Henry J. Donahue, Ph.D.
Professor and chair

biomedical.egr.vcu.edu

The Department of Biomedical Engineering offers programs at the baccaluareate, master’s and doctoral level.

Biomedical engineering provides in-depth study in a variety of specialization areas including biomedical imaging systems, orthopaedic biomechanics, tissue and cellular engineering, biomaterials, artificial organs, human-computer interfaces, cardiovascular devices, rehabilitation and human factors engineering. The programs allow students to participate in cutting-edge research in one of the nations most advanced engineering facilities. The department has ongoing collaborations with numerous industries, federal laboratories, the VCU science departments, the university’s MCV Campus, the Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park and numerous biomedical and clinical programs throughout the VCU Medical Center’s MCV Hospitals.

 
 

Biomedical Engineering

EGRB   101. Biomedical Engineering Practicum I. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture hours. 2 credits. Prerequisites: registration in biomedical engineering department and permission of course coordinator. This course involves the introduction of clinical procedures and biomedical devices and technology to biomedical engineering freshmen. Students will tour medical facilities, clinics and hospitals and will participate in medical seminars, workshops and medical rounds. Students will rotate among various programs and facilities including orthopaedics, cardiology, neurology, surgery, otolaryngology, emergency medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, nursing, oncology, physical medicine, ophthalmology, pediatrics and internal medicine.

EGRB   102. Introduction to Engineering. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 3 laboratory hours. 4 credits. Prerequisites: registration is restricted to biomedical engineering majors only. Introduces basic engineering principles in the context of biomedical topics, including electrical circuits and components such as resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors, digital electronics and motors. Applications of biomedical systems including heart function, brain waves, human motion and skin responses are discussed. The laboratory introduces fundamental biomedical circuit testing and measurement and proper laboratory writing, with students required to analyze, build and test biomedical devices such as those involving ECG, EMG and Galvanic Skin Response.

EGRB   105. History of Medical Technology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Origins and recent advances in medical technologies including hearing aids, artificial knees, heart-lung machines, medical anesthesia devices and medical imaging systems such as CAT MRI.

EGRB   203. Introduction to Biomechanics. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MATH   201 and PHYS   207. Restricted to biomedical engineering majors only. The theory and application of engineering mechanics applied to the design and analysis of rigid and deformable biomedical and physiological structures. The study of forces and their effects, including equilibrium of two- and three-dimensional bodies, stress, strain and constitutive relations, bending, torsion, shearing, deflection, and failure of physiological and biomedical systems.

EGRB   215. Computational Methods in Biomedical Engineering I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MATH   201 and sophomore standing in biomedical engineering. Corequisite: MATH   301, MATH   310 or permission of instructor. The goal of this course is to enhance students' software skills for subsequent biomedical engineering courses and laboratories, as well their careers. The course covers the basic fundamentals of programming in MATLAB, as well as data analysis of biomedical data. An important component of this course is developing problem-solving skills.

EGRB   301. Biomedical Engineering Design Practicum. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: EGRB   101, EGRB   102, EGRB   203, EGRB   215, EGRE   206 (or equivalent), each with a minimum grade of C. Restricted to students with junior standing in the biomedical engineering program. Explores the professional and ethical responsibilities of a biomedical engineer. Emphasis will be placed on design issues associated with biomedical engineering, teamwork, regulatory issues and human and animal subjects.

EGRB   303. Biotransport Processes. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: PHIS   309, 310 (or equivalents); EGRB   203; and PHYS   207. Course involves the study of mass, momentum and heat transfer within the human body, between the human body and the environment, and in the design of devices and systems that are involved with transport processes in medical and clinical settings. The underlying principles of mass, momentum and energy transfer will be addressed followed by a study of such processes that are ongoing in the human body. The design of biomedical devices and systems that involve transport processes also will be studied. Examples include cardiovascular blood flow, transport across cell membranes, respiration and thermoregulation.

EGRB   307. Biomedical Instrumentation. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 3 laboratory hours. 4 credits. Prerequisites: EGRE   206, EGRB   215. A study of the physical principles, design and clinical uses of biomedical instrumentation. Analysis and design of low frequency electronic circuits, which are most frequently used in biomedical instruments, will be conducted. Analysis of biosensors, biopotential electrodes, the measurements of biopotential signals including electrocardiogram (ECG), electroencephalogram (EEG) and electromyogram (EMG), blood pressure, blood flow, and respiratory system will be conducted. Laboratory work on basic biomedical electronics and instrumentation will be performed.

EGRB   308. Biomedical Signal Processing. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 3 laboratory hours. 4 credits. Prerequisites: MATH   301 and 310; PHIS   309 and 310; EGRB   215. Explores the basic theory and application of digital signal processing techniques related to the acquisition and processing of biomedical and physiological signals including signal modeling, AD/DA, Fourier transform, Z transform, digital filter design, continuous and discrete systems.

EGRB   310. Biomechanics. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 3 laboratory hours. 4 credits. Prerequisites: EGRB   203, EGRB   215, PHIS   309 and PHIS   310. Corequisites MATH   301 and MATH   310. A study of the forces, stresses and strains in the human body during normal function. Emphasis is placed on the mechanics of various components of the body including hard (bone) and soft (skin, vessels, cartilage, ligaments, tendons) tissues from a structure-function perspective. Stress and strain relationships for these biomaterials will be analyzed based upon the fundamentals of engineering mechanics. In addition, the distinctive features of biological materials will be studied with respect to their differences from nonliving materials and elaborated upon in laboratory exercises using material evaluation protocols.

EGRB   315. Computational Methods in Biomedical Engineering II. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: EGRB   215, MATH   301 and MATH   310. The goals of this course are to: (1) prepare software skills for using LabVIEW for collecting real-time data from sensors, process information and control actuators and (2) prepare mechanical design skills using SolidWorks for designing structures and mechanisms, as well as performing simple analyses for assessing mechanical design criteria.

EGRB   401. Biomedical Engineering Senior Design Studio. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 9 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: EGRB   301, EGRB   303, EGRB   307, EGRB   308, EGRB   310, EGRB   315 and EGRB   427, each with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to students with senior standing in the Department of Biomedical Engineering or by permission of instructor. A minimum of nine laboratory hours per week is dedicated to the design, development and execution of the senior design (capstone) project for biomedical engineering under the direction of a faculty research adviser in biomedical engineering or an acceptable substitute as determined by the course coordinator. Tasks include team meetings (for team projects), brainstorming, sponsor advising, designing, fabrications, assembling, reviewing, studying, researching, testing and validating projects. Monthly progress reports are due to the research adviser and course coordinator. At the end of the first semester, each team will orally present to the BME faculty project background information and discuss potential technical approaches and deliverables.

EGRB   402. Biomedical Engineering Senior Design Studio. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 9 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: Completion of EGRB   401 with a minimum grade of C. A minimum of nine laboratory hours per week is dedicated to the design, development and execution of the senior design (capstone) project for biomedical engineering under the direction of a faculty research adviser in biomedical engineering or an acceptable substitute as determined by the course coordinator. Tasks include team meetings (for team projects), brainstorming, sponsor advising, designing, fabrications, assembling, reviewing, studying, researching, testing and validating projects. Monthly progress reports are due to the research adviser and course coordinator. Final project reports must be submitted before the end of the semester. All design teams must participate in the School of Engineering public poster session. At the end of the semester and conclusion of the two-semester design process, teams must present their final designs and deliverables before the BME faculty.

EGRB   403. Tissue Engineering. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: junior standing in engineering and PHIS   309 and 310, or permission of instructor. Study of the design, development and clinical application of tissue engineered components for use in the human body. Analysis of biology, chemistry, material science, engineering, immunology and transplantation as pertains to various tissue engineered components including blood vessels, bone, cartilage, pancreas, liver and skin.

EGRB   405. Finite Element Analysis in Solid Mechanics. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: EGRB   310 and MATH   301. Finite element analysis as presented in this course is a numerical procedure for solving continuum mechanics problems that cannot be described by closed-form mathematical solutions. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the theoretical basis for the method, using a commercial software program, and understanding the volume of information that can be generated. Applications to both one- and two-dimensional problems in solid mechanics and biomechanics will be explored.

EGRB   406. Artificial Organs. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: PHIS   309 and PHIS   310 (or equivalents), EGRB   303, 307 and 310, or permission of instuctor. This course explores the design, operating principles and practices regarding artificial organs and their use in the human body. Analysis of dialysis systems for kidney replacement, artificial hearts and heart assist devices, cardiac pacemakers, sensory organ assist and replacement devices, and artificial liver and pancreas devices. Design aspects, legal ramifications, regulatory issues and clinical implantation issues will be addressed.

EGRB   407. Physical Principles of Medical Imaging. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: junior standing in the School of Engineering and PHYS   208. A study of the physical principles and basic clinical uses of medical imaging. Analysis of radiation and interaction of radiation, generation and control of X-rays, X-ray diagnostic methods, X-ray computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasonic imaging will be conducted. Basic principle of radionuclide imaging also will be introduced.

EGRB   408. Advanced Biomedical Signal Processing. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: EGRB   308. This course will briefly review the basic theory of discrete-time signal processing techniques in biomedical data processing. Advanced signal processing techniques including adaptive signal processing, wavelets, spectral estimation and multirate signal processing will be employed. Specific examples utilizing electrocardiogram (ECG) and other biological signals are provided. Topics covered are alternance phenomenon in biological systems, late potential in ECG, intrapotential in ECG and coherence analysis.

EGRB   409. Microcomputer Applications in Biomedical Engineering. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 3 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: EGRB   307. Covers microcomputer applications (hardware and software) as applied to biomedical science and biomedical engineering. Basic hardware components of a microcomputer are discussed with particular reference to configurations needed for analyzing biomedical events. Software applications including data encoding, data storage, graphical interfaces and real-time processing are explored for analysis of physiological and biomedical signals. Students will develop algorithms using LabView and MatLab to solve problems in biomedical engineering in the laboratories.

EGRB   410. Cellular Engineering. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: PHIS   309 and PHIS   310, both with minimum grades of C. This course will be a detailed study of the structure and function of the cell from an engineering perspective. Fundamental molecular biology, cell biology and biochemistry topics (cellular structure, signal transduction, cell adhesions, cytoskeleton) will be introduced. Engineering principles (kinetics, transport, mechanics, thermodynamics, electrochemical gradient) will be applied to these topics. Emphasis is placed on methods to disrupt, enhance or mimic in vivo cellular function in biomedical applications.

EGRB   411. Cell Mechanics and Mechanobiology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: EGRB   310 and EGRB   410 with minimum grades of C or permission of instructor. Focusing on cellular-extracellular matrix interactions, students will gain a quantitative understanding of the way cells detect, modify and respond to the physical properties within the cell environment. Coverage includes the mechanics of single-molecule polymers, polymer networks, two-dimensional membranes, whole-cell mechanics and mechanobiology. Mechanobiology topics include cancer and development, pulmonary system, cardiovascular system, and the nervous system. Students will gain understanding of techniques in cellular manipulation and quantification of cellular forces.

EGRB   412. Regenerative Engineering and Medicine. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: EGRB   410 or equivalent with minimum grade of C. Students will apply fundamental concepts of cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, medicine and pathology, as well as material science and engineering principles to design novel strategies for cell and drug delivery, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Emphasis will be placed on designs and methods to solve current complex biomedical problems.

EGRB   413. Computational and Experimental Models of Cellular Signal Transduction. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: EGRB   215 and EGRB   410 with minimum grades of C. Students will study the process by which an extracellular protein binding event is transduced and interpreted as an incoming signal into a cell. Students will learn the biology of cellular signal transduction and will also learn how to apply computational models and experimental techniques to predict and investigate these pathways. Students will follow the course of a protein within a signal transduction cascade, from binding to a receptor, activating intracellular pathways, inducing new transcription and translation and targeting of the protein to its final location. Students will develop MATLAB-based mathematical models to predict signal transduction dynamics, and then will study experimental techniques that are used to both disrupt and measure signal transduction.

EGRB   420. Rehabilitation Engineering. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: PHIS   309 and PHIS   310 (or equivalents), EGRE   206 (or equivalent) and EGRB   310, or permission of instructor. This course explores the principles and practices regarding rehabilitation engineering and the interaction of biomedical engineering with health care delivery to individuals who are disabled. It will cover the three main areas of rehabilitative engineering: assistive technology, prostheses and rehabilitation therapy devices. Design will be an important component of the course.

EGRB   421. Human Factors Engineering. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: PHIS   309 and PHIS   310 (or equivalents), and EGRB   310. This course explores the principles and practices regarding ergonomics and human factors engineering and the interaction of biomedical engineering with human function. Analysis of the functions of the human body regarding motion, sensory mechanisms, cognition and interaction with the environment will be included. Interactions of the human body with technology, workplaces, equipment and computers will be examined. Design of workplaces for optimal human performance will be discussed. Analysis of the design and arrangement of controls and displays will be covered.

EGRB   427. Biomaterials. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: junior standing in biomedical engineering, PHIS   309 and 310, or permission of instructor. Principles of materials science as it relates to the use of materials in the body. Characterization of biomaterials. Study of the properties of biomedical materials used as implants, prostheses, orthosis and as medical devices in contact with the human body. Analysis of physical, chemical, thermal and physiological response factors associated with materials and implant devices used in the human body.

EGRB   491. SPECIAL TOPICS. 3 Hours.

Engineering

ENGR   101. Introduction to Engineering. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 3 laboratory hours. 4 credits. Prerequisites: admission to the School of Engineering or permission of instructor. Introduces basic circuits including resistors, diodes, transistors, digital gates and motors. Simple electromechanical systems are considered including motors, gears and wheels. The laboratory introduces fundamental circuit testing and measurement, and proper laboratory notebook writing; students are required to analyze, build and test a digitally controlled robot.

ENGR   121. Engineering Fundamentals. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Open only to non-engineering majors in Certificate in Product Innovation program. Introduces engineering fundamentals to students from non-engineering disciplines. Particular focus is the engineering problem-solving process as applied to open-ended problems. Students will be introduced to the different types of engineering, examine engineering issues and apply the engineering problem-solving process.

ENGR   291. Special Topics in Engineering. 1-5 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-5 credits. Prerequisite: to be determined by the instructor. Specialized topics in engineering designed to provide a topic not covered by an existing course or program. General engineering or multidisciplinary. May be repeated with different content. Graded as pass/fail or normal letter grading at the option of the instructor. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester and prerequisites.

ENGR   296. Part-time Internship Experience. 0 Hours.

Semester course; 0 credit. Students may attempt this course a total of six times. Enrollment restricted to School of Engineering majors. The student works part time in an approved internship and must work a minimum of 90 hours, but less than 300 hours during the semester. The student works to meet learning objectives while gaining practical experience relevant to their major. The student completes assignments to document, assess and reflect on their learning experience. The supervisor and student both complete evaluations of the learning experience. Graded pass/fail.

ENGR   303. Junior Seminar. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. This course provides students an opportunity to explore business and leadership topics. Topics include the fundamentals of product design and new product development, manufacturing and quality systems, finances and financial reports, ethics in the workplace, intellectual property, teamwork, leadership and communications. Students will be assigned selected readings, written compositions and oral presentations. This course prepares the student to participate in the Engineering Laboratory/Manufacturing Internship.

ENGR   395. Professional Development. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. Restricted to School of Engineering majors. Professional development course to help prepare students to find a job and succeed in a professional environment, and specifically to work as an intern or in a cooperative education position. Topics covered include career paths; job searches; resume and cover letter writing; preparing for the interview; personal assessment of interests, values and strengths; networking; professional and ethical behavior on the job; overview of legal issues related to hiring, such as nondisclosure agreements and noncompete clauses; overview of personal finance management at the first job; workplace safety; and expectations and requirements for internships and cooperative education positions.

ENGR   396. Internship Experience. 0 Hours.

Semester course; 0 credit. Students may attempt this course a total of three times. Enrollment restricted to School of Engineering majors. The student works in an approved internship and must work a minimum of 300 hours during the semester. The student works to meet learning objectives while gaining practical experience relevant to their major. The student completes assignments to document, assess and reflect on their learning experience. The supervisor and student both complete evaluations of the learning experience. Graded pass/fail.

ENGR   398. Cooperative Education Experience. 0 Hours.

Semester course; 0 credits. Students may attempt this course a total of four times. Prerequisite: ENGR   395. Restricted to School of Engineering majors in good academic standing. The student works full-time in an approved cooperative education position. The student works to meet specific learning objectives while gaining practical experience relevant to their major. The student completes assignments to document, assess and reflect on their learning experience. The supervisor/mentor and student both complete midterm and final evaluations of the learning experience. Graded pass/fail.

ENGR   399. Cooperative Education Experience II. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 credits. Prerequisite: ENGR   398. Restricted to School of Engineering majors in good academic standing. A student that has completed at least one work term in a full-time approved cooperative education position completes an additional full-time work term. The student works to meet specific learning objectives while gaining practical experience relevant to their major. The student completes assignments to document, assess and reflect on their learning experience. The supervisor/mentor and student both complete midterm and final evaluations of the learning experience.

ENGR   402. Senior Design Studio (Seminar). 1 Hour.

Continuous courses; 1 lecture hour. 1-1 credit. Prerequisites: senior standing and participation in a senior design (capstone) project; completion of ENGR   402 to enroll in ENGR   403. This weekly seminar presents and discusses topics relevant to senior-level engineering students in support of the capstone project and upcoming graduation. A single course coordinator manages and administers the course and schedules the various faculty lectures and guest speakers. Topics include, but are not limited to, the following: proposal writing, project planning and management, scheduling resources and budgeting for technical projects, patents and intellectual property, quality systems (six sigma, ISO standards, statistical process control), entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation and professional registration.

ENGR   403. Senior Design Studio (Seminar). 1 Hour.

Continuous courses; 1 lecture hour. 1-1 credit. Prerequisites: senior standing and participation in a senior design (capstone) project; completion of ENGR   402 to enroll in ENGR   403. This weekly seminar presents and discusses topics relevant to senior-level engineering students in support of the capstone project and upcoming graduation. A single course coordinator manages and administers the course and schedules the various faculty lectures and guest speakers. Topics include, but are not limited to, the following: proposal writing, project planning and management, scheduling resources and budgeting for technical projects, patents and intellectual property, quality systems (six sigma, ISO standards, statistical process control), entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation and professional registration.

ENGR   410. Review of Internship. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 credit. Prerequisites: chemical, electrical and computer, or mechanical engineering major and experience to satisfy the engineering internship requirements. Students complete oral presentations and written reports summarizing the internship experience.

ENGR   411. Fundamentals of Engineering Exam Preparation. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. Prerequisite: senior or graduate standing, or permission of instructor. This course prepares students for taking the fundamentals of Engineering Exam. Passing the FE Exam is the first step to getting a Professional Engineering license. This course is not intended to teach the various subject matters, but to review the subject areas and help students prepare as well as possible for the examination.

ENGR   490. Engineering Seminar. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-3 credits. May be repeated with different content. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. A series of specialized topics in engineering that are of general interest but not covered by an existing course or program. Lectures will be presented in seminar format by speakers from business, industry, government and academia. Subjects will be multidisciplinary in nature. Graded as pass/fail or normal letter grading at the option of the instructor.

ENGR   491. Special Topics in Engineering. 1-5 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-5 credits. Prerequisite: determined by the instructor. Specialized topics in engineering designed to provide a topic not covered by an existing course or program. General engineering or multidisciplinary. May be repeated with different content. Graded as pass/fail or normal letter grading at the option of the instructor. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester and prerequisites.

ENGR   492. Independent Study in Engineering. 1-5 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-5 credits. May be repeated with different content. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Students must submit a written proposal to be approved by the supervising instructor prior to registration. Investigation of specialized engineering problems that are multidisciplinary or of general interest through literature search, mathematical analysis, computer simulation and/or laboratory experimentation. Written and oral progress reports as well as a final report and presentation are required. Graded as pass/fail or normal letter grading at the option of the instructor.

ENGR   496. Internship Review. 0 Hours.

Semester course; 0 credits. Prerequisite: ENGR   296 or ENGR   396. Restricted to School of Engineering majors. This course is to be taken following the completion of a minimum of 300 hours of approved internship experience relevant to the student’s major and documents that a student has fulfilled all internship requirements, including a final evaluation by the employer, a final self-evaluation, a final report describing the experience and a final oral presentation about the experience. Graded pass/fail.

ENGR   497. Vertically Integrated Projects. 1,2 Hour.

Semester course; 3 or 6 laboratory hours. 1 or 2 credits. May be repeated for a maximum total of 8 credits Prerequisites: permission of the project faculty adviser. This course provides undergraduate students the opportunity to participate in multiyear, multidisciplinary projects under the guidance of faculty and graduate students in their areas of expertise. As they address research and development issues, students learn and practice many different professional skills, make substantial technical contributions to the project, and experience many different roles on a large, multidisciplinary design/discovery team. Students must earn a minimum of 4 credits in ENGR   497 with a minimum grade of C in order for these credits to be eligible to count toward a technical or departmental elective. More restrictive requirements may be imposed by individual departments.

ENGR   498. Review of Cooperative Education Experience. 0 Hours.

Semester course; 0 credits. Prerequisite: ENGR   398. Restricted to School of Engineering majors. This course is completed following the final work term of a cooperative education experience and is required to obtain transcript notation to document that a student has fulfilled all the requirements of the school’s cooperative education program. The requirements include a final evaluation by the employer, a final self-evaluation, a final report describing the experience and a final oral presentation about the experience.