Development and Implementation of a Biometrics Device Design Project in an Introductory BME Course to Support Student Wellness

Mental health challenges have been rising across college campuses. To destigmatize wellness practices and promote student mental health, we present a novel technical project in an introductory bioengineering course that explores stress management techniques through physiology, biosensors, and design. We hypothesize that if students measure objective, physiologic impacts of stress management techniques on themselves, they may be more likely to realize the benefits and use those techniques when needed.
Additionally, through this data-driven project, we aim to appeal to engineers’ critical thinking nature. To support students in selecting stress management techniques for themselves, mindfulness is introduced and practiced in the course. Initial student feedback on the introduction of mindfulness into the classroom is positive. The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the need to focus on student wellbeing in addition to physical health. Integration of wellness into the core curriculum can normalize the use of these resources within engineering departments and colleges and equip students with stress management tools for their careers. Ultimately, this curricular development lays the groundwork for institutional enhancement of undergraduate STEM education by supporting student wellness through the engineering curriculum.
Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s43683-021-00060-1.
Keywords: Biomedical engineering; Design courses; Experiential learning; Medical device design; Mental health and wellness; Undergraduate education.

BME Career Exploration: Examining Students’ Connection with the Field

A common perception of biomedical engineering (BME) undergraduates is that they struggle to find industry jobs upon graduation. While some statistics support this concern, students continue to pursue and persist through BME degrees. This persistence may relate to graduates’ other career interests, though limited research examines where BME students go and why. Scholars are also pushing for research that examines engineering careers in a broader context, beyond traditional industry positions.
This study adds to that conversation by asking: How do BME students describe their career interests and perceived job prospects in relation to why they pursue a BME degree?
A qualitative study of BME students was performed at a public, R1 institution using semi-structured interviews at three timepoints across an academic year. An open coding data analysis approach explored careerperceptions of students nearing completion of a BME undergraduate degree. Findings indicated that students pursued a BME degree for reasons beyond BME career aspirations, most interestingly as a means to complete an engineering degree that they felt would have interesting enough content to keep them engaged.
Participants also discussed the unique career-relevant skills they developed as a BME student, and the career-placement tradeoffs they associated with getting a BME undergraduate degree. Based on these results, we propose research that explores how students move through a BME degree into a career and how career-relevant competencies are communicated in job searches. Additionally, we suggest strategies for BME departments to consider for supporting students through the degree into a career.
Keywords: Biomedical engineering; Career exploration; Career-relevant skills.

Transient regional osteoporosis of the hip with extensive bone marrow edema (BME): Dramatic improvement after three months of Alendronate therapy

Transient osteoporosis of the hip, also termed transient bone marrow edema, is a painful condition often occurring after trivial trauma. It can be diagnosed with MRI in patients whose radiographs are negative or inconclusive. In this case report we describe a 39-year-old female patient with this rare entity, who was successfully treated with oral Alendronate, active vitamin D and calcium supplementation combined with avoiding of weight bearing on the affected hip.
She improved clinically within three months and on contrast enhanced MRI studies, as performed before and after treatment, complete regression of bone marrow edema was shown already after three months of treatment. The literature was reviewed regarding the pathophysiology of transient osteoporosis of the hip and the beneficial effects of Alendronate in this domain. The report is important because it will increase the awareness among clinicians and radiologists about this entity, as in neglected cases transient regional osteoporosis of the hip may progress to avascular necrosis with complete loss of hip function.
Keywords: AVN, avascular necrosis; Alendronate; BME, Bone marrow edema; BMES, Bone marrow edema syndromes; FAI, femoro-acetabular impingement; MRI, magnetic resonance imaging; RMO, regional migratory osteoporosis; RSD, reflex sympathetic dystrophy; STIR, short tau inversion recovery; TBME, transient Bone marrow edema; TOH, transient osteoporosis of the hip; Transient bone marrow edema syndrome; Transient regional osteoporosis of the hip.

Contrasting effects of transforming growth factor β1 on programmed cell death of bovine mammary epithelial cell lines MAC-T and BME-UV1.

A previous study in the bovine mammary epithelial cell line BME-UV1 demonstrated that suppression of the phosphatidylinositol-4,5-biphosphate 3 kinase (PI3K)/AKT (somatotropic) signaling pathway was required for transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1)-induced programmed cell death (PCD). To investigate whether this is a universal mechanism for TGFβ1 to induce PCD in bovine mammary epithelium, we compared TGFβ1 modulation of PI3K/AKT and its role in PCD in 2 bovine mammary epithelial cell lines: MAC-T and BME-UV1. In MAC-T cells, TGFβ1 promoted cell survival, and this paralleled a reduction in PI3K/AKT activity, rather than an increase.
In BME-UV1 cells, TGFβ1 induced PCD, and this was accompanied by a time-dependent effect on PI3K/AKT activity, including an initial significant increase in the phosphorylation of AKT at 3 h, followed by a reduction between 12 and 24 h, and then an increase at 48 h. Inhibition of AKT activity enhanced TGFβ1-induced PCD in BME-UV1 cells but had no effect on MAC-T cells, suggesting that TGFβ1 mediates PCD in BME-UV1 cells through suppression of AKT activity. Inhibition of TGFβ receptor type I (TβRI) kinase activity completely abrogated TGFβ1-induced PCD in BME-UV1 cells but had no effect on TGFβ1-induced suppression of PCD in MAC-T cells, demonstrating that TGFβ1-induced PCD in BME-UV1 cells is dependent on TβRI/SMAD signaling.
These and previous observations suggest that the different effects of TGFβ1 on PCD in these cell lines might involve noncanonical signaling pathways other than PI3K/AKT, and may reflect their different lineages. Future studies should address this finding, taking into consideration the effect that different culture conditions might have on cell phenotype.

Developing a Model for Integrating Professional Practice and Evidence-Based Teaching Practices into BME Curriculum.

Undergraduate biomedical engineering (BME) programs typically consist of courses from several different academic departments combined with BME-specific courses taught by faculty trained in a variety of disciplines. While some students embrace this diversity in courses and disciplinary perspectives, many students struggle with how to translate these experiences into career opportunities. BME students are often concerned that they are perceived as a “jack of all trades, master of none.”
In 2016, our department sought to find new ways to integrate BME professional practice into our curriculum. Informed by organizational change theory, we asked: (1) is there potential for change; (2) what strategies facilitate change; and (3) how can these strategies be implemented? As a result, we developed an Instructional Design Sequence, a new approach to instruction in which students, post docs, and faculty create short Modules that use evidence-based teaching practices to expose BME students to BME professional practice.

3D Cell Culture Matrix BME Kit

K518-100 Biovision each 744 EUR

BME 100X Vitamins for Basal Medium Eagle (Modified)

BML01-100ML Caisson Labs 100 ml 87.6 EUR

BME 100X Vitamins for Basal Medium Eagle (Modified)

BML01-500ML Caisson Labs 500 ml 110.4 EUR

BME With Earle's Salts and L-glutamine. W/O sodium bicarbonate.

BMP10-10LT Caisson Labs 10 L 99.6 EUR

BME With Earle's Salts and L-glutamine. W/O sodium bicarbonate.

BMP10-10X1LT Caisson Labs 10 x 1 L 105.6 EUR

BME With Earle's Salts and L-glutamine. W/O sodium bicarbonate.

BMP10-50LT Caisson Labs 50 L 147.6 EUR

BME With Hank's Salts and L-glutamine. W/O Sodium Bicarbonate.

BMP11-10LT Caisson Labs 10 L 99.6 EUR

BME With Hank's Salts and L-glutamine. W/O Sodium Bicarbonate.

BMP11-10X1LT Caisson Labs 10 x 1 L 105.6 EUR

BME With Hank's Salts and L-glutamine. W/O Sodium Bicarbonate.

BMP11-50LT Caisson Labs 50 L 147.6 EUR

BME 100X Amino Acids for Basal Medium Eagle (Modified). W/O L-glutamine.

BML02-500ML Caisson Labs 500 ml 124.8 EUR

BME With Earle's Salts and 20mM HEPES buffer. W/O L-glutamine and sodium bicarbonate.

BML03-500ML Caisson Labs 500 ml 97.2 EUR

BME With Earle's Salts and 20mM HEPES buffer. W/O L-glutamine and sodium bicarbonate.

BML03-6X500ML Caisson Labs 6 x 500 ml 187.2 EUR
This paper describes how the Sequence was conceptualized and demonstrates how theory can be used to inform practice. The resultant Sequence is a transferrable model for transforming engineering education, offering a mechanism for integrating new career relevant curriculum into undergraduate curriculum, while training future educators in instructional evidence-based practices.

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