We propose to develop an interdisciplinary design program that will train undergraduate students at the senior level through all the steps of the translational product design process from needs-finding to commercialization. This will be a campus-wide, integrative, interdisciplinary experience involving participants from the College of Engineering, Graduate School of Management, School of Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, Technology Transfer Office, and Design department. We will create new courses that complement existing engineering design courses and which reflect the flow of work from the clinic, to the engineering prototype, to commercialization. At the end of this sequence, students will be poised to market their work for licensing or start their own business. The new courses consist of one quarter of clinical rotations to identify unmet needs and define a problem, two quarters of instruction and mentoring through the business aspects of biomedical design, and a one-quarter collaborative experience with Design majors to develop a marketing campaign. All students in the Biomedical Engineering major (current = 55) and other interested majors are eligible to participate in these courses. For the past three years we have mentored Biomedical Engineering (BME)-Mechanical Engineering (MAE) joint senior design teams, and anticipate the greatest outside interest from this major, but our goal over the 5 yr project is to recruit additional engineering departments to participate as relevant to project needs. In addition, a novel summer clinical rotation/film internship will be offered, open to 8 undergraduates entering their senior year. The students, working in teams, will spend 6 weeks in a clinical immersion, biomedical device, needs-finding experience for which they must produce a video that captures the key observations/conversations that lead to identification of unmet needs. The resulting videos will be used to supply the clinical rotation/needs-finding experience for a future frosh-level design course. )

Public Health Relevance

The proposed program describes a hands-on training program for biomedical and other engineering students that teaches them about all the steps required to develop devices for use in the clinic. The students will learn to develop solutions to problems in human health, and understand the pathway that leads from the early phase of having an idea to finally offering a finished product for the clinic. This training will provide well-trained engineers to tackle the health problems of the future.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Education Projects (R25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZEB1-OSR-E (J1))
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Erim, Zeynep
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University of California Davis
Biomedical Engineering
Schools of Engineering
United States
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Mittal, Vaishali; Thompson, Megan; Altman, Stuart M et al. (2013) Clinical needs finding: developing the virtual experience-a case study. Ann Biomed Eng 41:1899-912