The Legend of BMED 3110 & 3610

Research experience is invaluable to many students interested in graduate school, medical school and even industry after Tech. As And as part of the biomedical engineering curriculum here at Tech are some classes that provide students with an exposure to the research side of the field: gleam into the research side of BME and put their conceptual knowledge to work as a team in BMED 3110 and 3610, the quantitative engineering physiology labs. Taught by Dr. Essy Behravesh and his team of teaching assistants, these lab courses challenge its students by giving them incomplete information at the start of a lab to encourage students to challenge their ability to plan and complete the experiment with real- world conditions. Here, these students also learn to use LabVIEW in their experiments to help them with everything anything from data collection to data analysis and can apply the conceptual knowledge gained in other classes.

LabVIEW, short for Laboratory Virtual Instrument Engineering Workbench, is an important part of the class and does take some time to get used to. As a type of programming, LABVIEW has many different functions and parameters with which beginners tend to fumble but are eventually able to create specific, data-collecting applications. In fact, many students remark that previous programming experience with MatLab helped them get familiar with using LabVIEW, although differences in use between BMED 3110 and 3610 still cause for a learning curve.

Another important component of BMED 3110 and 3610 is cell culture. Cell culture is a major part of biomedical research, and if anyone has done BME research here at Tech, they most likely started with feeding cells. For students in BMED 3110, cell culture can be difficult, not because of principle or technique but rather due to the need for good time management. Students only occasionally finish their labs within the 3-hour period, with many groups staying late and coming in on extra days to ensure their experiments are performed and completed as planned. Teams quickly learned to plan their experiments in detail before starting the lab to ensure no mess-ups and do-overs, which could mean unnecessary additional hours of work. However, even with careful scheduling and planning, students have learned from their time in the engineering physiology labs that the unexpected can, and definitely will happen. As they progress from 3110 to 3610, students claim they have become more experienced and equipped to handle these unexpected situations, and though these classes come with their challenges, students express that both classes have been incredibly useful for preparing them for future research and lab work.