I am currently taking a class called BME 210 – a Biomedical Computer Simulations Method class which basically involves modeling the human body and the systems within with the help of differential equations and Matlab. The reason this class is “cool” is because I think it is the first time a BME student is able to get a good picture of what biomedical engineering really is and how diverse its applications are. I believe that the real world problems we solve in this class reminds you of how valuable your major.
The class is taught by an amazing professor, Professor D’Argenio who has become not only a teacher but also a great mentor. I really appreciate how he teaches every class with such enthusiasm; having him as a professor has truly inspired my curiosity in the field. If you are a biomedical engineering student here, you will definitely have the opportunity to take a couple undergraduate classes with him! The problems we tackle in this class are very pervasive in the medical field. It is amazing that at a sophomore level, we are even able to model and solve these kinds of problems using basic Matlab programming. Every other week, we have a matlab program and analysis due. The prompt he usually gives deals with a wide array of topics.
In our first assignment, we discuss how to calculate Cardiac output. Given certain parameters of the patient, we are able to model the amount of blood output from one heart beat. This is measured by tracking a dye through our blood stream. After writing some matlab code, we are able to produce graphs like the below:
We also modeled the kinetics of nicotine binding to the nictone acetylcholine receptors. Being given data, we model the kinetics between this ligand/receptor interaction and study desensitization.
We also study medical imaging and learn how CT scans, MRIs and x-rays work. Given pixel values, we actually modeled and projected what the CT scan would like:
Just last week, I also worked on modeling drug diffusion through your body. To be specific, we modeled alcohol pharmacokinetics and observed blood alcohol concentrations over time.
I am currently working on modeling the spread of disease throughout a population of species. I have had a great semester in this class so far and am looking forward to myfuture BME classes!