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Dr. Nasir and Dr. Meyer awarded a new KEEN Topical Grant

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Dr. Mansoor Nasir (PI) and Dr. Eric Meyer (Co-PI) were recently awarded a $25,000 grant by Kern Family Foundation (KFF) to develop a model for dissemination of entrepreneurial mindset in biomedical engineering.

The two faculty were the recipients of Kern Entrepreneur Education Network (KEEN) Topical grant in 2014 through which they developed modules for several courses focusing on the entrepreneurial skill set. The modules used the Quantified-self and Wearables as a theme for implementation. Eric and Mansoor

The following year (2015) the two faculty received funds through the KEEN Topical Subnet grant to organize three half-day workshops. After the first workshop on LTU campus, Dr. Nasir and Dr. Meyer took the Quantified-self ‘Roadshow’ to Bucknell and Ohio Northern Universities, where faculty and students were introduced to Theory and Practice of entrepreneurship.

The focus of the new grant is to specifically focus on broadening the scope of dissemination beyond the network through creation of digital and media resources. The faculty will work to integrate the LTU BME materials into the digital platform currently being developed by the KFF.

 

Editorial: The Case for Entrepreneurship in Biomedical Engineering Education (Dr. Mansoor Nasir)

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Entrepreneurship_in_BME

Read it all here: Austin J Biomed Eng. 2014;1(2): 1.

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

 

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.

 

LTU BME Alums Make Waves!

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For their senior project, Aimee Tomlinson and Meagan Mazurek (LTU, BME Class of 2017), under the advisement of Dr. Mansoor Nasir, worked on a CPR monitoring device. They won the award for the best project last year. The super alums have been continuing on the entrepreneurship pathway with their project and their initiative led to them being accepted to the Wayne State Patent Procurement Clinic in August 2017. The clinic offers free patent services to a limited number of Michigan-based inventors. Inventors are assigned a patent law student that will perform a patentability search, draft the patent application, and communicate with the US Patent Office. In December 2017, Aimee and Meagan filed a patent application for their CPR feedback device. With the patent pending and some intellectual property protection in place, Aimee applied and was accepted to the Design of Medical Devices Conference’s Valuation Competition. Aimee will be giving an 8-minute oral presentation on the invention, with the chance to be awarded a full valuation of the marketability and manufacturing possibilities for the device, a service valued at $15,000!

Aimee is currently a research assistant for the Motor Learning and Rehabilitation Engineering Lab at Michigan State University. Her next goal is to develop wearable technologies for stroke rehabilitation. Meagan is currently working at Bosch Automotive services solution, in Novi, MI

Aimee Tomlison, Meagan Mazurek and their project advisor, Dr. Mansoor Nasir in 2017

IEEE SEM Conference 2017

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Dr. Nasir was a panel speaker at IEEE Southeast Michigan (SEM) chapters 2017 Annual conference. The topic was Ethics in Engineering, Science and Technology, in recognition of the difficulty in a modern world of fulfilling multiple and sometimes conflicting moral obligations to different parties. The keynote speaker was John C. Havens, Executive Director of the IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems, who made a passionate appeal for Ethical considerations to be at the front end of Engineering Design.

Dr. Nasir talked about the need for students to be exposed to the ethical issues and engineering best practices. Biomedical engineers at LTU are required to take BME Best Practices (BME 3002) which covers many of the relevant topics. The topic of privacy and security of personal health data is also of relevance to Wearable Technology, which is being covered by BME 4903-02, Wearable Technology Studio, this semester.

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Annual BMES Conference Recap

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Lawrence Technological University was well-represented at the 2017 annual conference of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), held in October 11-14th, 2017 in Phoenix, Ariz.

On the research end, two master’s degree students, Nicole Ravenscroft and Andrew Lyzen, and two undergraduates, Angelica Guardia and Kathm Alismail, presented research posters.

Nicole reported her research on developing a microfabricated device for studying the toxicity of various agents to endothelial cells — the cells that line blood vessels. She also presented a poster about a microfluidic device to detect MRSA bacteria. Andrew presented his master’s research project on designing a bioreactor to promote differentiation of a certain type of stem cells, called mesenchymal stem cells, to regenerate cartilage. Angelica and Kathm presented their undergraduate research on developing a scaffold made of collagen, the body’s most abundant protein, for ligament tissue engineering.

Among faculty, Dr.  Nasir, presented two papers in the education track. The first was a poster on the importance of design and prototyping for biomedical engineers, and included classroom assignments developed by Dr. Nasir and Dr. Meyer, to practice these skills. This poster was among the handful of posters awarded “the best poster award” at the conference. The second was a presentation providing the unique nature of a collaboration between LTU and the University of Detroit Mercy to create senior capstone projects that produced prototype products to assist people with disabilities.

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BME Fall 2017 Newsletter

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Its finally here! The second page features summer student experiences. Please contact Dr. Nasir if you would like a hard copy.BME Newsletter - Fall 2017

 

Contract CAD Work Opportunity

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Beaumont orthopedic research lab is looking for a student interested in doing some contract CAD work with a Beaumont surgeon. The surgeon is designing some novel implantation using Nitinol and would like it professionally drafted with some CAD software like Solidworks.  The project is for a patent and subsequent commercialization, so this is a pretty unique opportunity that will expose the student to some immediate product development. The surgeon will pay the student either by the project or by the hour, on a freelance basis.

Interested students can contact Dr. Nasir or Dr. Li.

LTU Faculty conduct Hands-on Workshop at ASEE Annual Conference

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Dr. Nasir and Dr. Meyer along with Dr. Michael Rust from Western New England University conducted a hands-on workshop at the 2017 American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference in Columbus, OH. The workshop in the BME division was titled “Hands-on activities for Prototyping and Ideation in Biomedical Engineering”. 

The faculty had prepared electronic kits containing open hardware and various sensors for the participants and shared how the kits can be incorporated in learning modules in classroom. The use of these types of kits promotes student-instructor interaction and builds confidence in students to create functional prototypes.

The workshop was attended by 11 participants and there was a healthy conversation during and after the workshop. The development of kits and learning modules is being supported by The Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN) topical grant that Dr. Nasir and Dr. Meyer received last year.

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