Senior Design, Course Concept


                                                        Fall, 2004


Biomedical Engineering Design applies engineering and biology to the creation of a new device.  The basic process is diagrammed below:













The process may begin at any of the four stages, but logically begins with the Design stage.  Design involves the statement of the objective and a set of “Design Criteria” that represent a definition of the successful design.  Once the design criteria are set, one creates a prototype design based upon a “best guess” of the optimal solution.  While this design will be based on rigorous engineering analysis, the resulting prototype will still require testing to ensure that the stated design criteria have been met.  If not, it will be necessary to understand the problem in greater depth through engineering modeling and use this enhanced understanding to redesign the system.  The redesign may involve simply a change in the description of the prototype, but it may also involve a redefinition of the original objective and re-evaluation of the design criteria.


Design can be accomplished by any discipline (e.g., the design of a wallpaper pattern is legitimately a design), but engineering design is distinguished by the application of quantitative engineering concepts to the process.  Biomedical engineering design is further distinguished by the use of biological concepts.


One can design a biomedical device without the use of biological concepts.  For example, one may design an X-Ray machine without needing to know anything about biology.  For the sake of this course, a project is not considered as Biomedical unless concepts of physiology are used in the process, and a necessary condition is the use of physiology in the modeling of the interaction between the device and a physiological system.