EC.710 | Spring 2010 | Undergraduate

D-Lab: Medical Technologies for the Developing World


This page provides details on coursework for the term. In addition to the assignments below, students are required to document their project team work in a series of blog postings (see the Projects page to read these team blogs).

Homework 1

Students complete and submit a profile questionnaire about their background and interests.

Please complete the readings for Lec #2, and prepare for a class discussion on:

- How radical design can shape clinical methods

- How technology can provide hope, and how it can provide disappointment

- What happens to the design when it disappoints? What would you do?

- How can we read between the lines to make sure our designs can become trendsetting and not trendy?

Homework 2 Graph Asthma or Heart Disease approaches using the Global Health Innovation Compass Summary and instructions
Homework 3 For those who traveled to Nicaragua during spring break, complete the Design Challenge Template to present potential projects to the class. During class on Lec #15, students form teams based on these design challenges.

Design Challenge Template (PDF)

Sample Design Challenge Template (PDF)

Lab homework 1

Drug delivery lab:

Using the device design parameters and strategies, design the following:

- An auto-disable syringe. Using the standard syringe, create a feature or a mechanism that renders it useless once it has been used a single time.

- Your own version of an appropriate paper spacer for inhalers and nebulizers ensuring that aerodynamic flow and dosage are not compromised.

- A multi-dose delivery system for your nebulizers.

Lab homework 2

Instrumentation lab:

- Make a device that can amplify (without electronics) heart and lung sounds for recording on a cell phone

- Email recording to yourself, or use USB cord to transfer it to the computer

- Convert to WAV format using PeonySoft-WAV-Converter

- Look at its waveform in MATLAB®:

y = wavread(‘hello.wav’);


- Can you see the heart beats or breaths? (May be hard to tell without further signal processing)

- Check that the heartbeats/breaths are audible from someone listening on the computer (full volume, with headphones)

Slides (PDF)
Lab homework 3

Diagnostics lab:

- Fabricate by hand four kinds of microfluidic devices, using microscope slides, double-sided tape, and X-Acto® blades.

- Make a hybrid device using one of the slide designs and pH paper.

- Inject two different food coloring samples inside the chips. How did they behave? Did they mix? Did they flow on their own, or did you have to inject them?

Lab-on-a-chip instructions (PDF)
Lab homework 4

Vital signs monitoring lab:

Build a prototype pulse oximeter using the Arduino microcontroller.

Slides (PDF)
Lab homework 5

Microfluidics lab:

Students design more complex systems using plastic microfluidic chips, wells, channels, micro pumps, and micro hoses on the thinXXS lab-on-a-chip platform.

FDA 510(k) homework Use the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Web site to search for 510(k) Premarket Notifications for your medical device, and identify any predicate devices. Slides (PDF - 1.3MB)
Blog/Lab notebook review How is your blog doing? Do you have pictures? Do you have content? Deliberations? Do you have a team name? Will it be interesting to the outside world?  
Sketch model We talked about sketch models in class on Lec #16, and we visited the MIT laser cutter and 3-D printer. We’d like you to turn in a sketch model of your proposed device by the beginning of class on Lec #20. Sketch models are something that you can hold in your hand and may offer some functionality. They are often made up of foam, cardboard, found items, and if you are able to, fabricated pieces (sometimes this is as simple as using scissors). With the sketch model, include a video clip explaining how your device would work (2 minutes minimum, 10 minutes maximum). The sketch model will undergo another round of design critiques in class on Lec #24, which should inform your approach and allow you to refine parameters. By this date, you should have developed an approach to fabrication based on your goals.

3-D modeling tool

Role-playing simulation games Students form teams for a role-playing game to explore the various stakeholders and difficulties involved in medical innovation and commercialization. Simulation game roles (PDF)
Final prototype Complete your final prototype and poster. Students present prototypes in a poster session at the MIT Museum at the D-Lab Finale showcase.  

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2010
Learning Resource Types
Design Assignments with Examples