National Biomechanics Day 2022

Last Friday we celebrated National Biomechanics Day at NC State. We missed the official National Biomechanics Day (April 6) due to travel and other obligations, so we opted to hold our event a few weeks later. But we’re pretty sure the students didn’t mind.

This year we decided to re-envision the event from what we’ve done in the past. In previous years, we’ve had an expo-style event with labs leading short demos or activities related to their research. These events had 100-200 attendees. But this year we wanted to foster more meaningful connections with attendees, so we pared it down to 35 students and guided them through an engineering challenge. We chose the one from Teach Engineering made by Biomedical Engineers at UVA (find it here). It’s the year 2050 and Bill was hit by a car. A section of his bone, muscle, and skin were damaged beyond repair and need to be totally replaced by 3D bioprinting. The students have been hired as biomedical engineers to help print bone, muscle, and skin grafts for Bill.

We divided the students into groups of four, where they first brainstormed the problem, reading over information on their tissue type and thinking about how they could print it. They then broke into groups, assembled their bioprinters, and then got to making solutions.


Showing off their designs:

 

The amazing Plaster of Paris wranglers. By the end of the day, none of their clothing had been spared from the wrath of Plaster of Paris powder!

At the end of the day, the groups all shared out their designs. We also had a teacher help us award a “superlative” to each group. The winners included:

  • Perseverance in the face of glue that wouldn’t stick
  • Most laughing
  • Runniest plaster masterpiece
  • Most creative
  • Muscle masterpiece
  • Fantastic femur

Group Photo: