Biomedical Engineering

Circus Babies: The Past, Present, and Future of the Neonatal Incubator

2020-11-27T16:02:24-08:00 November 12th, 2020|Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Health & Medicine, History & Society, Issue I, Volume XX|

Abstract  The introduction and mainstream development of infant incubators has significantly  impacted the life expectancy of babies that are born as early as 24 weeks into a pregnancy [1]. Despite the high infant mortality rate in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many medical professionals were hesitant to adopt incubator technology until Martin Couney, [...]

To Hear or Not to Hear

2020-01-31T13:43:55-08:00 January 31st, 2020|Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Issue I, Lifestyle, Physics, Volume XX|

Abstract As the world seems to be getting louder and louder, noise-canceling headphones could be the potential answer to tuning noise out in many different situations. Born from the dissatisfaction of regular passive noise-reduction headphones, noise-canceling headphones utilize an internal speaker that actively produces a sound wave equal and opposite to that of external noise, [...]

SpectOCULAR: Using Smart Contacts to Improve Disease Diagnosis and Treatment

2020-01-31T13:33:46-08:00 January 31st, 2020|Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Issue I, Lifestyle, Material Science, Volume XX|

Abstract Smart contacts are one of the newest platforms for smart technology. They couple a compact wearable device with equipment for health diagnostics and drug delivery, optimizing both the existing infrastructures of ophthalmology and general medicine. Smart contacts already have a wide potential customer base in patients who want improved quality of life and real-time [...]

A Stroke of Genius: Neurorehabilitation through Virtual Reality

2019-11-13T11:43:42-08:00 August 27th, 2019|Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, Entertainment, Health & Medicine, Issue IV, Volume XIX|

Written by: Annie Lee About the Author: Annie Lee is an undergraduate student at the University of Southern California pursuing a progressive Bachelor’s to Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy. Abstract The aim of physical stroke rehabilitation is to improve motor function in paralyzed or semi-paralyzed limbs. Although the problem is physical, it begins with the [...]

The “Aero-Position”: Why Cyclists Study Aerodynamics

2019-11-13T11:38:35-08:00 July 1st, 2019|Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Ergonomics, Issue III, Lifestyle, Physics, Sports & Recreation, Volume XIX|

Written by: Riley Walch Riley Walch is a junior studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Southern California. He has interests in the intersection of the human body and engineering and hopes to turn this curiosity into a career, upon graduation. Abstract Greg LeMond’s 1989 Tour de France victory, aided by research-driven cycling advancements, marked [...]

The Science behind the Perfect Pirouette – and How It Has Changed the World of Prosthetics

2019-04-09T22:28:37-07:00 April 9th, 2019|Biomedical Engineering, Issue II, Volume XIX|

Megan Schoen is a sophomore at USC studying Biomedical Engineering with a mechanical emphasis. She also has 17 years of dance experience, and is currently part of the Xpressions Dance Company on campus.

Thermal Imaging: The next game changer for medical devices?

2019-03-07T17:38:07-08:00 March 7th, 2019|Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Health & Medicine, Issue I, Material Science, Volume XIX|

Abstract Thermal imaging has incredible medical device applications. Infrared light is the driving force behind this technology because it allows us to produce an image derived from temperature variations. Bolometers allow infrared light to be converted to temperatures and are produced through UV lithography. The final product is infrared sensors that are affordable and can [...]

The Magic Touch: Human Anatomy Inspires Robotic Hand Design

2018-10-31T12:34:35-07:00 October 30th, 2018|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue III, Lifestyle, Mechanical Engineering, Volume XVIII|

Abstract For decades, the field of robotics has progressed slowly in attempts to develop a robotic hand as dexterous as the human hand. However, recent research efforts are entertaining the idea that the key to creating a dexterous robotic hand may be in artificially re-creating the muscle- and tendon-based approach that controls the human hand. [...]

The Human Lung…On a Chip!

2018-10-31T12:34:45-07:00 October 30th, 2018|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue III, Material Science, Volume XVIII|

Abstract The lung-on-a-chip is a clear, flexible microdevice that mimics the structure and function of the human lung. The size of a USB memory stick, the chip contains tiny hollow channels lined by living human lung cells. Inside the chip, realistically arranged cell layers are exposed to a flow of nutrients and air, as well [...]

DNA Computing – The World’s Best Computers Already Exist and We Didn’t Make Them

2018-10-31T12:35:32-07:00 October 30th, 2018|Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Health & Medicine, Issue III, Volume XVIII|

Abstract DNA has been introduced to the computer science field as one of the newest materials used for computer construction and computational mechanics. Its unique chemical properties make it faster and smaller than traditional computers– able to perform parallel operations on enormous amounts of data. Since Leonard Adleman’s first experiment with this media,  others have [...]

From Shark Skin to Speed

2017-11-29T17:11:19-08:00 March 21st, 2017|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue I, Lifestyle, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Volume XVIII, Water|

Sharks inspire a feeling of awe in many people, partly due to their natural speed and representation of power. Through modern biomimicry, scientists have been able to imitate shark skin and design speed-enhancing technologies to benefit transportation, medicine, and apparel design. Introduction When visiting a local aquarium, there is no lack of spectacles that may [...]

Dealing With Our Bacterial Neighbors: Engineering Deodorants and Antiperspirants to Prevent Malodor

2018-09-18T20:12:13-07:00 May 4th, 2016|Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Environmental Engineering, Food & Drink, Health & Medicine, Issue II, Lifestyle, Volume XVII, Water|

This paper investigates the physiological production of sweat, and how humans have developed strategies involving deodorants and antiperspirants to prevent the bacteria in our body from producing foul-odor chemicals. Well-known mechanisms of sweat production, from eccrine and apocrine glands, are described to introduce the topic. Biochemical explanations of the four main production pathways axillary bacteria [...]

Solving the Brain Crisis in Sports

2018-01-19T06:19:49-08:00 June 25th, 2015|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue III, Lifestyle, Material Science, Sports & Recreation, Volume XVII|

Over the past few decades professional and collegiate football leagues have garnered significant attention regarding the health and safety issues that players face, specifically pertaining to concussions and brain health. While head injuries can occur in a variety of different ways, hard hits involving the helmets of one or more players are identified as the [...]

“Use the Force, Luke”

2017-10-26T18:27:47-07:00 May 8th, 2014|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue II, Volume XVI|

Since the introduction of EEG technology in 1924, the reading and processing of neural signals has reached a remarkable level of sophistication. This has allowed the invention and development of the brain-machine interface, which allows for a direct connection from the brain to the surrounding world. In many cases, BMIs allow for control of or [...]

Engineering Gave the World More Tofu

2017-10-26T18:50:37-07:00 April 30th, 2014|Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Food & Drink, Health & Medicine, Industrial Engineering, Issue I, Recycling, Volume XVII, Water|

When you look at a block of tofu, one may wonder how the white, spongy mass was made or even why. Although tofu has been around for hundreds of years, it was not until the 21st century that the process started to become mechanized. Seeing as that the process was traditionally both labor and time [...]

3D Printed Organs

2020-09-22T16:11:28-07:00 March 1st, 2014|Biomedical Engineering, Editors' Picks, Health & Medicine, Issue I, Material Science, Volume XVI|

The field of tissue engineering has allowed developments in 3D printing organic parts and materials. 3D printing has become a widely popular means of manufacturing over the past decade, combining ease of design on a computer with fast production of custom parts. In regards to tissue engineering, these advantages have staggering implications in terms of [...]

Cellular Computing: Pushing the Boundaries of Computation

2017-10-26T18:44:08-07:00 May 7th, 2013|Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, Health & Medicine, Issue I, Volume XVII|

Dr. Endy and his team have developed a cellular logic gate, dubbed a transcriptor, which was the last of three things necessary to making cellular computing a reality: a way to store information, a method of transporting information, and something to perform basic logic operations. Storage has been achieved through recoding DNA into storing massive [...]

Engineering Heartbeats: The Evolution of Artificial Pacemakers

2017-11-03T16:59:28-07:00 May 6th, 2013|Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Health & Medicine, History & Society, Issue I, Volume XV|

Arrhythmia—a cardiac disease in which the heart beats irregularly or at an abnormal pace—is caused by faulty electrical signal generation within the heart at the SA node. Recognizing the electrical properties of the heart, engineers created a treatment device, the artificial pacemaker, by applying principles of electrical engineering. The device controls the rate and rhythm [...]

Technology at the Tip of Your Finger: Contact Lenses beyond Vision Correction

2017-11-03T17:28:05-07:00 December 10th, 2012|Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, Health & Medicine, Issue II, Lifestyle, Volume XV|

Engineers are discovering modern applications of the contact lens, extending from correcting vision to curing blindness. Intraocular pressure sensors in contact lenses may provide relief to glaucoma patients; stem cell colonies from a healthy eye may, when applied to a lens, help repair vision loss. Contact lenses are also the subject of nanotechnology experiments, including [...]

Beauty and the Geek: The Engineering Behind Laser Hair Removal

2017-11-03T17:35:33-07:00 November 26th, 2012|Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Entertainment, Health & Medicine, Issue III, Physics, Volume XV|

Understanding laser hair removal requires knowledge of many disciplines. Quantum and optical physics, the biology behind the growth cycles of hair, and the historical and modern rationale for depilation (hair removal) contribute to this interesting cosmetic procedure. The study of Laser Hair Removal reveals the interconnection between societal values and science while also providing an [...]

How Companies Fulfill Your Deepest Desires: Neuromarketing and the MRI

2017-11-03T17:02:08-07:00 November 25th, 2012|Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue I, Lifestyle, Volume XV|

Mad Men, the American Movie Channel’s award winning TV show, transports viewers to the sexy and fast paced marketing world of Don Draper in 1960’s New York. Today, that world is getting sexier and faster with the advancement of neuromarketing. By using MRI and EEG machines on subjects exposed to products or advertisements, companies are [...]

Mobile Microscopes: How Your Cell Phone Can Save Lives

2017-11-03T17:51:57-07:00 December 6th, 2011|Biomedical Engineering, Communication, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue I, Physics, Volume XIV|

What if a text message could save a life? Dr. Ayogdan Ozcan and his team of researchers have developed a cost-efficient, revolutionary device that can perform basic diagnostics for blood cell count, malaria, and tuberculosis – all on the back of a $30 camera phone. The device uses a lens-free imaging technique known as LUCAS, [...]

Silver Nanoparticles: A Valuable Weapon in Microbial Warfare

2017-11-11T17:33:34-08:00 December 4th, 2011|Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Issue III, Material Science, Volume XIII|

Nanotechnology is currently being used as a valuable weapon for combating body odor-causing bacteria. Materials can be manufactured at the ‘nano’ scale, one billion times smaller than the world of meters we currently live in. Nanoparticles provide terrific driving forces for diffusion, which allows chemical reactions to occur at a high rate. In the case [...]

Biology’s Approach to Construction: The Development and Use of Scaffolds in Tissue Engineering

2017-11-11T17:23:53-08:00 July 1st, 2011|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue III, Material Science, Volume XIII|

The field of tissue engineering has seen significant improvements in the past 10 years, much of which is due to the development of tissue scaffolds. These 3-dimensional, porous structures are perfectly suited for cellular attachment and growth due to their physical similarities to the native extracellular matrix. The ability of scaffolds to be strong yet [...]

Thought-Controlled Wheelchair

2017-11-11T17:32:13-08:00 June 4th, 2011|Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, Issue II, Transportation, Volume XIII|

Brain-computer interfaces have offered the opportunity for highly disabled patients with motor disabilities to live more normal lives. The recent innovations in thought-controlled wheelchairs using EEG technology will allow patients to not only communicate with their surroundings but to also navigate around them. The development of this technology could potentially make a huge impact on [...]

Tissue Engineering: Growing Human Livers?

2017-11-03T18:03:32-07:00 April 1st, 2011|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue I, Material Science, Volume XIV|

Current research in tissue engineering may soon offer a solution to the rising number of people waiting for livers. Recent research has shown promising breakthroughs; In June, 2010 researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston managed to successfully transplant an artificial liver into a rat. This research also has the potential to advance other [...]

The Da Vinci Robot

2017-11-03T17:56:46-07:00 April 1st, 2011|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue I, Volume XIV|

Traditionally, surgeries were accomplished by cutting the skin and tissues of the patient in order to expose the structures and organs for operation. This required making sizable incisions on the patient's body, which in turn led to consequences such as longer recovery times and large post-operative scars. Since the efforts to advance robotics in medicine [...]

A Tiny Microchip is Up for the Challenge

2017-11-11T16:58:36-08:00 December 3rd, 2010|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue III, Volume XII|

The National Academy of Engineering recently released fourteen Grand Challenges for the engineers of the 21st century. These challenges reflect global problems that range from the creation of new energy sources to the advancement of healthcare informatics. With the growth of informatics technology, more patient files are making their way onto hard-drives and servers, which [...]

Rubbing It In: Modern Sun Protection

2017-11-12T23:08:01-08:00 May 4th, 2010|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue III, Lifestyle, Volume XI|

Sun damage is a cumulative process, meaning that every moment of exposure has a long-term impact. Overexposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause burns, diseases, and cancers—substantially contributing to mortality rates in fair-skinned populations. The severity of skin cancer is real; there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined [...]

Chewing Gum

2017-11-11T06:03:27-08:00 November 7th, 2009|Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Food & Drink, Health & Medicine, Issue I, Volume X|

Chewing gum, the most popular snack in America, can be traced back to ancient Greece. Over the past two centuries, gum manufacturers have embraced materials science to produce a product that has a wide variety of benefits, from cavity protection to enhanced mental concentration. However, this treat is also polluting streets, sidewalks, and buildings around [...]

Sticking With It

2017-11-12T22:54:56-08:00 March 1st, 2009|Biomedical Engineering, Issue II, Material Science, Volume XI|

Engineers are increasingly drawing on inspiration from other fields combined with creative problem-solving to construct the products of the future. The ability of the gecko to scale slick vertical surfaces has long been a fascination of biologists and scientists alike, with current engineers looking to harness this power to create new medical products. Three potential [...]

Genetically Modified Crops: Boon or Bane?

2017-11-12T21:29:03-08:00 October 13th, 2008|Biomedical Engineering, Food & Drink, Health & Medicine, Issue IV, Volume X|

The genetic manipulation of crops such as soybeans, maize, canola, and cotton has the potential to increase crop production and sustain our the world's population. However, from the first theories of selective breeding and Gregor Mendel's hereditary factors to contemporary practices of DNA splicing, the practice of genetic modification has been fraught with controversy. Selecting [...]

Working Against Our Evolution: The Positive and Negative Effects of Antibiotic Use in Humans and Emerging Alternatives

2017-11-11T06:18:19-08:00 April 2nd, 2008|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue II, Volume X|

The introduction of antibiotics in the twentieth century has led to their widespread use, as they have become a prevalent class of drugs prescribed worldwide. A continuous demand for antibiotics has circulated throughout the medical community to treat ailments that range from the common throat infection to life-threatening staphylococcus infections. Increased usage of antibiotics by [...]

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy

2017-11-11T04:20:31-08:00 December 6th, 2007|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue IV, Volume IX|

Treating drug-resistant epilepsy and depression seemed impossible a few years ago. However, with the advent of Vagus Nerve Stimulation, treatment of these severe types of diseases is now possible. VNS therapy is a powerful new treatment that modulates some neural structures and functions to benefit those diagnosed with drug-resistant epilepsy and depression. Powered by an [...]

Planning for Future Generations

2017-11-11T17:15:48-08:00 November 4th, 2005|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, History & Society, Issue I, Lifestyle, Volume VIII|

The cross-cultural desire for a male birth control "pill" has led the drive for a drug that creates reversible infertility in a safe and reliable manner, while securing sexual freedom and allowing men to partake in the responsibility of family planning. Potential drugs being explored are either hormonally-based and impede the production of sperm, or [...]

Applying Nanotechnology to the Battle Against Cancer

2017-11-11T17:06:46-08:00 November 1st, 2005|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue I, Volume VIII|

Nanotechnology is a developing field in engineering. The possibilities of nanotechnology currently seem endless with all of the things that can be solved on the nano scale. With that in mind, one of the currently most promising areas of research in the field is in the discipline of Biomedical Engineering. Focusing in on cancer treatments, [...]

Wastewater Technology: Engineering a Healthier Society

2019-01-10T11:08:00-08:00 May 3rd, 2003|Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Issue II, Volume V|

Long before the age of computers, light bulbs, automobiles, or locomotives, a revolutionary feat in engineering transformed society. This technology almost singly separates developed countries from their developing counterparts, and many Americans take it for granted. Rarely do we ever think about it when we use it, and when we do, it's generally because it [...]

Building Blocks of Thought: Engineering the Neuron

2019-01-10T11:15:05-08:00 May 1st, 2003|Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Issue II, Volume V|

The brain is our body's information processing center. It controls everything that we do, making us intelligent, conscious, and alive. The brain is made up of over 100 billion neurons. The neuron, or nerve cell, is a type of cell responsible for the body's gathering, processing, and transmission of information. Much like a unit of [...]

UPSET: Triggering Natural Cell Death in Cancer

2019-01-10T11:16:30-08:00 April 28th, 2003|Biomedical Engineering, Issue I, Volume V|

Ultra-short Pulsed Systems Electroperturbation Technology (UPSET) has the potential to become a new cancer treatment due to its ability to trigger apoptosis, the natural death mode of cells. During apoptosis, a cell initiates a self-termination process to remove it without affecting surrounding tissue. UPSET generates and delivers pulses of 40 kV/cm and 20 nanoseconds in [...]

A Genetic Solution to Malaria: More Harm Than Good?

2019-01-10T11:53:34-08:00 April 4th, 2003|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue III, Volume V|

Malaria continues to plague peoples worldwide, transmitted by a viral parasite carried by mosquitoes. Vaccines and pesticides have combated the disease in the past, but the disease adapts and becomes resistant to drugs, and pesticides such as DDT hurt the environment while killing mosquitoes. Geneticists have developed a new solution to this age-old quandary-a genetic [...]

Lie Detection: The Science and Development of the Polygraph

2019-01-10T12:08:08-08:00 December 6th, 2002|Biomedical Engineering, Issue I, Security & Defense, Volume V|

The idea of using a polygraph for lie detection emerged at the end of the nineteenth century. Despite major technological advances in the twentieth century, the polygraph has evolved little since its invention. The polygraph works under the assumption that lies can be detected by certain measurable physiological changes, a theory proposed more than 100 [...]

The Development of Ossicular Replacement Prostheses for the Treatment of Conductive Hearing Loss

2017-10-30T11:38:02-07:00 August 30th, 2002|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue II, Volume III|

One of the continuing goals of scientists and engineers is to develop technologies which reduce the severity of physical disabilities. Hearing loss due to defects in the middle ear occur with great frequency, and the more severe cases can be treated with ossicular replacement prostheses. The main focus of this article will be on the [...]

The Myoelectric Arm: It’s Electrifying

2017-10-30T11:22:50-07:00 May 4th, 2002|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue I, Volume III|

With the help of scientists and engineers, individuals missing appendages can be given a chance to live a life in which their amputee status is an afterthought. The recent progress of prosthetic engineering has enabled scientists to design artificial limbs that function nearly as well as biological ones. On the forefront of this technology is [...]

Continuous Glucose Sensing: A Leap in Diabetic Treatment

2018-11-07T15:54:43-08:00 March 30th, 2002|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue III, Volume VI|

Diabetes treatments take many forms, but they all have the same purpose: regulating glucose in patients whose bodies cannot control glucose levels. Only within the last few years has technology evolved to permit continuous glucose monitoring outside hospitals. Continuous glucose monitoring helps doctors prescribe insulin therapies and dietary programs that are much better suited to [...]

The Design and Use of Soybean Oil-Filled Breast Implants in Augmentation Mammioplasty

2017-10-26T18:57:30-07:00 November 1st, 2001|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue IV, Lifestyle, Volume II|

Many women who are unsatisfied with the appearance of their breasts use augmentation mammioplasty, or breast augmentation, to achieve their desired look. The most commonly used breast implants are silicone gel and saline-filled implants, both of which have harmful drawbacks. Silicone gel are not biocompatible and obstruct the visibility of tumors in mammography. Saline-filled implants [...]

DNA Fingerprinting

2017-10-26T18:06:55-07:00 November 1st, 2001|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue I, Volume II|

DNA fingerprinting has established itself as an efficient and highly accurate means of determining identities and relationships. It has practically revolutionized the field of forensics, especially concerning rape cases. DNA profiling, as the process is more appropriately called, involves the visualization of special segments of the human genome, which are unique to each individual. These [...]

Corneal Rings: A Revolutionary Invention in the Field of Corrective Eye Surgery

2017-10-26T18:24:57-07:00 November 1st, 2001|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue I, Volume II|

Corneal rings are micro-thin inserts that were recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in April 1999, for use in the correction of myopia and small degrees of astigmatism. This product of biomedical engineering offers patients another choice when searching for an alternative to glasses or contact lenses. The major advantage of corneal [...]

Pyschoacoustics and Surround Sound Systems

2017-10-26T18:48:17-07:00 November 11th, 2000|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue I, Volume I|

Sound consists of variations in air pressure arriving at the ears. The human hearing system is capable of deciphering these relatively mundane and simple variations into a substantial amount of important information, much of which is relied upon for human survival. Since the hearing process is both psychological (associated with the brain) and acoustical (associated [...]

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Are You at Risk?

2018-11-07T15:59:35-08:00 September 1st, 2000|Biomedical Engineering, Ergonomics, Health & Medicine, Issue I, Volume VI|

Ergonomics and human factors are major fields within industrial engineering. By studying the human body and its measurements and variations, it's possible to create an ideal tool for any function. In recent years, as people utilize high technology more in their everyday lives, the focus has moved strongly toward ergonomically-sound computer workstations. Though ergonomics may [...]

Designing Vision

2017-10-26T18:22:21-07:00 March 1st, 2000|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue II, Volume II|

With the rapid technological advancements, it is easy to forget the significant inventions of years past. However, since the 1700's, only a few modifications have altered the basic design of today's eyewear. The development of contact lenses eliminated the awkward frames of glasses, but at the expense of frequent replacement and eye irritation. Now laser [...]