Mechanics and Materials in Design for Orthopedic Implants and Medical Devices

Project: Investigate and analyze an orthopedic implant or medical device and design it to be better

If you’ve been hearing about replacement knees, mechanical hearts, bionic eyes, and prosthetic arms that move by the user’s thoughts, and you dream about designing the next generation of these medical devices, this section is for you. In Section 100, you’ll study the engineering aspects of implantable devices and learn how engineers apply broad engineering knowledge to this exciting and fast-growing field. You’ll use knowledge of mechanics to define the physical environment for prosthetics and knowledge of material properties to determine appropriate materials for implanted devices. Over the course of the semester, you’ll do an in-depth, team-based study of a particular medical device (chosen by your team), and as the culmination of your research, you’ll propose your own recommendations for an improved design. Even though you won’t be creating physical medical devices, you’re encouraged to use modeling tools to construct your designs and to develop relationships with medical professionals who can give you access to actual devices. Students in this section have gone on to develop, patent, and market their own implant systems—maybe you’ll be the next success story!