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College of Engineering & Science - Louisiana Tech University

Biomedical Engineering

B. S. in Biomedical Engineering Courses

All of the required courses in the B.S. Biomedical Engineering curriculum have been chosen and reviewed by the faculty for effectiveness in producing the desired learning outcomes. The courses can be broadly divided into Humanities, Math, Science, Biomedical Engineering, Other Engineering Core Courses, and Track Courses.

The Humanities generally help to address outcomes BIENOc3 (Social Responsibilities) and BIEN Oc6 (Effective Communication). Specifically, ENGL 101, ENGL 102, ENGL 201 and ENGL 303 help students to write effectively, and SPCH 377 gives them experience with oral presentations. Courses in History, Social Sciences, and Art Appreciation add a broader view of the word and help students to understand the connection between Biomedical Engineering and society, as indicated by BIENOc3.

The calculus sequence (MATH 241 through 245) forms the mathematical framework that is necessary for the students to have depth and breadth in engineering (BIENOc1 and BIENOc2). Students who do not place into Math 241 will need to begin with Math 240.

Students also need a strong science background in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, and courses in these areas add either depth (BIENOc1) or breadth (BIENOc2). Specific courses include Human Anatomy and Physiology (BISC 225 and BISC 227), Physiology Laboratory (BISC 321), Mechanics (PHYS 201), Electricity and Magnetism (PHYS 202), and the freshman Chemistry sequence (CHEM 101 through 104). Students who do not place into CHEM 101 will need to begin with CHEM 100. The two Physics courses are calculus-based. The Chemistry laboratories (CHEM 103 and 104) and the Physiology Laboratory (BISC 321) also provide a background in measurements that is important to BIENOc8 (generating and testing hypotheses). The students' background in Biology will be strengthened, for students who started the program in Fall of 2007, by the addition of Biological Principles (BISC 130) and Biological Principles Laboratory (BISC 131). Physiology Laboratory also addresses BIENOc5 (Interface of Engineering and Biology) by having students take a variety of measurements from live animals. The course requires modern engineering tools (BIENOc10) to take the measurements, and reinforces communication (BIENOc6) through organized laboratory reports.

The Statics, Circuits and Thermodynamics courses (ENGR 220, 221 and 222, respectively) also provide an Engineering foundation that supports breadth and depth (BIENOc1 and BIENOc2). Additional Engineering will be added for students who entered the program in Fall of 2007 with the addition of MEMT 201 (Engineering Materials) and MEMT 215 (Materials Laboratory).

The technical electives add either engineering or science content that further addresses the depth (BIENOc1) and breadth (BIENOc2) in engineering and science. These courses may reinforce other areas. For example, additional Physics and Organic Chemistry laboratories in the premedical track provide students with additional tools that they could use to test hypotheses (BIENOc8).

The portion of the curriculum under most direct control of the BIEN faculty is the BIEN courses. A brief review of each of the BIEN courses is given below to explain how these courses achieve the outcomes.

BIEN 202 (BIEN Principles I) addresses Outcomes 1, 2, 5, 6 and 11. It introduces students to the value of engineering principles in studying physiological systems or designing biomedical systems. Examples include an overview of basic biopotential instrumentation and its relationship to nerve conduction and membrane potentials, a simple blood flow modeling exercise and its relationship to the cardiovascular system, and introduction of basic biomechanics or orthopedic implants and their relationship to the skeletal system. These activities help achieve Outcomes 1 (depth), 2 (breadth) and 5 (interface of engineering and biology). The students are also required to submit a report that explores a career option in Biomedical Engineering. The format of this report and the relevance to contemporary engineering topics help the students to develop Outcomes 6 (communication) and 11 (contemporary applications). Contemporary engineering topics are also introduced to the students through the requirement that all students must attend at least three student chapter meetings of the Biomedical Engineering Society.

BIEN 203 (BIEN Principles II) addresses Outcomes 5, 6, 10 and 11. It introduces students to computer-based biomedical applications (Outcome 5) and teaches them to communicate quantitative results with plots and flow charts (Outcome 6). This course is the students' first opportunity to apply MATLAB (Outcome 10) to selected problems. In addition, the biomedical problems selected are relevant to contemporary biomedical applications (Outcome 11).

BIEN 225 (Biomedical Systems) addresses Outcomes 1, 4, 5 and 10. It covers depth (Outcome 1) by providing students with fundamental knowledge in signals and systems. An overarching goal of the course is to demonstrate to students that applications in multiple disciplines (Outcome 4) can be addressed with similar mathematical tools and often obey differential equations of the same form. The simplest example of this concept is the analogies among inductor-resistor-capacitor circuits, mass-spring-damper systems, and resistance-compliance-inertia fluid mechanical systems. Outcome 5 is addressed in this course through various biological examples of signal and system analysis. The modern engineering tool (Outcome 10) addressed in this course is MATLAB, which is used as an analysis aid.

BIEN 230 (Biomaterials) addresses Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 11. It provides an introduction to biomaterials and their applications. Depth (Outcome 1) is included in the course through the coverage of fundamental material characteristics that lead to material-biological interactions. Breadth (Outcome 2) is included because the study of biomaterials and biocompatibility broadens the students' engineering knowledge. Social responsibilities (Outcome 3) are a part of this course because the selection of materials in implantable devices can have broad medical and social impacts and is subject to regulation by the Food and Drug Administration. Multidisciplinary problems (Outcome 4) and problems at the interface of engineering and biology (Outcome 5) are relevant to this course because the fundamentals of materials engineering are applied to the multidisciplinary realm of implantable devices. Finally, because the field of biomaterials is rapidly changing, many of the biomaterials applications discussed are contemporary issues (Outcome 11).

BIEN 301 (Biomedical Fluid Mechanics and Energy Transport) addresses Outcomes 1, 2, 5 and 10. Students learn basic transport phenomena and fluid dynamics principles applied specifically to mass, momentum and energy/heat transport (Outcomes 1 and 2). In-class examples, homework problems, and test problems demonstrate the application of these basic engineering principles to a variety of biomedical problems including blood/circulation, metabolism and thermal regulation, and macro and microscopic heat transfer (Outcome 5). Students obtain more experience in the use of MATLAB and are introduced to the use of Simulink to solve differential equations related to fluid and thermal systems (Outcome 11).

BIEN 325 (Biomedical Engineering Instrumentation) addresses Outcomes 1, 2, 5, 6 and 10. It provides students with hands-on experience in constructing and debugging instrumentation for biomedical measurements (Outcomes 1 and 2, Depth and Breadth). Topics covered include electrical safety, operational amplifiers, basic sensor principles, biopotentials and biopotential measurement, and biosensors (Outcome 5). Through traditional lecture and laboratory activities, students learn to design instrumentation to measure a variety of biomedical signals, prepare and submit formal laboratory reports (Outcome 6, communication), model transducers, and use MATLAB (Outcome 10, modern engineering tools).

BIEN 400 (Senior Seminar) addresses Outcomes 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9 and 11. It instructs seniors formally in professional development issues (career preparation, professional registration, resumes and interviews, relating to Outcome 3, social responsibilities) and is the first course of the senior design sequence. Students in this class make two oral presentations on a design concept (Outcomes 4 and 6) and receive two mock interviews by Advisory Board members (Outcomes 3, 6 and 9). This class also includes sections on medical and professional ethics (Outcome 3). The students work in multidisciplinary teams (Outcome 7) to develop a viable biomedical design concept, and they submit a proposal that describes their design idea, establishes design criteria, and presents a project plan (Outcomes 2, 4 and 6). The needs analysis that students must perform for their device concept broadens their exposure to contemporary issues in Biomedical Engineering (Outcome 11).

BIEN 401 (Biotransport) addresses Outcomes 1, 2, 4, 5, 10 and 11. It covers basic transport phenomena applied to mass transport (Outcomes 1 and 2). In-class examples, homework problems, and test problems demonstrate the application of these basic engineering principles to a variety of biomedical problems (Outcomes 4 and 5). Examples include glucose and oxygen transport in physiological problems. In BIEN 401, students learn and use MATLAB and SimuLink (Outcome 10) to simulate and model transport conditions and equations (Outcome 11).

BIEN 402 (Engineering Design I) addresses Outcomes 1 through 11. Although the title of this course suggests that it is the first course of the senior design sequence, much of the needs analysis of senior design now occurs in BIEN 400 (Senior Seminar). BIEN 400, described previously, is a dual-purpose course that has a major professionalism component but also introduces preliminary engineering design concepts. In BIEN 402, students begin to design and build a prototype for the device they proposed in BIEN 400, based on realistic constraints. Since the students apply the knowledge gained in their engineering and biology courses, the design sequence reinforce the objectives of Outcome 1 (in-depth engineering, biomedical and medical concepts), 2 (broad-based engineering concepts and design), 5 (application of math and science to problems at the interface of engineering and biology), and 10 (application of modern engineering tools). Outcome 3 (social, cultural, and ethical principles and responsibilities) is addressed in BIEN 402, where the students must develop a formal ethical decision-making strategy based on various traditional ethical foundations that are presented to them. Outcome 4 (defining and solving problems) is inherent in the design process. Students are told on the first day of Engineering Design that their project must include a mathematically-based theoretical implementation that is relevant to the quality of their designs. Outcome 6 (communication and associated technology) is addressed by direct interaction among the students, communication through the design proposal, and oral communication (presentations) in class. Outcome 7 is an integral part of BIEN 402 because the students work in teams to complete their design proposal and begin their design and prototyping. The teams are inherently multidisciplinary because the students have their own areas of expertise as a result of our tracks. Groups are selected to ensure that more than one track is represented in each group. In addition, the students interact with people outside of Biomedical Engineering. The ability to generate hypotheses and design experiments to test these hypotheses (Outcome 8) is also an inherent part of BIEN 402. Each group is required to develop an experimental plan that will determine the extent to which the design criteria are met. Adaptation to sociological and technological change (Outcome 9) is acquired by the students in BIEN 402 through the research skills that they gain in researching the need for their idea, and the technologies available to implement and test their design. Outcome 10 (modern engineering tools) is addressed by the BIEN 402 because students must apply modern engineering tools to create a relevant design and to establish tests for their design criteria. Finally, the research that the students undertake as part of their project definition and implementation provides them with "an understanding of contemporary Biomedical Engineering applications and technology and their uses in health care" (Outcome 11).

BIEN 403 (Analysis and Design of Physiological Control Systems) addresses Outcomes 1, 2, 4, 5, 10 and 11. It contributes to Outcome 1 in that it covers the advanced controls concepts of Electrical Engineering control theory. Because these concepts are applied to biomedical problems and are generally useful in all other engineering disciplines, the course also contributes to Outcome 2 (broad-based engineering education). The physiological problems considered in this course teach the students how to apply the traditional engineering concepts to biological systems. The problems may vary, depending on the expertise of the faculty member who teaches the course, but some examples include control of eye motions, glucose-insulin balance, control of blood pressure, and control of muscular activity. It is in this sense that the course contributes to Outcomes 4 (identifying and solving problems that cut across disciplines) and 5 (application of mathematics and engineering to problems at the interface of engineering and biology. The course uses MATLAB, and thus instructs students in the use of modern engineering tools for analysis (Outcome 10). Furthermore, contemporary problems in biomedical controls are included to help the students achieve Outcome 11. Overall, the course addresses Outcomes 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, and 11.

BIEN 404 (Engineering Design II) addresses Outcomes 1 through 11. Application of engineering to the design of a device reinforces Outcomes 1 and 2 (depth and breadth). Lectures on Food and Drug Administration regulations and on product liability address Outcome 3 (social responsibilities), and the students are shown the resources they would need to develop a 510K or PMA application and a Report of Invention. Students also individually write a formal statement of ethics and relate their statement to at least one ethical case study. Outcome 4 (defining and solving problems) is addressed through the testing of design criteria, and Outcome 5 (interface of engineering and biology) is addressed by having students design and implement appropriate tests to determine the extent to which all of the design criteria have been met and by the mathematically-based theoretical development that was begun in BIEN 402. Outcome 6 (communication and associated technology) is addressed by intra-team communication, the final project report, peer review of the design reports and oral presentations at the Engineering Design Conference held in the spring. Outcome 7 is addressed because the students work in teams to complete their design projects. The multidisciplinary nature of the teams is ensured by selecting team members from different track areas. The students also interact with people outside of Biomedical Engineering in this course. The "Acknowledgement" section of each final report or presentation must include some people outside of the work group and outside of Biomedical Engineering. The ability to generate specifications and design experiments to test these specifications (Outcome 8) is reinforced as students test their design to ensure that it fulfills the design criteria. Adaptation to sociological and technological change (Outcome 9) is reinforced as the students continue to research materials related to their design and to testing methods. Outcome 10 (modern engineering tools) is reinforced as the students use engineering tools, which may include MATLAB and LabView, but will also involve modern measurement techniques, to implement and test their design. The overall process of designing and implementing a relevant biomedical device addresses Outcome 11 (contemporary biomedical applications).

BIEN 425 (Advanced Bioinstrumentation) addresses Outcomes 1 through 11. It provides a detailed introduction to acquisition (digital sampling) of physiological signals and digital signal processing (Outcome 1). The application of above principles to design and use of digital filters for physiological signal analysis using off-line tools and real-time acquisition and processing supports Outcome 2. This course offers lab experiments and short-term research projects using human subjects, which are required to have institutional approval and patient consent (Outcome 3). Homework, exams, quizzes, and labs employ examples that integrate engineering disciplines and biological concepts (Outcome 4). Outcome 5 is supported by digital signal processing and mathematical manipulation of physiological signals. Labs require understanding of interfaces to achieve signal acquisition. Students present findings from group research projects in a professional format during the "Advanced Instrumentation Research Conference," held in the evening near the end of the quarter (supporting Outcome 6). Group research projects span the entire quarter (addressing Outcome 7). Group research projects also require students to generate hypotheses regarding the effect of external stimuli on physiological signals that can be collected from human subjects. They then design the experiments, collect the data, analyze it, and draw conclusions, supporting Outcome 8. Students are instructed in the current technology and standards for human experimentation, and are expected to research the current understanding of the topic for their research project (Outcome 9). For Outcome 10, further instruction and use of MATLAB and LabVIEW is provided. Students are also instructed in the use of digital filters, and which are more appropriate for different applications. Homework, exams, quizzes, and labs require that they integrate this knowledge and apply it to solve medically-relevant problems. Digital signal processing is a component of most recent medical technologies, especially patient monitoring equipment (Outcome 11).

BIEN 430 (Biomechanics) addresses Outcomes 1, 2 and 5. It provides further depth (Outcome 1) and breadth (Outcome 2) in both engineering and the application of engineering to biology (Outcome 5). Students begin this course with a brief review of Statics and the application of Statics to the calculation of reactive forces in the body. Next, concepts from Dynamics are introduced and applied to analysis of motions of the human body. Finally, students are provided with the tools from deformable body mechanics, including stress/strain/displacement, Navier's equations and the compatibility relationships. Mohr's circle, linearity, isotropy and homogeneity, and coordinate transformations. These concepts are applied to the analysis of bone deformation and to other biomedical applications, as appropriate to the instructor's area of expertise.

BIEN 435 (Biomedical Engineering Senior Laboratory) addresses Outcomes 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 11. It reinforces Outcomes 1 and 2 (depth and breadth in engineering) by providing experimental experience with techniques for measuring pressure, flow, concentration and deflection and by having students use theoretical relationships to derive from their experimental data the parameters of interest (such as Young's modulus). It addresses interdisciplinary problem-solving (Outcome 4) and by providing experiments that combine techniques (such as electrical and mechanical methods) to obtain the needed measurements, and it addresses Outcome 5 (the interface of engineering and biology) because each experiment has relevance to a biomedical engineering problem. For example, the first three experiments are (1) measurements of pressure loss in an in vitro model of arterial stenosis, (2) use of the dye injection method to estimate flow rate in an in vitro model of the systemic circulation and (3) determination of Young's modulus for a chicken bone. Outcome 6 (effective communication) is addressed by having the students write up the results of their experiments in a journal style format (Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion, References) and by providing the students with documents that help them enhance their professional writing skills. Outcome 7 (teamwork) is reinforced because the students perform their experiments in teams. Outcome 8 (generating and testing hypotheses) is addressed because each of the three directed experiments is accompanied by one or more hypotheses that the students must test in their experiment, and each hypothesis must be verified by appropriate statistical tests. Outcome 8 is further reinforced by a fourth experiment in which the students must develop their own hypothesis and test it through experiments and statistical testing. Outcome 10 (engineering tools) is addressed by the use of tools for measurement and for data analysis. Outcome 11 (contemporary biomedical applications) is addressed because the experimental techniques and measurements are relevant to contemporary applications of biomedical engineering.

Relationship between Program Outcomes and Program Coursework

The relationship between Program Outcomes and the program coursework is shown in the following Table. The outcomes are listed along the top, and courses are listed along the left-hand side. For each course and each outcome, a letter is used to indicate whether that course explicitly addresses that outcome (E), or reinforces that outcome (R).


Table.  Relationship between the courses in the curriculum and the Program Outcomes:

ABET Outcomes (a-k)
Courses a. Apply Math, Science, & Engineering b. Design, conduct experiments, analyze, interpret data c. Design to meet needs d. Multidisciplinary teams  e. Identify, formulate, solve engineering problems f. Professional & ethical responsibilities g. Communicate effectively h. Impact of engineering i. Need for lifelong learning j. Knowledge of contemporary issues k. Use techniques, skills, modern tools
English 101-102             E        
English 201           E E E      
English 303                    
Art Appreciation                  
Social Science (3)                  
History           E   E      
Math 240-245 E                    
Physics 201-202 E                    
Chemistry 100-102 E                    
Chemistry Labs   E                  
Engineering 120-122 E E E E E   E E     E
Biomedical Engineering 202 E       E     E   E  
Biomedical Engineering 203 E                 E E
Biomedical Engineering 225 E       E           E
Biomedical Engineering 230 E         E   E   E  
Biological Sciences 130 E                    
Biological Sciences 131 E                    
Biological Sciences 220 E                    
Biological Sciences 227 E                    
Biological Sciences 321 E E                  
Engineering 220 E     E E           E
Engineering 221 E       E           E
Engineering 222 E       E           E
MEMT 201 E                    
MEMT 215   E                  
Biomedical Engineering 301 E                   E
Biomedical Engineering 325 E                    
Biomedical Engineering 400 R                    
Biomedical Engineering 401 E                    
Biomedical Engineering 402 E                    
Biomedical Engineering 403 E                    
Biomedical Engineering 404 E                    
Biomedical Engineering 425 E                    
Biomedical Engineering 430 E                    
Biomedical Engineering 435 R                    
Speech 377                      
Technical Electives E