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Commentary

A Review of Biotransport Education in the 21st Century: Lessons Learned From Experts

[+] Author and Article Information
Rupak K. Banerjee

Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering,
593 Rhodes Hall, ML 0072,
University of Cincinnati,
Cincinnati, OH 45221
e-mail: rupak.banerjee@uc.edu

Gavin A. D'Souza

Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering,
University of Cincinnati,
Cincinnati, OH 45221

Christopher Rylander

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences,
Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA 24061

Ram Devireddy

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Louisiana State University,
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received April 30, 2014; final manuscript received August 8, 2014; accepted manuscript posted August 27, 2014; published online September 19, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Kristen Billiar.

J Biomech Eng 136(11), 110401 (Sep 19, 2014) (8 pages) Paper No: BIO-14-1185; doi: 10.1115/1.4028414 History: Received April 30, 2014; Revised August 08, 2014

The field of bioengineering is relatively new and complex including multiple disciplines encompassing areas in science and engineering. Efforts including the National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) and VaNTH Engineering Research Center in Bioengineering Educational Technologies have been made to establish and disseminate knowledge and proven methods for teaching bioengineering concepts. Further, the summer bioengineering conference (SBC), sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' (ASME) Bioengineering Division, was established to provide a meeting place for engineering educators and students having common interests in biological systems. Of the many subdisciplines of bioengineering, biotransport is a key subject that has wide applicability to many issues in engineering, biology, medicine, pharmacology, and environmental science, among others. The absence of standard content, guidelines, and texts needed for teaching biotransport courses to students motivated the Biotransport committee of ASME's Bioengineering Division to establish a biotransport education initiative. Biotransport education workshop sessions were conducted during the SBC 2011, 2012, and 2013 as part of this initiative. The workshop sessions included presentations from experienced faculty covering a spectrum of information from general descriptions of undergraduate biotransport courses to very detailed outlines of graduate courses to successful teaching techniques. A list of texts and references available for teaching biotransport courses at undergraduate and graduate levels has been collated and documented based on the workshop presentations. Further, based on individual teaching experiences and methodologies shared by the presenters, it was noted that active learning techniques, including cooperative and collaborative learning, can be useful for teaching undergraduate courses while problem based learning (PBL) can be a beneficial method for graduate courses. The outcomes of the education initiative will help produce students who are knowledgeable in the subject of biotransport, facile in applying biotransport concepts for solving problems in various application areas, and comfortable with their own abilities as life-long learners.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

A schematic showing core (ring 1) and overlapping (ring 2) courses along with application areas (ring 3) in the biotransport major (the detailed application areas are enlisted in row 3 of Table 1)

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