Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Child-size mannequin: Hands-on training spares real patients

17.05.2011
Rice University bioengineering students have modified a child-size training mannequin to give medical students hands-on pediatric experience so that real patients can be spared further stress and pain.

The students created Ped.IT, short for Pediatric Evaluation Device Intended for Training, as their senior design project at the request of doctors at Texas Children's Hospital (TCH) who have long recognized the need for students to get hands-on experience in pediatrics without having to subject young patients to additional probing and exams.

"I've been trying since 2003 to develop a mannequin, but I didn't have the bioengineering skills," said Amy Middleman, a pediatrician at TCH and associate professor at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), which funded the project. "For a long time I've wanted to be able to teach medical students physical exam skills without having to use patients who are not feeling well and whose parents really aren't comfortable with medical students coming in to examine them."

Having tried and failed to work with medical device manufacturers, Middleman found her way to Rice's Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK) and its director, Maria Oden, a professor in the practice of engineering education.

Oden pitched the idea to student teams at the start of the fall semester. The four students who stepped up -- Kshitij Manchanda, Zachary Henderson, Minsuk Kwak and Michelle Thorson -- succeeded in modifying a stock medical training mannequin to TCH's specs, with help from their Rice adviser, Renata Ramos, a lecturer in bioengineering.

Ped.IT (which students have dubbed the "MiddleMannequin" in honor of their mentor) began as a hard-shell mannequin donated by a manufacturer, Laerdal. The team replaced the neck and midriff areas of the plastic with simulated skin and added the simulated liver and spleen, that TCH requested. The students went beyond the call of duty by adding simulated lymph nodes, and they left room for more organs to be added by future OEDK teams.

"There are a lot of conditions our mentors at Texas Children's would like to see in a future version of the mannequin, including an enlarged thyroid and tonsils," Henderson said. "They would also like joints that could be popped out of place and put back in."

Computer-controlled actuators in the 4-foot-long mannequin allow medical students to change the organs from normal to enlarged states.

To create the effect, team members spent time at TCH feeling the livers and spleens of patients willing to help. Rice and Texas Children's are in close proximity in Houston's Texas Medical Center.

"We were completely confused about how a liver actually felt," Manchanda said. "Is it as hard as a rock? As soft as a pillow? I didn't know what the middle ground was. So when I felt them, I thought, 'Oh, this feels like Tempur-Pedic.' You could squeeze and it will come back to its shape."

Tempur-Pedic, best known as material for mattresses, was the right stuff for simulating organs. Another material, Dermasol, was used to simulate skin. "I feel like we've set a good groundwork for materials and the way to make a mannequin that is useful for the physical exam," Thorson said.

"We don't have anything like this in pediatrics," said Jennifer Arnold, medical director of the TCH Pediatric Simulation Center and a BCM assistant professor of pediatrics. "In fact, there's nothing quite like this in the adult world, either. I think there are huge possibilities for commercialization."

Arnold is already talking with manufacturers. "Laerdal is interested," she said. "Now we get to take this back to them and say, 'Hey, do you think you would be interested in helping us mass-produce this, so that every medical school -- even, potentially, every nursing school -- could use this to train their students?'

"This is very sophisticated in what it does right now for physical diagnosis, so I'm very excited. I think there's a need."

"We have been just thrilled," Middleman said. "I've been dreaming about this for years, and it's the students who have really brought this to fruition. I could not be happier. I'm so excited that we've started on the way to developing this."

A video demonstration of Ped.IT is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtgVfBo6bus

Download a high-resolution photo of the team at http://www.media.rice.edu/images/media/NEWSRELS/0511_PedIT.jpg

CAPTION

The Ped.IT team at Rice University modified a mannequin that allows medical students to learn what healthy and diseased livers, spleens and lymph nodes should feel like without having to practice on patients. Clockwise from left, Kshitij Manchanda, Michelle Thorson, adviser Amy Middleman of Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital, Minsuk Kwak, Zachary Henderson and adviser Jennifer Arnold, also of Baylor and Texas Children's.

(Credit Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)

Located on a 285-acre forested campus in Houston, Texas, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation's top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is known for its "unconventional wisdom." With 3,485 undergraduates and 2,275 graduate students, Rice's undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is less than 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 4 for "best value" among private universities by Kiplinger's Personal Finance. To read "What they're saying about Rice," go to http://futureowls.rice.edu/images/futureowls/Rice_Brag_Sheet.pdf.

David Ruth | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rice.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>