Congratulations to Abigail Kuehne (Psychology and Communication, Culture, and Media/ Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors ’21), Sam Raber (Psychology ’22), Lindsay Sandell (Biomedical Engineering ’21), and Gary Tropp (Computer Network and System Administration ’22), who have been named University Innovation Fellows by Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school).
Thanks to all who participated in this year’s World Water Day. Thanks to all of the students who entered posters, the judges, our guest speaker, discussion facilitators, panelists, artists and the committee who pulled it all together.
The keynote lecture, “Mapping the Water Crisis of Unaffordability,” was by Monica Lewis-Patrick from We the People of Detroit.
The 2019 World Water Day Poster Award winners:
Original Research Awards
- 1st — Erin Eberhard, BIO ($300), Advisor: Amy Marcarelli. Spatial Heterogeneity of Nitrogen Fixation and Denitrification across a Wetland-Stream-Lake Interface
- 2nd — Elisabeth Stimmel, SFRES ($200), Advisor: Fengling (Frank) Liu. The Effects of Microtopography and a Simulated Emerald Ash Borer infestation on Woody Regeneration in Black Ash Wetlands
- 3rd — Laura Schaerer, BIO ($150), Advisor: Stephen Techtmann. The microbial communities of bilge water, boat surfaces and external port water: a global comparison
- 1st— Peter Beach, Bio Med and Jill Poliskey, BIO ($300), Advisor: Kelly Kamm. Combating Blue Death with Clean Water
- 2nd — Rose Hildebrandt, CLS, Claire Danielson, BIO and Timothy Stone, SS ($200). Advisor: Kelly Kamm. Onchocerciasis and the Right to Clean Water
- 3rd — Alex Gabe, KIP and Olivia Demaree, Bio Med ($150) Advisor: Kelly Kamm. Clean Water, Clear Vision
World Water Day at Michigan Tech was sponsored by the Great Lakes Research Center, the Departments of Social Sciences and Civil and Environmental Engineering, the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, the Sustainable Futures Institute, Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Department of Visual and Performing Arts and the Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region.
By the Great Lakes Research Center.
Lee served as the chair of the Bioadhesion Division within the Adhesion Society and was one of the organizers in the meeting. Rajachar chaired two sessions entitled “Interfaces in Pharmaceutical Sciences” and “Bioadhesive Chemistry.”
Narkar gave an oral presentation entitled “Evaluating Rapid Switching and Reversible Adhesion of Adhesive Hydrogel-Coated PDMS Micropillars,” a project directed by Lee. Narkar also co-chaired a session entitled “Bioadhesive Chemistry.”
Tyo gave an oral presentation entitled “Optimizing of Two-Step Adhesive Coating for the Mitigation of Field Associated Infection in Cetacean Satellite Telemetry Tags,” a project directed by Rajachar.
Akram gave an oral presentation entitled “Controlling Redox Reaction of Conductive Smart Catechol Adhesive using Electrochemistry,” a project directed by Lee.
The meeting took place February 17-20, 2019.
Michigan Tech students interested in medicine, veterinary medicine and other health-related professions participated in the Health Professions Interview Workshop on Monday, April 9, 2018. The workshop was designed for students preparing for health-related graduate programs and admission interviews.
Thirteen pre-health students engaged in one-on-one personal interviews, Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) and a large, team-building earthquake simulation.
“I really enjoyed the medical school mock interviews. I think MMIs are so unique to medical school interviews that most students don’t have any exposure to that kind of interaction,” said Rachel Wall, biological sciences student.
MMI interviews are used by many medical and health professions programs as part of the admissions process. An MMI is comprised of short, structured interview stations used to assess non-cognitive qualities and how applicants handle themselves in a particular situation. Some MMI stations involve role-playing situations where the interviewee is required to play a particular role and take an ethical stance in decision-making.
Wall continued, “Even the group activity portion is not something most people experience while being evaluated. I think those of us who participated in this will be much better prepared for our medical school interviews than our peers who haven’t had this type of exposure and practice.”
The biology department has hosted similar events in the past, but on a much smaller scale. This year, the pre-health department teamed up with Career Services to host a larger workshop for students of all majors with an interest in health professions.
More than a dozen volunteer interviewers, facilitators, actors and evaluators participated in the event—including faculty, students and staff from Pre-health, Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology, and Career Services. Central Michigan University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program also provided volunteers for the workshop.
The application and interview process for Health Professions Programs can be daunting, but this workshop, “is a part of the ongoing effort to grow and improve pre-health at Michigan Tech,” according to pre-health coordinator Nicole Seigneurie who spearheaded the workshop.
Elizabeth Scaife, biological sciences major, notes, “the Health Professions Interview Workshop was a wonderful experience full of challenging ethical questions, and a fun group activity that helped me find my strengths and weaknesses for future interviews for vet schools.”
By Career Services.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Babies with hypoplastic left heart syndrome may soon be able to forego risky surgery due to a device designed by doctors, students, and technicians from West Michigan.
The condition is complex: a portion of the baby’s heart is pumping with only one chamber instead of two.
Dr. Joseph Vettukattil, chief of pediatric cardiology at Spectrum Health, is working with Spectrum Health Innovations and students and staff from Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich.
Dr. Brent Mulder, the Senior Director of Spectrum Health Innovations, says the final product could take up to 10 years to complete, but the wait will be worth it.
The undergraduate student team involved in the project include Emma Davis, Kat Farkas, Amanda Gogola, and Ami Kling, Biomedical Engineering. Their advisors were Jeremy Goldman and Smitha Rao, Biomedical Engineering. For Design Expo 2017 at Michigan Tech, they prepared a project “Customizing Transcatheter Nitinol Stents for Treatment of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome in Infants” with abstract:
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is a congenital heart defect that is mainly characterized by the underdevelopment of the left ventricle. Currently, multiple open heart surgeries are performed to correct this problem. Our team’s goal was to help eliminate the need for the first surgery by designing and testing catheter deployment of a modified nitinol stent with improved patient matching. The idea of deforming the stent with a microsphere to better fit anatomically relevant infant heart geometries was explored, as well as the feasibility of the use of this deformed shape.
The project was sponsored by Spectrum Health Innovations—Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. It won several awards at the Design Expo:
- Pavlis Honors College Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship Innovation Award: First Place
- Ann Arbor SPARK Design Expo Image Contest: Second Place
- Black & Veatch Building a World of Difference® Student Design Awards: Senior Design Awards (based on poster): Third Place
Replacement of diseased tissue requires that the implanted material not only have the proper mechanical strength, but it must also have a functioning blood distribution network (vasculature; veins, capillaries), and these are often difficult to manufacture. This project will seek to understand and mimic the structure and vasculature of three-dimensional (3D) cardiac tissue. The goal is to engineer a mechanically strong and functional cell patch for the regeneration of damaged heart tissue.
The proposed research will also provide opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as underrepresented community college students, to be involved in interdisciplinary stem cell and tissue engineering research. In addition, a series of seminars will be hosted to increase stem cell and tissue engineering awareness among the health community and public in the UP (Upper Peninsula) of Michigan.
The overall objective of the project is to create aligned nanofibrous natural extracellular matrix (ECM) scaffolds for the biofabrication of a prevascularized anisotropic stem cell patch and elucidate the mechanism of microvessel orientation within the in vivo microenvironment. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are immunoregulatory, regenerative, effective in promoting myocardial regeneration, and function as pericytes to stabilize the microvessels formed by endothelial cells (ECs). These unique properties enable hMSCs to combine with ECM scaffolds and ECs to biofabricate an off-the-shelf or patient-specific prevascularized patch, in which hMSCs will play a dual role of stabilizing vasculature formed by ECs in vitro and orchestrating the regeneration of dead cardiac tissue after implantation. In this project, hMSCs will be co-cultured with ECs in a nanofibrous ECM scaffold to form an aligned capillary-like vasculature, and the effects of aligned nanofibers on the density, orientation and maturation of the microvessels will be investigated. The prevascularized hMSC sheets will be multi-layered and further matured in a perfusion bioreactor, and the role of physiological interstitial flow on the inter-connections, alignment and maturation of the existing microvessels within the 3D biomimetic tissue platform will be evaluated. If successful, this project could lead to the development of personalized or off-the-shelf cardiac tissue patches that could dramatically increase the success rate for the treatment of dead cardiac muscle associated with heart attacks.
Design Expo 2017 took place on Thursday, April 13, on campus in the Memorial Union Building Ballroom.
Hosted by the Pavlis Honors College and the College of Engineering, Design Expo highlights hands-on, discovery-based learning at Michigan Tech.
Undergraduates in Biomedical Engineering excelled at this year’s Design Expo.
Black&Veatch Building a World of Difference® Student Design Awards:
Senior Design Awards (based on poster)
1st place: BME – Enhanced Measurement and Analysis of Gait Disturbances – Aspirus
3rd place: BME – Customizing Transcatheter Nitinol Stents for Treatment of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome in Infants – Spectrum Health
Senior Design Honorable Mention
BME – Blubber-Only Implantable Satellite Tracking Device for Humpback Whales
Pavlis Honors College Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship Innovation Award:
1st place: BME – Customizing Transcatheter Nitinol Stents for Treatment of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome in Infants
2nd place: BME – Instrumentation of Manual Medical Devices
3rd place: BME – Posture Correction Device with Haptic Feedback for Parkinson’s Disease
Lee chaired a session entitled “Bioadhesive Chemistry” and was elected vice chair of the Bioadhesion Division within the Adhesion Society. Lee will serve as the chair of the division in the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Adhesion Society in 2019.
Liu gave an oral presentation entitled “Moldable Nanocomposite PEG Hydrogel Formed by Mussel-Inspired Chemistry as Fit-to-Shape Sealant.”
He gave an oral presentation entitled “Development of a Novel Fibrin-polydopamine Adhesive Hydrogel for Marine Tracking and Wound Healing Applications,” a project directed by Rupak Rajachar (Bio Med).
Could 3D Printing Provide an Alternative to Plaster Casts?
Anyone who has ever had a broken arm, sprained ankle or anything that requires wearing a cast undoubtedly remembers how uncomfortable it was. Sure, it was fun to get everyone’s signature on your arm or leg, but that didn’t make up for the itchiness, the rash and the difficulties involved when taking a shower. A bright team of engineers at Michigan Technological University thought there had to be a better solution, and came up with a lightweight, porous, 3D-printed alternative instead.
Dr. Jingfeng Jiang, leader of the project, commented: “The Lightweight Structures Module enabled us to rapidly design and create prototypes of these orthopaedic casts given any patient-specific wrist geometry. Furthermore, the software allowed us to export the virtual design directly to ANSYS for FEA analysis, so that we could make sure the model was strong enough to withstand different loading conditions.”
The International Business Ventures took first place in the Enterprise program and the
First Place Award Enterprise IBV (International Business Ventures)
Team Leaders: Leslie LaLonde and Andrew Clark, Biomedical Engineering
Advisors: Robert Warrington, Pavlis Honors College
Sponsor: Pavlis Honors College
Project Overview: The Infant Heart Annunciator is a small, BandAid-shaped device that detects an infant’s electrocardiogram, producing a visible flash and audible tone. Often in developing countries, those present at birth do not have the training or equipment needed to determine if an unresponsive infant is alive. Our goal is to eliminate this unnecessary loss of life. Our team is also designing a simple, yet reliable, ventilator that can be stockpiled by hospitals. Typically, hospitals maintain sufficient numbers of ventilators; however, an increase of patients resulting from a pandemic could create a shortage of ventilators. The current high cost of most ICU ventilators prevents hospitals from stockpiling these machines.
BME Team won Honorable Mention – Compliance Keweenaw: Aspirus Keweenaw Hand-washing Compliance System
Team Members: Anna Waller, Jannah Brandt, Drew Markel, Creighton Bradley, and Rebecca Manshaem, Biomedical Engineering
Advisor: Bruce Lee, Biomedical Engineering
Sponsor: Aspirus Keweenaw
Project Overview: Hand hygiene is of importance to hospitals not only for the safety and health of employees but also to reduce the spread of hospital-acquired infections and protect patients. Aspirus Keweenaw recruited our team to create an automated system to track hand-washing compliance among employees to assist them in their goal of 100 percent compliance. We created a system using a microcontroller and RFID readers to detect when a healthcare worker enters a patient’s room and reaches compliance using the sanitizing foam dispenser. This system will be placed near the doorway and communicate with a wristband that identifies the healthcare worker and vibrates as a reminder if compliance is not reached.
BME Teams were featured in the Michigan Tech news article: Design Expo 2015 Success: Winners, Senior Design and Enterprise Projects