Like many professors, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member James Antaki, PhD (pictured), Associate Professor within the Department of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, and Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), recently had the opportunity to access his senior design students’ end-of-the-year projects. His CMU biomedical engineering students enthusiastically demonstrated medical products and tools intended to benefit consumer health and improve operating room efficiency.
A total of nine student teams unveiled prototype tools and products. A few of the end results included implantable probes for measuring the health of kidneys during heart bypass surgery, the creation of a robotic tool for assisting surgeons conducting deep brain surgery, and an inflatable cuff system to treat deep vein thrombosis.
Dr. Antaki has taught this class at CMU since 2003. He said the final presentations -- when the teams describe their projects to classmates, advisers, and several doctors -- is his favorite part.
"You wouldn't have known they were a bunch of students," Dr. Antaki said. "They could have been young entrepreneurs talking to venture capitalists."
Earlier, another team of Dr. Antaki’s biomedical engineering students placed first through a design competition sponsored by the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center’s Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for the Advancement of Cognitive Technologies (RERC-ACT). RERC-ACT’s Student Design Contest focused on technologies to improve the independence and quality of life of people with cognitive disabilities. The winning entry was entitled “The Hug Machine.” The Hug Machine safely applies soothing, user-controlled body pressure to help people with autism cope with anxiety and other stress-related conditions. The team's goal was to turn the costly, commercially available device into an affordable system that could be easily built by parents, schools, and clinics.
Great job Dr. Antaki and his students!
Dr. Antaki also holds adjunct appointments in Pitt’s Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering. In 1992, upon the foundation of the McGowan Center for Artificial Organ Development, he was selected to direct the Pittsburgh Artificial Heart research and development effort. Dr. Antaki has since assembled a comprehensive research team of bioengineers, scientists, and students to collaborate in basic and applied research, and is currently striving towards the development of the next-generation artificial heart.
Illustration: McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Carnegie Mellon University Media Advisory (05/07/08)
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (05/10/08)
Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for the Advancement of Cognitive Technologies (RERC-ACT) Student Design Contest - Coleman Prize Winners
Carnegie Mellon: Hug Machine
Carnegie Mellon University Bioengineering Department