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engineeringworldhealth: Summer Institute Application Packet for 2015 is OPEN

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EWH Summer Institute

Put your Engineering Skills to Work in the Developing World


Saving Equipment =Saving Lives

A Different kind of Summer: The EWH Summer institute is a two month program where engineers live in a developing country with a local family, learn hands-on skills and a new language, and use those newly acquired technical skills to improve health care in the community. We are currently offering  programs in Nicaragua, Tanzania, and Rwanda.Click here for an overview of this program:

Top University-Designed Engineering Courses:

The first month is spent learning the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully work in a hospital in the developing world. The text book and laboratory excercises were developed by Duke University and Texas A&M University, and are taught by instructors with decades of experience working on equipment in the developing world. You can even receive course credit towards your degree: Email for more details.


The deadline to apply for the coming summer is January 26th, 2015.

EngineeringWorldHealthSTUDENTS Summer Institute Participants Write:”All in all, I cannot express my gratitude enough. Being in Africa for two months alone was the experience of a lifetime, but actually being ale to work in the hospital hands-on changed the way I view the world forever.”
“More than anything else, my summer experience in Nicaragua has motivated me to try to seek out more opportunities to work in global health in my future.”
“I found and appreciated the engineer in me.”

Dr. Meyer ASEE Abstract: Fostering Entrepreneurial Mindset

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Dr. Meyer presented the following abstract  at the ASEE Annual Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana in June. The paper focuses on two initiatives: fostering the entrepreneurial mindset in the first year introduction to engineering course and successfully combining discipline-specific courses into a multi-discipline course.

Combining Discipline-specific Introduction to Engineering Courses into a Single Multi-discipline Course to Foster the Entrepreneurial Mindset with Entrepreneurially Minded Learning

Andrew L. Gerhart, Donald D. Carpenter, Robert W. Fletcher, Eric G. Meyer

While most first year introduction to engineering courses focus on design and problem solving, at the same time familiarizing the student with basic technical content, very few also focus on the entrepreneurial mindset – a way of thinking increasingly required of engineers entering the workforce. Skills associated with the entrepreneurial mindset such as effective communication (written, verbal, and graphical), teamwork, ethics and ethical decision-making, customer awareness, persistence, creativity, innovation, time management, critical thinking, global awareness, self-directed research, life-long learning, learning through failure, tolerance for ambiguity, and estimation are as important in the workforce as technical aptitude. In fact, employer feedback has indicated that graduates with these skills are more highly sought than those with an overly technical education since technical engineering skills can be readily obtained on the job; the entrepreneurial mindset takes years of practice/refinement. Although students may eventually begin practicing many entrepreneurial mindset skills in the curriculum especially during a senior project sequence, it is paramount that the importance of the entrepreneurial mindset is stressed in the first year. This paper will include details of how to integrate all of the skills listed here into well-established design projects, homework, and active learning classroom modules in a first year engineering course using entrepreneurially minded learning. Informal interviews with students reveals successful implementation.


As the lines between engineering disciplines are becoming more blurry, employers also covet engineering graduates whose technical skills span a variety of disciplines. Engineers must work on teams that are diverse, and being able to understand and communicate the broad field of engineering is vital to success. Therefore, while completing an engineering degree, students need to become familiar with a multitude of engineering disciplines and work with students from many departments. This is not a new concept and many introduction to engineering courses are interdisciplinary. On the other hand, many colleges still contain only discipline-specific introduction to engineering courses. Over the past year and a half, Lawrence Technological University underwent a successful college-wide transition from many discipline-specific introduction to engineering courses to a multi-discipline course. This paper will outline keys to a successful transition including pitfalls to avoid and working with university administrators, faculty, and staff during the transition.

Read more: Abstract

WJR Interview (Dr. Eric Meyer and Dr. Mansoor Nasir)

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Dr. Meyer  Eric Meyer talkes to WJR

Click Here to listen to the WJR Interview: Eric Meyer

Dr. Mansoor Nasir talks about the Biomedical Engineering Senior Projects and the collaboration between Industrial Sponsor (Gorden Maniere – Advanced Amputee Solutions) and the Biomedical Engineering students.

Listen to this WJR interview: Mansoor Nasir







More interviews from Lawrence Tech BME Students featured on WJR:

Click Here:  Lindsay Petku  

Click Here:  Akaram Alsamarae


Specimen-Specific Computational Models of Ankle Sprains Produced in a Laboratory Setting

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Button, Feng Wei, Eric G. Meyer and Roger C. Haut

J Biomech Eng 135(4), 041001 doi:10.1115/1.4023521



The use of computational modeling to predict injury mechanisms and severity has recently been investigated, but few models report failure level ligament strains. The hypothesis of the study was that models built off neutral ankle experimental studies would generate the highest ligament strain at failure in the anterior deltoid ligament, comprised of the anterior tibiotalar ligament (ATiTL) and tibionavicular ligament (TiNL). For models built off everted ankle experimental studies the highest strain at failure would be developed in the anterior tibiofibular ligament (ATiFL). An additional objective of the study was to show that in these computational models ligament strain would be lower when modeling a partial versus complete ligament rupture experiment. To simulate a prior cadaver study in which six pairs of cadaver ankles underwent external rotation until gross failure, six specimen-specific models were built based on computed tomography (CT) scans from each specimen. The models were initially positioned with 20 deg dorsiflexion and either everted 20 deg or maintained at neutral to simulate the cadaver experiments. Then each model underwent dynamic external rotation up to the maximum angle at failure in the experiments, at which point the peak strains in the ligaments were calculated. Neutral ankle models predicted the average of highest strain in the ATiTL (29.1 ± 5.3%), correlating with the medial ankle sprains in the neutral cadaver experiments. Everted ankle models predicted the average of highest strain in the ATiFL (31.2 ± 4.3%) correlating with the high ankle sprains documented in everted experiments. Strains predicted for ligaments that suffered gross injuries were significantly higher than the strains in ligaments suffering only a partial tear. The correlation between strain and ligament damage demonstrates the potential for modeling to provide important information for the study of injury mechanisms and for aiding in treatment procedure.


Lawrence Tech Researchers Take Multifaceted Approach to Fixing Knees

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Yawen Li

Eric Meyer

Dr. Yawen Li and Dr. Eric Meyer
College of Engineering
Biomedical Engineering Faculty
Lawrence Technological University

Each year an estimated 200,000 people in the United States suffer
painful and potentially debilitating anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
tears in their knees, and that number is growing annually. Researchers
at Lawrence Technological University are looking for better methods for
repairing the damage, as well as preventing the injuries from occurring
in the first place.

The ACL connects the femur and tibia in the knee and provides
stabilization during motion. ACL tears have become a common sports
injury that can signal the end of a season or even the end of an
athlete’s career. Such injuries are also common among the elderly.

Two LTU professors and their students are examining ways to reduce the
impact of this injury. Assistant Professor Eric Meyer believes a better
understanding of the biomechanical causes of ACL tears can reduce the
number of injuries, while Assistant Professor Yawen Li is using tissue
engineering to regenerate ACL ligament tissue that could make surgical
repairs both less invasive and more effective.

Read more…


Last spring, as they prepared to complete bachelor’s degrees in biomedical engineering at Lawrence Technological University (LTU), Kevin Roberts and Katelyn Fortin developed a shoe insert. The insert was made to help runners avoid shin splints and other injuries caused by putting too much weight on the heel when striking the pavement.
In keeping with LTU’s “theory and practice” approach to education, many engineering students create a product for their senior project. Mr. Roberts and Ms. Fortin studied trends in running-shoe sales, looked at the biomechanics of foot and ankle function, and consulted faculty advisor Eric Meyer about their idea for a training device that would help transfer more weight to the front of the foot. The students were focused on completing the project for graduation and were ready to leave it at that. “I just

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would have taken the grade and forgotten about the idea,” said Mr. Roberts.
That changed after a meeting last fall with Tech Highway consultant Paul Garko, an LTU alumnus who is part of the LTU Entrepreneurial Collaboratory. With his guidance, they developed a business plan and applied for a patent. “They got us to think about it as a sellable product,” said Mr. Roberts of the problem-solving approach the Collaboratory consultants provided. “They shaped the project in the direction it needed to go.”
Mr. Roberts and Ms. Fortin went back to the drawing board to resolve problems with the design and then tackled commercialization issues. Finalizing the design will take about a year, and then they hope to have a marketable product ready to show investors. As part of the Collaboratory’s emphasis on using a target customer to test the product under development, Mr. Garko found a running club whose members were willing to train with the shoe insert.

Read more…

Characterization of Occupant Lower Extremity Behavior During Moderate-to-High Speed Rear Impacts

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Characterization of Occupant Lower Extremity Behavior During Moderate-Eric Meyerto-High Speed Rear Impacts

Steven Rundell, Allison Guiang, Brian Weaver, Eric G. Meyer

Date Published: 2013-04-08

Paper Number: 2013-01-0222

DOI: 10.4271/2013-01-0222


Injury potential to the neck has been studied extensively for rear-end impacts. The capacity for injury to other body regions, such as the lower extremities, has not been previously explored. The objective of the current study was to characterize the forces and motions experienced in the lower extremities during moderate-to-high speed rear-end impacts.

The current study utilized publicly available rear-end crash tests. Forty-two 50 km/hour, 20% offset, 180° barrier rear-end impacts were used. The occupant lower extremity behavior was analyzed for 63 ATDs, and included 42 driver’s seats, 8 front passenger seats, and 13 right-rear seat scenarios.

Three consistent events were identified during each test, in the following sequence; 1. initial compressive femur force, 2. secondary tensile femur force, and 3. rearward pelvis acceleration peak. In addition to pelvic contact with the seatback, in some cases the loading in the femur was influenced by contact between the seat pan and the back of the tibia just below the knee. The larger, male occupants experienced higher magnitudes of femur compression as the vehicle was impacted from the rear. The smaller, female occupants experienced predominately femur tension. Pelvic acceleration data corroborated these findings. Femur forces were consistent between both legs, indicating that there was little torsion applied to ATDs during the rear-end crash tests.

The current study indicates that occupant anthropometry and seat pan geometry play a significant role in loading of the lower extremity in a rear-end impact.

For more information:

Changing sagittal plane body position during single-leg landings influences the risk of non-contact anterior cruciate ligament injury

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Eric Meyer
Yohei Shimokochi, Jatin P. Ambegaonkar, Eric G. Meyer, Sae Yong Lee, Sandra J. Shultz


Purpose: To examine the effects of different sagittal plane body positions during single-leg landings on biomechanics and muscle activation parameters associated with risk for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.

Methods: Twenty participants performed single-leg drop landings onto a force plate using the following landing styles: self-selected, leaning forward (LFL) and upright (URL). Lower extremity and trunk 3D biomechanics and lower extremity muscle activities were recorded using motion analysis and surface electromyography, respectively. Differences in landing styles were examined using 2-way Repeated-measures ANOVAs (sex × landing conditions) followed by Bonferroni pairwise comparisons.

Results: Participants demonstrated greater peak vertical ground reaction force, greater peak knee extensor moment, lesser plantar flexion, lesser or no hip extensor moments, and lesser medial and lateral gastrocnemius and lateral quadriceps muscle activations during URL than during LFL. These modifications of lower extremity biomechanics across landing conditions were similar between men and women.

Conclusions: Leaning forward while landing appears to protect the ACL by increasing the shock absorption capacity and knee flexion angles and decreasing anterior shear force due to the knee joint compression force and quadriceps muscle activation. Conversely, landing upright appears to be ACL harmful by increasing the post-impact force of landing and quadriceps muscle activity while decreasing knee flexion angles, all of which lead to a greater tibial anterior shear force and ACL loading. ACL injury prevention programs should include exercise regimens to improve sagittal plane body position control during landing motions.

For more information:

Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy

April 2013, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 888-897

Of Biosensors: Telling Your POCs from LOCs and EIS from EC by Dr. Mansoor Nasir

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Dr. Mansoor Nasir

Dr. Mansoor Nasir

“Medical device” is a catch-all term that can include anything and everything from prosthetics and diagnostic instruments to imaging and therapeutic devices. Sometimes, these are also referred to as “biosensors.” However, the

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term biosensor is more commonly used for specific devices or techniques that can qualitatively and quantitatively detect targets of interest. The targets include pathogens, DNA or some other specific protein, or a molecule. Examples of some of the most widely used medical devices that also qualify as biosensors are pregnancy tests, glucose sensors, and environmental sensors.

Of the aforementioned example, pregnancy tests and glucose sensors also qualify as Point-of-Care (POC) diagnostic devices. POCs are all the rage these days. To many, they espouse images of Tricorders and other instruments that might show up in an episode of Star Trek (Trekkie here) in the hands of Dr. McCoy. However, to a ‘serious’ BME student, they represent medical devices that can do the testing and analyze and present the data onsite were patient is located. This could be under supervision of a medical practitioner but certainly, one of the reasons for the success of pregnancy tests and glucose sensors is their ease of use and easy interpretation of results by layfolk.

In the research community, another term that is commonly used for a type of biosensor is a Lab-on-a-Chip (LOC) device (also called Micro Total Analysis System or mTAS). While similar in concept to POCs, LOCs are more sophisticated in their architecture and sensing capabilities. The might include fluidic conduits (sometimes referred to as microfluidics) and a variety of sensing modalities, such as optical, electrical, electrochemical, or acoustic, to

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name a few. Some may also include instrumentation and signal conditioning components. The holy grail in LOCs is a complete platform that can take a raw sample, filter and separate it into constituents, and then selectively identify and/or analyze the target, all on a device no bigger than a credit card.

Figure 1. (Left) First commercially available Glucose Biosensor (YSI 23A)*. (Right) A 3mm-long glucose sensor under development at Lawrence Technological University in Dr. Kandaswamy’s lab. Notice the drive toward miniaturization.

Figure 1. (Left) First commercially available Glucose Biosensor (YSI 23A)*. (Right) A 3mm-long glucose sensor under development at Lawrence Technological University in Dr. Kandaswamy’s lab. Notice the drive toward miniaturization.

LOC devices are attractive in part because they can work with extremely small sample volumes and have very fast detection times. Integrating so many functionalities on a single platform is tremendously challenging and many such devices still require bulky pumps and instrumentation and the end result is almost never the size of a credit card.

This is nowhere truer than in the case of biosensors based on fluorescent tagging. While fluorescent sensors set the bar for high sensitivity for bio/molecular detection, they require bulky measurement setup. Perhaps more importantly, these sensors require the need to label the target with fluorescent molecules. This introduces a host of new issues, such as selectivity and non-specific binding, which can introduce error in measured signal. In many cases, the required reagents are also temperature or light sensitive. The result is that fluorescent biosensors are not cost effective and also not easily miniaturized. Here electrical biosensors have an advantage as they rely solely on the measurement of voltages or currents for detection. The main advantage for studying impedance biosensors is their ability to perform label-free detection. While there are many variations of electrical sensors, the mostly commonly used techniques measure change in impedance or conductivity in the presence of the target. Further information about the target can be elicited if the frequency is also varied while holding the amplitude of the electrical stimulus constant. This technique is called Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS).

Figure 2. The figure shows an example of an impedance-based sensor made by using a micromachined Plexiglas flow channel that interfaces with a glass slide with microfabricated gold electrodes. There are two inlets and one outlet. The flow-rate ratio between sheath (faster) and sample (slower) fluids controls the sensitivity of this sensor.

Figure 2. The figure shows an example of an impedance-based sensor made by using a micromachined Plexiglas flow channel that interfaces with a glass slide with microfabricated gold electrodes. There are two inlets and one outlet. The flow-rate ratio between sheath (faster) and sample (slower) fluids controls the sensitivity of this sensor.

My research interests lie in the area of EIS but combine it with microfluidic sensor technology with the goal of rapid identification of chemical and biological threats. By using microchannels with different architectures as well as changing the flow rates of laminar fluid streams, impedance sensors with tunable sensitivity can be achieved. Working on such projects requires expertise from a multidisciplinary team with expertise in surface modification, microfabrication, and bioinstrumentation. Future research efforts will focus on extending the detection to a multielectrode system for impedance-based imaging systems.

There is considerable potential for incorporating such ideas in classroom teaching. A new BME course (BME4093), offered in Spring 2013, will focus on with various medical device technologies, including commercialized products such as the glucose sensor. EIS research includes elements of circuit design, electrochemical (EC) response of electrodes in electrolytic solutions, as well as bioinstrumentation for signal amplification and filtering. Students in the Bioelectrical Engineering Physics course (BME 4503) offered this semester learned about the theory behind EIS. In short, impedance biosensors have the potential for not only the development of simple, label-free detection of biosensors but can also be valuable tools in teaching students about some fundamental principles of biosensing platforms based on electrical measurements.


Injury Biomechanics by Dr. Joseph Hassan

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The Biomedical Engineering Program includes the research area of Injury biomechanics (also called Biomechanics of trauma or Impact biomechanics). The new initiative studies the biomechanical behavior of the

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human body under extreme, injury producing, loading conditions. Students trained in injury biomechanics are especially skilled in trauma biomechanics and occupant kinematics. Using medical records, diagnostic images and the scientific literature, they combine medical and engineering knowledge to assess the causal relationship between diagnosed injuries and loads applied during an impact event. Particular interest is given to topics such as definition of impact injury mechanisms, the quantification of biomechanical response to impact, the determination of impact tolerance levels, and the development and use of injury assessment devices and techniques for evaluating injury prevention systems. The current status of knowledge and technology is emphasized for the head, cervical spine, thorax, abdomen, and lower extremity.

Graduates of such program are typically skilled in the impact of abnormal environments on normal anatomy. They study the effects of exposure to physical forces (e.g., localized and whole body impacts and repeated jolt) on the health and performance of human beings. These skills are accomplished through epidemiological research, computer modeling, laboratory simulation, use of crash dummies and human volunteers, investigation of mishaps and ground vehicular incidents.

BME graduates of such program develop biomechanically validated injury standards and recommend injury prevention strategies to equipment developers and major commands.


Dr. Joseph Hassan

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Dr. Joseph Hassan has long and extensive experience in the biomedical field in the automotive and transportation industries and has served as the liaison for a number of government and military contracts in the computational biomechanics and digital human modeling areas.

Dr. Hassan was also one of the original founders of the Global Human Body Modeling Consortium (GHBMC) and is serving on a number of advisory boards for BME. At Johns Hopkins Applied Physics laboratory (APL), Dr. Hassan served as member of the “National Security Technology Department & Extension programs” where he lead the efforts for modeling human thoracic and brain injury in ballistic and

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blast conditions. He also enjoyed teaching graduate extension courses in the biomedical and injury risk computational center.

While at Daimler-Chrysler, Dr. Hassan served as the head of the Biomechanics and Occupant Safety Simulation group, where he lead research and development efforts for various human injury and protection programs in automotive. His efforts included projects to enhance seat and restraints designs, advanced air bag design concepts, full vehicle crashworthiness and impact protection as well as method s to improve human injury prediction such as advanced dummy and surrogates designs.

Dr. Hassan has published over 100 technical papers and served as editor and organizer of a number of technical conferences. He

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is currently serving on several advisory boards and technical committees. Listing just a few:

* Chair of the SAE Restraint Standards Committee

* Chair, ISO SC10/WG 3 “Out of positions Occupant Interaction with Airbags”.

* Advisory Board Member, NHTSA Brain Injury Modeling

* Advisory Board member, ISO SC12/WG5 Advanced dummy design

* Advisory Board member, ISO SC12/WG6 Injury biomechanics procedures

* Advisory Board member, ISO SC12/WG4 Virtual testing

Dr. Hassan’s research activities include Computational Biomechanics of Injury, Digital Human Modeling, Occupant protection, air bag and various restraints research, dummy biofidelity research programs, safety countermeasures as well as pedestrian injury protection.

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