Thursday, March 10, 2016

Freshman bioengineering students 3D print bones in hands-on class

UC San Diego bioengineering undergraduates are close to wrapping up the winter quarter of a new hands-on bioengineering course designed to expose freshmen to central topics and tools of bioengineering work on three hands-on projects. The class meets in the new EnVision Maker Studio at UC San Diego and is part of the Jacobs School's Experience Engineering Initiative.

* Electrophysiology
* Glucose monitoring for the blind
* 3-D bone printing

Rachel Daniels, a student in the class, says she learned a lot about the human spine from the bone printing project.

"By analyzing real life CT scans we were able to pull important data, allowing us to print a replica of the T10 vertebrae using plastic printing material," she said. "Once several prints were made we tested the correlation between load and displacement in the inter-vertebral disks by simply placing varying forces upon the vertebrae and measuring displacement. We concluded the heavier the load, the larger the total displacement until a plateau was reached."

We wrote about the very first iteration of this experiential bioengineering course in Pulse magazine last summer.

Below are images from the course.

Tools used include BioRadios, MATLAB, CAD software, 3D printers, foam cutters, hand tools.

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