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 Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>