Hands-on experience: Pacemaker Project
Collaborative learning, where groups of students work toward a common goal, appears throughout the curriculum. During spring of junior year, students declare their specialization, and take a first specialty lecture course and specialty lab course. The lab course exposes students to real devices they will use in industry. For biomedical engineering students, the Medical Device Lab course includes a pacemaker programmer lab experiment, which comes from Dr. Baura’s Medical Device Technologies textbook. Students program a pulse generator using a pacemaker programmer, using the exact steps an electrophysiologist performs during pacemaker implant. For a simulated cardiac patient, they determine the minimum capture threshold voltage required, to maximize battery life. They then identify the patient’s arrhythmia (abnormal electrocardiogram), predict the effect of pacemaker therapy, and apply therapy to verify their prediction.