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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.

 

Andy Bentz Webinar

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Andy Bentz, a product engineer at Stryker Medical will be giving a webinar in Dr. Nasir’s Medical Device Design course (BME4113) on Wednesday, March 18th 2015. The webinar will begin at 10am in E104. Mr. Bentz will be talking about product development cycle as well as issues of FDA regulation and intrapraneurship. 

Interested students (not in the course) and faculty are also welcomed to attend and are requested to RSVP with Dr. Nasir.

Coulter College 2015

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Last year a team of six BME students, Dr. Nasir and a Clinician entered the Coulter College Workshop which is a training program focused on translation of biomedical innovations. The LTU team, entering for the first time, came in third place out of 22 teams. The program which is part of BMES enables participants to take what they learn forward to their senior design courses. At the workshop, student design teams are guided by faculty and clinical experts through a highly dynamic process designed to help them better understand how innovations can meet clinical needs, while providing tools and approaches used to evolve identified problems into novel solutions.

Past student and faculty participants have found BMES Coulter College to be very beneficial and previous design faculty members have used the BMES Coulter College experience to enhance their design courses. In addition to the onsite activities, students will be required to complete limited pre-Coulter College assignments in preparation for the course.

The dates for the program are August 13-16, 2015 in Coral Gables, FL (southwest of downtown Miami). The faculty and student participants must be able to commit to three days (two partial days and two full days) of an intensive workshop integrating lectures, team projects and presentations.

Coulter College team applications are due April 8, 2015. Each team application must be submitted by a BME student design faculty member currently affiliated with a university who teaches or previously taught senior design (Dr. Nasir).  Those selected to participate will be eligible to receive a stipend to defray travel costs and will be provided with meals and lodging. Accepted teams will be announced in late April.

For more information about BMES Coulter College and to submit a team application, please visit: http://bmes.org/coulter

In order for the teams to work there needs to be commitment from six student. Interested students should contact Dr. Nasir ASAP. In case of interest from more than six students, priority will be given to Juniors who are preparing to start senior project in Fall 2015. However, students at other grade levels are also encouraged to consider this opportunity.

 

Summer Research Opportunity @ LTU

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Dr. Nasir is looking for two self-motivated students to work on a sensor project. The project focuses on Piezoelectric materials called PVDF, which mechanically deform when acted upon by external electrical stimulus. The responsibilities will include building customized devices and also the instrumentation setup for testing the devices.

This is an excellent opportunity for any student who is interested getting a preview of graduate level research and there is opportunity to publish the findings of this research in a conference proceeding or a scientific journal which is an impressive addition on any CV/Resume.

The positions are paid ~$10/hr and students can work up to 30 hr/wk during summer. Ideally, the students will have some circuits experience but interested students should contact Dr. Nasir about their suitability for this project.  A poster created by a BME student who worked on this project last year is attached below:

Research Day 2014- PVDF_Poster

Contact Dr. Nasir: mnasir at ltu.edu

BME Courses Updated to Include an Entrepreneurial Perspective

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Biomedical Engineering students at Lawrence Tech. are getting a head-start into an entrepreneurial mindset through a KEEN grant. Dr. Eric Meyer and Dr. Mansoor Nasir are teaching fundamental engineering courses from a new entrepreneurial perspective.  Devices like Fitbit and iHealth have created a “Quantified Self” craze. Using these types of devices is an ideal way to teach entrepreneurial fundamentals.  Students are assigned open-ended problems  just like the real-world where solutions are never simple or straightforward. According to Dr. Meyer, “We are modifying courses across the curriculum to train students to stop thinking only like an engineer or scientist and to start thinking like a product developer.”

To read the full magazine article: http://www.flipmall.net/publishers/140922/keenzine_2/

BME professors give workshop on the entrepreneurship mindset

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Eric and Mansoor

Biomedical Engineering professors Dr. Meyer and Dr. Nasir recently gave a workshop titled “Medical Leaps and Bounds” at a conference in Marlette, MI. Conference participants learned how to foster an entrepreneurial mindset into college courses.

“Meyer and Nasir have been developing entrepreneurship skills modules for several courses in the biomedical engineering curriculum. They are using current, real-world opportunities created by the “Quantified Self” social movement to motivate students to practice entrepreneurial-minded learning (EML) techniques.”

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BME Team Finishes Third at Coulter College Competition!

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Coulter Team

Representing Lawrence Tech at the Coulter College competition in Florida were (L-R) LTU faculty advisor Dr. Mansoor Nasir, Danielle Manley, Akram Alsamarae, Kaitlyn Tingley, Mateusz Koper, Amanda Bukhtia, and Stephen Krammin. At right is clinical advisor, Dr. Molly McClelland, an assistant professor at the University of Detroit Mercy.

Six students from the Biomedical Engineering Department were selected to participate in the Coulter College competition in Miami, Florida. The competition involved students working in teams to address an unmet clinical need. The students participated in a four day competition in which they addressed a problem and found a novel way to solve it. Students were mentored by experts in the Biomedical field and attended lectures pertaining to FDA regulations and intellectual property. On the final day of the competition, student teams pitched their ideas in a similar format to “Shark Tank.” Lawrence Tech. placed 3rd out of 19 schools and they won the popular vote! The experience helped students understand the various steps needed to execute an idea and allowed students to interact with experts in the Biomedical field.

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Introducing High School Students to Biomedical Engineering through Summer Camps

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Dr. Mansoor Nasir along with Dr. Eric Meyer and Joseph Seta presented the following abstract at the ASEE Annual Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana in June.

 

Introducing High School Students to Biomedical Engineering through Summer Camps

Mansoor Nasir, Joeseph Seta, Eric G. Meyer

Summer camps provide many high school students their first opportunity to learn about various disciplines in the engineering profession. A week-long summer camp in Biomedical Engineering (BME) was used to introduce students to many of the topics that make up this discipline, and to engage them in learning through hands-on activities, discussions and lab tours. The BME topic areas that were covered in this summer camp were biomechanics, bioMEMS, medical imaging and medical sensors. Of the students that responded in the exit surveys, 71% of student rated the summer camp as good and 57% said that they will probably recommend the camp to others. Summer camps and outreach days for high school students can be an effective means for introducing young people to BME through tailored activities that used the resources available at the host academic institution.”

 

To read more: Summer Camp Abstract

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