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  • Professor Mark Saltzman: This is a course,

  • a version of which I've taught almost every year for the last

  • twenty years and it evolves a little bit every year.

  • I think I get a little bit better at it,

  • so hopefully you'll get some advantage from that experience.

  • But the idea is to try to present to you what's exciting

  • about Biomedical Engineering, the ways that one can take

  • science and mathematics and apply that to improve human

  • health. I'm not working alone here,

  • but we have three teaching fellows who are affiliated with

  • the course, two of which are here today.

  • Yen Cu is back there, Yen raise your hand higher so

  • everyone can see. Yen worked on the course last

  • year and she's the senior of the teaching fellows that are

  • working on the course this year. Serge Kobsa is in the back and

  • he'll be the second teaching fellow.

  • I should mention that Yen is a PhD student in Biomedical

  • Engineering and Serge is an M.D./PhD student who's getting

  • his PhD in Biomedical Engineering.

  • The third teaching fellow couldn't make it today,

  • his name is Michael Look and I'll introduce him to you when

  • he's available. This is the goal for my

  • first lecture today, to try to answer these

  • questions. You might have already noticed

  • that I'm using the classes V2 server so the syllabus is there,

  • I'm going to go over the syllabus a little bit later,

  • but the syllabus is available online.

  • The first reading is available online and I'll talk more about

  • the readings when I get to that portion of the lecture here.

  • I'm going to post PowerPoints for all the lectures,

  • hopefully at least the day before the lecture takes place,

  • so I posted this last night. Some students find that they

  • benefit from printing out the PowerPoints and they can just

  • take their notes along with the slides as I go and that's one

  • way to do it, but feel free to do it whatever

  • way works for you, but those should be available.

  • The questions I want to try to answer today are what is

  • Biomedical Engineering? So why would you be interested

  • in spending a semester learning about this subject?

  • I'll talk about who will benefit from the course and a

  • little bit about sort of the detailed subject matter that

  • we'll cover in the course of this semester.

  • To answer the question what is Biomedical Engineering,

  • we're going to spend time on that today and we'll spend time

  • on Thursday, and I want to approach it from

  • a couple of different angles. One is by just showing you

  • a series of pictures which you might recognize and talk about

  • why this is an example of Biomedical Engineering.

  • This is one picture that probably you all know what it is

  • when you see it, it's a familiar looking image.

  • It's something that probably we all have some personal

  • experience with, right?

  • This is a chest x-ray that would be taken in your doctor's

  • office, for example, or a radiologist's office.

  • And it is a good example of Biomedical Engineering and that

  • it takes a physical principle, that is how do x-rays interact

  • with the tissues of your body, and it uses that physics,

  • that physical principle to develop a picture of what's

  • inside your body, so to look inside and see

  • things that you couldn't see without this device.

  • And you'll recognize some of the parts of the image,

  • you can see the ribcage here, the bones, you can see the

  • heart is this large bright object down here.

  • If your - have good eyesight from the distance that you're at

  • you can see the vessels leading out of the heart and into the

  • lungs, and the lungs are these darker

  • spaces within the ribcage. Physicians over the years

  • of having this instrument have learned how to be very

  • sophisticated about looking at these pictures and diagnosing

  • when something is wrong inside the chest,

  • for example. So this is an example of

  • Biomedical Engineering, one that is well integrated

  • into our society to the point that we've probably all got a

  • picture like this somewhere in our past,

  • and where we understand the physical principles that allow

  • us to use it. We've gotten,

  • over the last two decades in particular, very sophisticated

  • about taking pictures inside the body allowing doctors to look

  • inside the body and predict things about our internal

  • physiology that they couldn't predict just by looking at us or

  • putting their hands on us. This image on the top here is

  • another example of an imaging technique, this is a Positron

  • Emission Tomograph, or PET image,

  • and it's taken by using radionuclides and injecting them

  • into you, so radioactive chemicals that

  • interact with tissues in your body in a specific way and you

  • can where those radioactive chemicals go.

  • It allows us to look not just at the anatomy of what's going

  • on inside your body like an x-ray does,

  • but to look at the chemistry, the biochemistry of what's

  • happening inside a particular organ or tissue in your body.

  • In this case, these are pictures of the brain

  • and this has been an exceptionally important

  • technique in understanding how molecules like neurotransmitters

  • affect disease and how they change in certain disease states

  • in people, and we'll talk about this as

  • another example of Biomedical Engineering, this advanced

  • method is for imaging inside the body.

  • Well this third picture you can't probably see too much

  • about but you probably recognize what it is, right?

  • Where was this picture taken? What kind of a space was it

  • taken in?

  • Student: [inaudible]Professor

  • Mark Saltzman: Somebody said OR or

  • operating room and that's right, this is a picture in an

  • operating room, and operating rooms if you went

  • into any operating room around the country you would see lots

  • of examples of instruments that are used to help surgeons,

  • anesthesiologists to keep the patient alive and healthy during

  • the course of a surgery. This particular one down

  • here, this portion here is a heart/lung machine and this is a

  • machine that can take over the function of a patient's heart

  • and lungs during the period when they're undergoing open heart

  • surgery, for example.

  • If they're having a coronary artery bypass or they're having

  • a heart transplant, then there's some period at

  • which their normal heart - their heart is stopped and this

  • machine assumes the functions of their heart.

  • And this is, I think, an obvious example of

  • Biomedical Engineering, building a machine that can

  • replace the function of one of your organs even temporarily,

  • for example, during an operation.

  • This is another familiar picture, I purposely picked one

  • that looked sort of old fashioned compared to the usual

  • way you see this, which might be on the nightly

  • news. You see a bleep going across

  • the screen to indicate that they've got their finger on the

  • pulse of what's happening, or you see it in TV shows like

  • ER. You see these images on

  • computer screens all the time; it's an example of an EKG or

  • ECG, an electrocardiograph. It's a machine that also looks

  • inside your body, but looks inside in a different

  • kind of way. Rather than by forming an image

  • or a picture you put electrodes on the surface of the body and

  • measure the electrical potential as a function of position on the

  • body. It turns out the electrical

  • potential or electricity that you can measure on the surface

  • of the body reflects things that are happening deeper inside like

  • the beating of your heart. If you put the electrodes in

  • the right position and you measure in the right way you can

  • detect the electrical activity of the heart and record it on a

  • strip recorder like this one shown here,

  • or display it on a computer. So this is another example of

  • Biomedical Engineering where you can look at the function of a

  • heart in a living person and a physician who is experienced at

  • looking at these, and a machine that works well,

  • with those two things you can diagnose a lot of things that

  • are happening inside of a heart and we'll talk about that about

  • halfway through the course. This picture might be less

  • familiar to you but you probably all know that we have developed

  • over the last 100 years or so the ability to take cells out of

  • a person, or cells out of an animal,

  • and keep those isolated cells alive in culture for extended

  • periods of time: this technology is called cell

  • culture technology. We're going to spend quite of

  • bit of time talking about it during the third week of the

  • course. By taking cells from the skin,

  • for example, or cells from your blood or

  • cells from the bone marrow and keeping them alive in culture,

  • we've been able to study how human cells work and learn a lot

  • about the functioning of human organism.

  • We've also learned how to not only keep cells alive,

  • but in certain cases make them replicate outside the body,

  • so maybe you could take a few skin cells and keep them in

  • culture in the right way and replicate them so that you get

  • many millions of skin cells after several weeks or so.

  • Now one of the new technologies that's evolving,

  • that we're going to talk about in the last half of the course,

  • is taking cells that have been propagated in this way outside

  • the body and encouraging them to form new tiss