Biomedical Device and System Design
Students pursuing this concentration develop the ability to propose and assess innovative ideas and understand the type of analysis and assessment tools that are key elements in the process of developing robust designs. Constraints on such designs are safe and efficient devices, systems and processes for biomedical applications. This represents a need in industry, research and the clinical environments and includes development of capabilities which are therapeutic, rehabilitative and research oriented in nature.
Biomedical Signal Processing
Biological systems are inherently complex and are composed of processes, mechanisms and phenomena that interact, often in parallel and across a wide range of scales and environments. The ability to determine salient aspects of those systems relevant for biomedical applications requires a rigorous and in-depth capability to detect, process and interpret signals that can be extracted and measured, often in the midst of noise and confounding information. Producing reliable information that can be confidently used to assess or understand those systems requires careful processing and interpretation of those signals that are available.
Physiological Modeling, Dynamics and Control
Homeostasis is fundamentally a feedback process. Generally speaking, biological systems contain a myriad of interrelated and interacting feedback systems that are inherently non-deterministic in nature and usually have a variable span of optimal or satisfactory operating points. If the goal of a therapeutic or rehabilitative system or intervention is be able to predict the outcome of some intended action, then it becomes essential to be able to accurately model the behavior of the relevant characteristics of the targeted system. This type of analysis can be used to support both fundamental research as well as help provide guidance in terms of a development effort for a new device or system. A concentration in this area builds on the core elements of the curriculum as well as an understanding, from a systems perspective, of human physiology.
An important aspect of utilizing materials for biomedical applications is their compatibility with the environment in which they are employed. This presumes a solid understanding with a wide variety of biologically compatible materials. Similarly, the dynamic behavior of the materials relative to stress, strain and wear must frequently be assessed in terms of efficacy, safety and durability. Useful and rigorous modeling, as well as the design and evaluation of material performance, requires a solid basis in physics, chemistry, mathematics (including statistics) along with an understanding of the most insightful and accurate analysis methods. The foundation courses for this type of work are well represented in the core curriculum provided by this program. Technical electives that provide additional expertise in this area are material science, probability and statistics, chemistry and chemical engineering.