Carnegie Mellon University
May 05, 2014

Media Advisory: Carnegie Mellon Students Present Prototypes To Solve Medical Problems

Contacts: Sherry Stokes / 412-268-5976 /
                Byron Spice / 412-2768-9068 /
                Shilo Rea / 412-268-6094 /   
                Pam Wigley / 412-268-1047 /

Event: Carnegie Mellon University's Biomedical Engineering (BME) Design class will present projects that provide engineering solutions to medical problems ranging from improving artificial lungs to reducing surgical site infections.

The students worked in teams to develop these solutions from concept to prototype during the two-semester course, which is taught by Associate Department Head and BME Professor Conrad Zapanta and his co-instructor, Industrial Design Associate Professor Wayne Chung. The teams included biomedical engineering students in the College of Engineering in addition to those from the College of Fine Arts, the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the School of Computer Science.

"These students have pedagogies and skill sets that are significantly different from each other," Zapanta said. "This results in three groups of undergraduates who both think and work very differently. Teams composed of students across colleges produce unique solutions that are only possible through these interactions."

Some of this year's projects include:

  • DEW: Disaster Emergency Water, which describes an inexpensive method to provide clean drinking water in emergency and/or mobile situations, especially in resource-poor environments that lack proper water filtration facilities.
  • Football Informatic Technology (FIT), which is developing a pressure sensor cap to measure pressures on the skull caused by football helmets. This information can be used to standardize helmet fitting, provide a way to research helmet safety, and eventually decrease concussions and other head-related injuries.
  • Tartan Intubation for Microgravity (TIM), a NASA collaboration that addresses issues with conducting surgery in space, specifically the lack of airway management capability in space. The system includes a collapsible backboard restraint to support the patient and a modified terrestrial intubation device to accommodate for changes in the behavior of the body and liquids from the effects of microgravity.
  • PeopleProp is developing a brace to support patients with neuromuscular diseases, such as Parkinson's disease. The new brace will be more comfortable, adjustable and portable than current designs.

When: 1-4 p.m., Friday, May 9. Media are encouraged to arrive between 2-3 p.m.

Where: Rangos 1 and 2, Jared L. Cohon University Center