?A BIODESIGN PROGRAM IN REAHABILITATION ENGINEERING? The development of ?A Biodesign Program in Rehabilitation Engineering? structured to train interdisciplinary undergraduate students in the design, innovation and commercialization of assistive and rehabilitative medical devices for the disabled is proposed here. With a substantial disabled population (one in five in some states) in the United States and an emerging amputee (~12000) and geriatric population (~ 3.3 million) in Florida alone, smart and effective assistive and rehabilitative devices that can impact the lives of the disabled are imperative in the current biomedical devices market. We propose to team teach rehabilitation engineering design through an experiential and meticulous teaching model which includes four stages: Inspire, Identify, Invent and Implement. We believe that the University's optimal location, supporting environment and infrastructure, partnerships with the medical community, extensive network of industry representatives and excellence in online education will all serve as precursors for the success of the proposed training program. The proposed Biodesign program is designed as a sequence of two courses with an intermediate clinical immersion and spans across four semesters of the junior and senior years of undergraduate students in different engineering disciplines and in the biomedical sciences discipline. The program presents a plan to integrate physical therapy doctoral students in the Biodesign capstone process. The multi-disciplinary teaching team involves engineering faculty and clinical faculty from the College of Engineering and Computer Science, College of Medicine, College of Health and Public Affairs and from UCF partners such as the Orlando VA Medical Center and mentors and industry experts from the UCF Business Incubator and UCF ICorps Teams. The Biodesign program plans to inspire and introduce students to the cutting edge advances in the field of rehabilitative science and engineering through an introductory course in the spring semester of the junior year, which is followed by a six-week summer clinical immersion where student teams identify unmet user-oriented needs through clinical rotations organized in rehabilitation facilities at medical centers, prosthetics clinics, physical therapy, internal medicine and sports medicine clinics. In the following fall and spring semesters of the senior year, student teams pursue the identified design problems from the summer immersion in a two- semester long capstone design course defining the invent and implement stages of the program. Extensive training on device commercialization and business planning is integrated into the design innovation and implementation phases of the program. The program concludes with a summer mentoring to nurture entrepreneurial dreams and academic research aspirations of students completing the program. The long term objectives of the program are: to inspire students in the field of rehabilitation engineering, to enhance team-based design education through a novel mixed-mode teaching model, to contribute to a broad community of disabled individuals and to promote collaborative and inter-disciplinary education and research.

Public Health Relevance

?A BIODESIGN PROGRAM IN REAHABILITATION ENGINEERING? The training program entitled A Biodesign Program in Rehabilitation Engineering will provide a unique and enriching engineering design experience to undergraduate students in the field of rehabilitation engineering. The program derives inspirations from the fundamentals of experiential learning and is designed to teach and build innovation and commercialization skills in young engineers through four different stages (Inspire, Identify, Invent and Implement) of interdisciplinary design education. The program will inspire undergraduate students in the field of rehabilitation engineering and help them reach out and contribute to a broad community of disabled individuals and will benefit the engineering education society through a mixed-mode education model while promoting and strengthening collaborative and interdisciplinary education and research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Education Projects (R25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZEB1)
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Nitkin, Ralph M
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University of Central Florida
Engineering (All Types)
Biomed Engr/Col Engr/Engr Sta
United States
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