Carnegie Mellon University
May 06, 2013

Media Advisory: Carnegie Mellon Biomedical Engineering Students To Present Prototypes of Medical Products To Help Patient Care

Contact: Chriss Swaney / 412-268-5776 /

Event: Students in Carnegie Mellon University's Biomedical Engineering Department will unveil new products developed to ease patient's pain and suffering from pressure ulcers to hypertension, dermatitis and Cystic Fibrosis. 

"The senior design class exposes students to the needs and demands of a wide range of medical patient issues, from understanding how to help the elderly better navigate to helping parents conquer diaper dermatitis," said Conrad M. Zapanta, associate department head and teaching professor in CMU's Department of Biomedical Engineering. "The 16 innovative projects are designed by teams of students after months of research and development."

Some of the novel design prototypes include a manually powered blood pressure cuff for use in underdeveloped nations where economic medical equipment is non-existent, a bacterial resistant tracheostomy tube to reduce bacterial infections and a device called a Scotty Dock that is a cheaper mechanical and electrical system attachment for wheelchair users.

Other student-developed medical products include a video game designed to help children with Cystic Fibrosis. Children who have been diagnosed with this disease need to perform daily breathing therapies. CMU students have developed a video game that uses a child's breath as a controller to play a number of mini-games while guiding the child through an active cycle breathing therapy routine.  Another team developed a product called the Wetness Warrior, which is designed to combat diaper dermatitis. More than 30 percent of U.S. infants experience diaper dermatitis each year.

"One team of biomedical engineering students developed a product that consists of a capacitor-based circuit built into the diaper as well as an independent monitoring device," Zapanta said. "The monitoring device screens a specific radio frequency and records the signal to noise ratio. When the diaper becomes wet, an alarm is sent to the computer which displays a message indicating a soiled diaper, alerting the caregiver."

When: 1 - 3 p.m., Friday, May 10.

Where: Rangos 3, University Center, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15213.