recitation. Student competency is assessed during laboratory/recitations, from problem sets and quizzes, and in the student presentations.

 N. The ability to make measurements on and interpret data from living systems, addressing the problems associated with the interaction between living and nonliving materials and systems.

  • Utilize diagnostic data to evaluate diagnostic and therapeutic solutions.

Students will utilize diagnostic data to evaluate diagnostic and therapeutic solutions. In particular, the utility and potential of these new approaches in cardiac, cancer, and vascular biology will be based on sample diagnostic data analyzed for cost/benefit ratio, sensitivity, accuracy, etc. The course recitation will examine recently developed tumor detection/monitoring approaches and immunological techniques that have been translated into diagnostic devices. Concepts and techniques are presented in lecture and practiced in problem sets and recitation. Student competency is assessed during recitations, from problem sets and quizzes, and in the student presentations.

 Relationship of Course to Program Educational Objectives:

The purpose of this course is to build a fundamental understanding of the biophysical and engineering principles that are the basis of cellular and systems human physiology. A solid foundation in this key area of knowledge for the bioengineering field will help students progress towards future goals of advanced education or employment.  Discussion of disease processes, patho-physiology, and medical tools and technology will further provide students with the terminology necessary to communicate across science and engineering disciplines. Recitation activities will teach and encourage design, critical thinking, quantitative analysis and an understanding of scientific methodology applied to physiological systems. These activities, coupled with the emphasis on communication skills, will help prepare students for professional advancement.  The implications of various important topics for medicine and the possible societal, economic or ethical consequences will be discussed, providing students with a well-rounded education.  Course activities help students hone their understanding of professional and ethical responsibility, which will facilitate service and positive contributions to their future professions and community.  Thus, BIOEN 345 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. Cardiac Topics: Anatomy, pump function, electrophysiology, pressure gradients, pathophysiology, cell and gene-based therapeutics, current interventions and treatments.
  2. Cancer Topics: Genetics and nature of cancer, cancer detection, molecular mechanisms of cancer, cancer technologies research in bioengineering, multistep tumorigenesis and solid tumor physiology, cancer immunology and immunotherapy.
  3. Circulation Topics: Vessel types and characteristics, circulation pressure and velocity, control and regulation of blood pressure, platelets and coagulation, blood composition and production.

Course Schedule:

Date Lecture/Lab Instructor Topic Reading Assignment
1-Apr Lecture Regnier Cardiac anatomy, pump function, pressure gradients flow and gas Silverthorn, Ch. 14
3-Apr Lecture Regnier Cardiac electrophysiology, Ion Channels, EC coupling Silverthorn, Ch. 14, Ch. 8 pp. 248-262
5-Apr Lab Regnier Action Potentials and Ionic Conductance – Model Simulations Ch. 8 Silverthorn, pp.248-262 Problem Set
8-Apr Lecture Regnier EC coupling, Sarcomere structure/function Silverthorn, Ch. 14, Ch. 12 pp. 390-401
10-Apr Lecture Regnier Autonomic regulation, Pathophysiology
12-Apr Lab Regnier Pathology TBD Pathology Lab questions
15-Apr Lecture Regnier Pathophysiology, Current intervention/treatments, Ethics Handout
17-Apr Lecture Regnier Cell and gene based therapeutics
19-Apr Lab Regnier Professional & Ethical Responsibility
22-Apr Lecture Regnier MIDTERM 1
24-Apr Lecture Pun Genetics of Cells, Nature of Cancer Alberts p411-421;
Weinberg 2.1-2.10
26-Apr Lab Nichols Interview Preparation workshop
29-Apr Lecture Pun Molecular mechanisms of cancer: Oncogenes and
targeted therapies
Alberts p893-900, 921-930;
Weinberg 4.3-4.4, 5.35.6, 5.9
1-May Lecture Pun Multistep tumorigenesis and solid tumor physiology Weinberg 11.1-11.4, 11.6, 11.12; 13.1-13.2, 13.4-13.6, 13.10
3-May Lab Pun Cancer detection: macroscopic screening tools;
6-May Lecture Pun Molecular mechanisms of cancer: Tumor suppressor genes and targeted therapies Weinberg 7.3-7.6, 8.1-8,8, 8.12, 9.1-9.12
8-Mat Lecture Pun Cancer immunology and Immunotherapy Weinberg 15.1-15.5,
15.10, 15.13-15.19
10-May Lab Pun Engineered systems for tumor-mimicking cell culture
13-May Lecture Pun Cancer immunology and Immunotherapy, cont. Weinberg 15.1-15.5,
15.10, 15.13-15.19
15-May Lecture Pun MIDTERM
17-May Recitation Pun Issues in cancer care and treatment
20-May Lecture Zheng Vessel types, characteristics and pathologies Ch. 15 Silverthorn,
excerpt from Martini et
al. (p. 572-8)
22-May Lecture Zheng Circulation pressure and flow, their regulation and
control, pathologies
Ch. 15 Silverthorn
24-May Lab Zheng Flow simulation in stenosed or partially clotted vessel
27-May HOLIDAY Zheng
29-May Lecture Zheng Blood composition and coagulation: coagulation factors, platelets, and vessel walls; pathologies Ch. 16 Silverthorn,
haemostasis papers
31-May Lab Zheng Coagulation Experiment
3-Jun Lecture Zheng Blood production: marrow, liver and spleen, pathology Ch. 16 Silverthorn,
haemostasis papers
5-Jun Lecture Zheng Different networks in the body: vasculature, lymph
network, neurovascular niches
7-Jun Lab Zheng Brief intro to molecular dynamics in blood protein
analysis, work in teams on design projects, and reports
MIDTERM 3 during Finals Week

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