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Biomedical Engineering Department

Senior Design Projects

The Ohio State University
2012 - 2013

Student affiliations:
Biomedical Engineering (BME)
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE)
Computer Science and Engineering (CSE)
Occupational Therapy (OT)
Physical Therapy (PT)

Primary Faculty & Mentors:

BME: Mark Ruegsegger, PhD, PE
David Lee, PhD
MAE: Sandra Metzler, PhD
CSE: Rajiv Ramnath, PhD
OT: Theresa Berner, MOT, OTR/L, ATP
PT: Jane Case-Smith, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Jill Heathcock, PhD
Heather Loge, MPT
Adam Spitznagle, MPT
John DeWitt
Rehab Eng: Carmen DiGiovine, PhD, ATP, RET
Med Center: Arun Kolipaka, PhD
NASA Glenn: Terri McKay
Speech: Michelle Bourgeois, PhD
OSU-ADA: Scott Lissner, MA

Table of Contents
1. Sterile Med Equipment in Space Flight ...................................................... 4
2. Frequency Tuner ........................................................................................ 5
3. Cardiac MRI Phantom ............................................................................... 6
4. Magnetic Resonance Elastography: Imaging Driver ................................. 7
5. Team Triumph Running Chair................................................................... 8
6. Hip CPM .................................................................................................... 9
7. Infant Mobility ......................................................................................... 10
8. Swappable Front Ends: Wheelchair to Handcycle .................................. 11
9. Mobile Arm Support ................................................................................ 12
10. Slider Board ........................................................................................... 13
11. Wheelchair Jack ..................................................................................... 14
12. Hoyer Lift............................................................................................... 15
13. Wheelchair Transfer Device .................................................................. 16
14. Running Shoes ........................................................................................ 17
15. Hemi-Walker with Rollers ...................................................................... 18
16. Center of Gravity Device ........................................................................ 19
17. Converted Class Table ............................................................................ 20
18. Intra-Building Guide System .................................................................. 21
19. Agra-Tools Design .................................................................................. 22

GOAL: To develop a device capable of sterilizing medical equipment in a microgravity

ABSTRACT: The development of a novel

sterilization unit that functions under a microgravity
environment would improve the quality of all
medical procedures performed in-flight and allow
medical equipment to be reused, decreasing the
number of medical tools needed on board.
Minimizing the power consumption, size of the
sterilization device, and the amount of time allotted
for a full sterilization cycle to complete are the
major guidelines presented by NASA. Steam,
ozone, hydrogen peroxide plasma, UV light,
exposure, and dry heat sterilization were selected
from the background information to be further analyzed during the selection process. After the
creation of decision matrices and mock-ups, dry heat sterilization proved to be the most appropriate
choice of sterilization to proceed with in the design process. A morphological chart introduced
specific features of the dry heat sterilization device that were then decided upon and sketched.
Further, a preliminary SolidWorks assembly model of the device was constructed, and a COMSOL
simulation was run to quantify the thickness of materials to be used. Final modifications to the
design were made, primarily to the material and insulation, and a testing plan was constructed to
analyze surface temperature, sterility effectiveness, and power usage. Testing results were reported
and suggestions were made to improve the weight of the prototype, provide better insulation, and
allow teams who tackle this project in the future to thrive.

GOAL: To make a frequency converter which can function as a multi-functional device that recognizes
the signal from various household appliances and emits a signal that high-frequency hearing loss patients
will be able to detect.

ABSTRACT: High-frequency hearing loss is a common condition that, aside from affecting the
hearing of the individuals who are afflicted with it, presents other day-to-day challenges and
inconveniences. While there are no medical procedures that can return high frequency hearing
ranges in patients, there are a variety of assistive devices that can minimize its effects, such as
hearing aids. Functionally, hearing aids detect and amplify frequencies that were previously deemed
inaudible and allow the user to detect them. However, they are limited in their range of frequency
amplification. For example, 4000 Hz is a common frequency that cannot be amplified because in
doing so there is a high instance of feedback (when the individual can actually hear the hearing
“ring”). It is only possible to adjust the intensity, or loudness, of the signal rather than the frequency
itself. This project aims to create a device that allows for the tuning of these appliance signals. This
document explains in detail the clinical background from which the project stems as well as the
motivation behind the creation of a new assistive device. It also follows the design process used to
arrive at a final device design, keeping in mind the constraints and functional requirements needed.

GOAL: This project seeks to develop a cardiac phantom, or mock heart. The phantom will be
used to develop an existing type of imaging for new cardiac applications.

ABSTRACT: MRI is an imaging modality used to spatially characterize a subject through

differences in proton spin concentration, relaxation effects of the surrounding tissue, and relaxation
effects between spins. There are many parameters in MRI that work in concert to develop
contrast in one of these areas. Since the advent of MR technology, investigators have been
developing new ‘pulse sequences’ to control how these components run individually in order
to generate faster scans and novel applications. Magnetic Resonance Elastography (MRE) is
a specialized form of MRI used to measure the stiffness of soft tissues. Currently, MRE is
used clinically as a diagnostic tool for calcification, fibrosis, inflammation, and cancer, which
are characterized by an increase in tissue stiffness. This technology is still limited in its
ability to image dynamic systems but has shown significant clinical practicality in stationary
tissues like hepatic and brain tissue.
Investigators need an MRI compatible-phantom in order to investigate and develop pulse
sequences that allow for MRE of dynamic tissues, such as the heart. Currently, most
phantoms are either stationary or contain magnetically active parts that prevent them from
being used in MRI. Investigations have been limited to dynamic phantoms that do not reach
physiological relevance with respect to cycles per minute and pressure, or living models with
limited control, reproducibility, and unnecessary complexities. Here, we provide the
necessary requirements for a device that is capable of assessing the efficacy of pulse
sequences in dynamic MRE that allows high reproducibility, real-time user controllability,
and physiological levels of cycle rate and pressure.

GOAL: The aim of this project is to develop an innovative hydraulic (i.e. incompressible medium)
driver for the application of MRE in determining the stiffness of soft tissues.

ABSTRACT: There are many diseases in which stiffness is altered with disease progression. Tissue
stiffness is an important characteristic used in diagnostics because each tissue has a characteristic
elasticity. Magnetic Resonance Elastography (MRE) is a novel noninvasive imaging technique to
estimate stiffness of soft tissues. The current MRE uses pressurized air, which is compressible to
generate waves and cannot produce frequencies required for resolution of tissues deep in the body to
generate robust stiffness maps. Therefore, there is a need for a system that will send high frequency
shear waves into the tissue of interest and enhance the diagnostic capability of MRE technology. The
system will operate to achieve the high frequency shear waves. The active component of the system
will produce ~400 Hz of frequency to penetrate deep into the body. The passive driver will require a
system to move the parts of the device at the high frequencies and is required to generate 1 mm of
displacement at the contact surface of the patient. The passive driver will be comprised of multiple
parts. This report will focus on the design process to achieve a passive driver that will generate shear
waves to penetrate deep into the body and produce diagnostic stiffness maps.

GOAL: To eliminate all of the problems currently identified by the Captains, Angels, and
maintenance personnel of the running chair, and improve the overall safety, comfort and

ABSTRACT: myTeam Triumph is an athletic ride-along program created for children, teens, adults
and veterans with disabilities who would normally not be able to experience endurance events such
as triathlons or long distance road races. The participants, termed Captains, are seated in large sized
running chairs and are pushed for the duration of the race. The chairs that are used for the races are
designed with large size children in mind, which poses a problem for some of the older and larger
participants. The goal of this project is to identify all of the problems associated with the current
myTeam Triumph running chairs, and determine how we can fix them. The three groups of people
who are in contact with the chairs the most are the Captains, the runners (Angels), and the
maintenance personnel. Our ultimate goal is to eliminate all of the problems that the Captains,
Angels, and maintenance personnel identify. The end result will be a large-sized racing chair that is
safe, stable, comfortable, durable, and is easily accessible for all participants.

GOAL: The goal of this project is to create an automated device that accomplishes the same motion
carried out by the physical therapist.

ABSTRACT: Tears of the

acetabular labrum are a common
injury in active individuals, often
requiring corrective surgery. The
resulting pain and tenderness is
often treated through several
weeks of continuous passive
motion (CPM) therapy, in which
the leg is circumducted at various
angles, both clockwise and counter-clockwise, for a total of 12 minutes twice a day. This treatment
is believed to reduce pain, joint adhesions, and scar tissue generation. However, CPM is time
consuming and requires a great deal of effort from the therapist or caregiver. We saw a device
capable of performing CPM therapy in a circumduction motion as a useful alternative to manual
therapy and current devices that utilize linear motion. Safety, marketability, and effectiveness are the
primary objectives for the new device and we generated both functional and non-functional
requirements to fulfill the primary objectives. Secondary objectives included portability, comfort,
and adjustability. Using multiple concept generation methods, prototyping, and team decision
matrices, a final concept was developed that provides support directly beneath the lower leg and
operates distal to the leg of the patient. The design utilizes a programmable DC motor providing
circular motion through a belt and gear system, a flexible leg sling, and adjustable counterweights,
all constructed on a tubular aluminum frame. Testing to determine if the device meets desired
objectives and requirements consisted of engineering, clinical, and standards tests. After preliminary
testing on team members and clinicians, we feel that the device shows great promise in providing hip
CPM therapy in place of therapists and caregivers, alleviating the physical strain and time
constraints that currently exist for the therapy. Future design modifications are necessary to ready
the device for clinical introduction.

GOAL: To redesign this product to meet various objectives and requirements as needed by the
clinician for the child to interact with his or her environment.

ABSTRACT: Independent infant

mobility has multiple benefits for
the child including increased
spatial awareness, visual skills,
vocalization, and meaningful
interaction with others. This step
in maturation typically occurs
between the ages of 12-18
months of age; however children
with neuromusculoskeletal
disorders are not able to gain
these benefits. Due to their lack of trunk and lower extremity control, these children are not able to
support themselves and therefore cannot move independently and interact with their surrounding
environments. Currently, there are commercially available strollers and wheelchairs to combat this
issue; however these do not provide the independent motion that allows the child to interact with his
or her surroundings on their own terms. Ride-on vehicles are also commercially available, but the
minimum age for such devices is two years of age, after a child would have already developed the
motor and social skills gained from crawling. There is currently one patented device that grants a 12-
18 month old child independent motion, however this device is large and awkward to navigate. The
current device is a ride-in vehicle driven with a controller, but the device is large and can be
intimidating to young children due to its outward appearance. The new design for the device must
provide independent motion in a clinical setting at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, while keeping
the child safe and interested. The final design is required to use the donated device, and provides
improvements in child security, parental/clinical control, drive train speed, accessibility, and
adjustable settings in seating and drive power so that multiple children could use the device for
several months each.

GOAL: To help wheelchair bound patients expand their mobility by creating a device which allows
a wheelchair to function as a handcycle when attached.

ABSTRACT: The swappable front end

will support patients with functionality
greater than or equal to that of someone
with a C6 spinal cord injury. C6 spinal
cord injury means that the client will be
able to perform thumb opposition and
use his or her biceps as well as other
muscles in the arm but may not have full
triceps function.
In order of importance, we decided that
our product must be safe, independently
usable, easy-to-use, durable,
inexpensive, easy-to-store, compatible
with a variety of wheelchairs, and aesthetically pleasing. Safety entails making sure that the device
provides support for proper posture, contains no potential pinch points, does not have a point of
contact with the client’s lower limbs, and has controlled steering and braking. The swappable front
end is designed to support individuals weighing up to 250 pounds, fasten to the wheelchair without
the client being transferred, stop the wheelchair when the client needs to, and steer the client in the
desired direction.
With the established objectives in mind, we created major design subsystems, including handles,
gear ratios, attachment, pivot blocks, the mount assembly, steering, and braking. After designing and
redesigning the plans for each subsystem, we made wheelchair clamps, a head tube, a mount tube, a
coupler, and a gear tensioner.

GOAL: To account for the inadequacies of current market designs in designing a mobile arm support to
support the functions of self-feeding, keyboarding and grooming.

ABSTRACT: Approximately 200,000 people in the U.S. suffer from spinal cord injury with over half
being tetraplegic (Oke, 2012). Those specifically with a C4-C6 injury can lose the functions of self-
feeding, keyboarding, and grooming. This loss of function is attributed to proximal weakness in the
shoulder, lack of wrist extension, and lack of elbow extension, presenting bilaterally in a majority of
cases. The symptoms are not degenerative but there is no cure. There is thus a great need for patients
who will have to live with these losses for a long period of time. An assistive device attachable to
wheelchair would be a valuable asset for these patients, helping to increase their quality of life and return
basic function. There are already designs of mobile arm supports in the market. It was our objective to
account for the inadequacies of current market designs in designing a mobile arm support to support the
functions of self-feeding, keyboarding and grooming. We also aimed to focus on the human element by
sustaining comfortable, flexible motions and allowing for ease of use.
Our design incorporates four components for the purpose of force application, force generation, arm
interface, and wheelchair attachment. Through clinical testing data, evidence for successfully achieved
functionality for use in self-feeding and keyboarding tasks can be seen. Quantitative assessment of static
stability following ANSI/RESNA 7176 protocol shows evidence of no change in forward, rear, and
lateral stability. Our design successfully fulfills the project requirements and functionality although can
be can be improved in regard to aesthetics and adjustability.

GOAL: We propose the development of a new sliderboard, designed to help a person walk again by
developing motor learning skills and remaking the connections of the nerves to the correct part of
their brain. This device will focus on regaining the motor skills for walking, instead of muscle

ABSTRACT: Stroke is one of the leading causes of long-term disability in adults, often resulting in
an impaired gait or inability to walk altogether. One method of restoring a natural gait is by
increasing a patients range of motion using an assistive device. Due to the limited availability of gait
rehabilitation specific devices in the clinic setting, we proposed a design for a new range of motion
rehabilitation device (sliderboard). Unlike current devices being used for clinical therapy, such as
furniture sliders and the ProFitter board, the sliderboard allows for anterior/posterior, lateral/medial
motion, and circular motions in a controlled and constrained manner. Preliminary EMG testing
showed that the sliderboard was activating the primary target muscles during use. The devices were
used in a clinical setting for a few weeks and received positive feedback from both the patients and
the physical therapist himself.

GOAL: To build a device capable of lifting wheelchairs up with the sitting patient, removing the
need to transfer patients in and out of chairs for wheelchair adjustments and fitting.

ABSTRACT: A properly fitted wheel

chair can make all the difference to the
user. Proper wheel position is critical
to patient comfort, safety and chair
efficiency. Clinicians currently use
several different methods including a
SmartWheel to find the optimal wheel
location. In order to actually alter the
settings of the chair the wheels must be
removed; as a consequence the patient cannot be in the chair. This results in the patient being
moved in and out of the chair repeatedly until the proper settings are discovered. This is very
strenuous on both the chair users, who usually suffer from a disability, and the clinician who is
moving them. If a device existed that was capable of acting as a “jack”, the patient would not have
to get out of the chair and the process would be simplified. Currently there are no products that are
publicly available or sold on the open market that meet these requirements, which is why one needs
to be made. A device such as this would need to be safe, easy to use, comfortable and intuitive.
Functional requirements of the design include that it must be able to lift a both the patient and the
chair, connect to all standard wheel chairs and also be operable in a timely manner by one person.
Non-functionally it would need to cost an appropriate amount of money, be durable and also fit into
the clinical environment. A device such as this would improve the clinical experience for patients
and also help clinicians perform their jobs more easily.

GOAL: To build a device that will safely lift a transfer a person between a wheelchair and bed or
other furniture.

ABSTRACT: Approximately 6 million people in the United States have an illness or medical
condition that has resulted in paralysis. Therefore, the need for an assistive device for individuals
with mobility impairments continues to be prominent as these patients cannot transfer themselves
into and out of their beds, wheelchairs, showers, etc. On the market currently, there are lifts that
accomplish some of these tasks, but do not fulfill all the needs of the patient as far as mobility and
accessibility. Clinics and nursing homes are often able to design their environments around the
current lift design to maximize their benefits and while avoiding the limitations. In the home,
however, problems often arise that cannot be changed without major provisions: variations of floor
surfaces, clearance underneath furniture, and bathtubs. Manual transfer of patients becomes
extremely dangerous and consequently results in back problems for the caregiver or clinician over
time. The purpose of creating a new lift would be to create a safe, affordable, easy-to-use device for
transferring patients from place to place. The design of the lift system will prevent injuries to the
patient and the caregivers, while increasing the accessibility of the lift.

13. Wheelchair Transfer Device

GOAL: To build a device that will automatically fold and stow a manual folding wheelchair into the
trunk of a compact car.

ABSTRACT: Many individuals that require a wheelchair want to remain as independent as

possible. People with Multiple Sclerosis, spinal injuries, and the aging population all require a
private vehicle to meet the needs of their daily lives. Transferring a wheelchair into a vehicle can be
difficult for the individual in the wheelchair and for a caregiver. It is heavy and difficult to
maneuver. Putting the wheelchair into a vehicle can cause back and should injuries. Currently in the
market there are different types of wheelchair lifts, robotic arms, and modified vehicles. None of
these devices have the capability of lifting the wheelchair, folding it, and maneuvering it into the
trunk of a vehicle. The overall goal is to provide the user with an experience that makes them feel
completely independent. The main objective for the new device is to automatically fold, and stow a
manual folding wheelchair into the trunk of a compact car. Goals include simple installation,
universal for all car models, and require no physical lifting by the individual. The device needs to be
reliable and easy to maintain. Individuals with average income should be able to afford the device.
The following report will explore in detail the background, goals, and objectives for the wheelchair
transfer device.

GOAL: To build a device that serves as a diagnostic tool for PTs and patients, and as an assistive
technology device to enable both groups to quickly discover if the patient is heel striking properly.

ABSTRACT: Running is a popular recreational sport worldwide. It has been reported that 25% of
running-related injuries are due to patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) or simply patellofemoral
pain (PFP). PFP, commonly known as “Runner’s Knee”, is an overuse injury that is characterized by
acute pain, inflammation, and irritation at the knee. The physical causes of this chronic injury are
still unknown, as is a permanent solution. Recently, improper gait has been linked to the
development of PFP. Specifically, that a heel or rearfoot strike generates high ground reaction forces
on the knee. As such, physical therapists (PTs) conduct a gait analysis on their patients in a clinical
setting in order to provide feedback and modify their running form. The impetus for forming Team
Running Shoes was the need for a system integrated with the users’ running shoes that could analyze
and transmit data in real time. This purpose of this paper is to provide a background on PFP and the
array of assistive devices currently available. It will also describe the final design of the live
feedback system, the process by which the design was selected, the initial prototype and testing and
evaluation plan for the device and system.


GOAL: To develop a device that can overcome the weaknesses of traditional canes and walkers
while maintaining the primary functionality of the hemi-walker.

ABSTRACT: Over 750,000 people suffer strokes every year. About 80% percent of these victims
will develop some form of hemiparesis, which is the weakness or lack of coordination of one side of
the body. These people will have trouble moving their arms and legs making walking and other
everyday tasks extremely difficult. Some patients will have coordination issues causing them to have
abnormal gait patterns.
A device must be used to help stabilize the patient while walking. Currently, this role is filled by the
hemi-walker, which is a four legged hand crutch that aids in support and motion. However, patients
and clinicians have found this device to have multiple shortcomings, including bulkiness and weight.
A fundamental problem is the need to lift the hemi-walker at every step. Not only does this fatigue
the patient and make turning difficult, it also disrupts the natural human gait pattern.
This report defines the problem definition in detail and examines the selection and development of
an improved hemi-walker design. Functional and non-functional requirements are outlined as well as
required standards that will be followed. The selected final design concepts are then described,
including engineering drawings of initial prototypes. A testing plan is described to evaluate the
clinical performance of the walker and results from clinical testing with a patient are presented.
Future work based on the clinical testing insights is described.

GOAL: To build a device that will reduce the amount of time it takes to determine the center of
gravity while giving the therapists and patients useful information.

ABSTRACT: The center of gravity is critical to improving the quality of life for wheelchair patients
since it can decrease strain on their shoulders and ensure safety. Too much weight on the casters
increases the resistance and requires more force to propel the user. Conversely, too little increases
the chances for tipping over backwards. Therefore, a properly balanced chair has the right mix of
safety and comfort for the patient. Prior to the center of gravity (COG) device, the occupational and
physical therapists were using a digital scale to perform a time consuming and inconvenient process.
Both the calculations and the time it took to collect the measurements outweighed the ease of other
less quantifiable and less recordable methods. Therefore, the goal of the project is reducing the
amount of time it takes to determine the COG while giving the therapists and patients useful
information that they could use to find a correct balance and track year to year.

GOAL: To design and create a new wheelchair accessible classroom desk that can be used in every

ABSTRACT: There are two main

problems with current wheelchair
accessible desks. One problem is that the
desks are usually placed in the corners of
the classrooms with no accessible desks in
the middle of the room. The other main
problem is the large amount of space that
the accessible desk uses; the current
products on the market take up the amount of space that three traditional student desks could occupy.
These are problems that we hope to resolve with our design. The main users for this device are
students who use wheelchairs, while the secondary users would be larger students, or students who
do not comfortably fit into the current student desks.
This report discusses the problem definition and the project requirements. The problem definition
includes details about the clinical background of the user groups, current wheelchair accessible desks
that are already on the market, and potential constraints and objectives for the new assistive device.
The project requirements section includes basic functional and non-functional requirements, as well
as cost targets, standards, and sustainability. This report also goes into depth about the final concept
that was selected. The concept selection segment talks about how ideas were originally developed, as
well as the first concept screening to allow for a more manageable number of concepts to rank in
certain categories. The top three concepts are then discussed while also addressing the process used
to select the final concept. The final concept is then described in detail. The engineering and clinical
tests and results for the desk are then discussed.

GOAL: To develop an inter-building and intra-building guiding system that would be beneficial for
individuals with visual impairment.

ABSTRACT: Navigation around the Ohio State University’s main campus, with its large size and
ongoing construction, is merely an inconvenience for most students, visitors, and staff. They often
overcome this inconvenience using current technologies; however, those with limited vision face
immense difficulties due to lack of visual, audio, and heading cues. A current, popular navigation
method amongst all individuals utilizes applications on mobile smart phones. Smart phones can
access data and position wirelessly to give turn-by-turn directions from arbitrary starting points.
However, mobile applications may or may not be updated continuously and they are unable to
determine the entrance that an individual is at. Programs instead rely on the user to utilize visual
clues or possess a device that gives headings to navigate correctly to the route’s starting location.
Often, this problem is further complicated when the individual is a visitor and does not possess
knowledge of the campus area or surrounding buildings. Moreover, the programs on mobile devices
are not typically accessible by those with visual impairments. This is because most of them provide
text that cannot be adjusted for size or be read by third-party audio feedback software. The new
assistive device that is the subject of this report, termed the Building Guide System, is a device that
is designed to determine the location of the entrance an individual is at and to provide clear, easily
read or heard directions based on this information. The device, or program, is created for the most
popular brand used by visually impaired people, the Apple iOS system. The program utilizes a
constantly updated source of routes with global positional system (GPS) data to provide accurate
directions from entrance to entrance. This device ultimately makes the lives of visually impaired
visitors to The Ohio State University campus more enjoyable, efficient, and independent.

GOAL: To design and manufacture a product that can ease arthritic pain in the upper extremities,
specifically the hand of the individual, and is versatile to multiple tools.

ABSTRACT: Within the agricultural community, arthritis poses a serious concern as workers may
develop symptoms which can cause chronic pain as well as decreased efficiency. In the agricultural
field, repetitive tasks such as turning wrenches and screwdrivers are often required; the risk of
developing Osteoarthritis increases with the frequency of these tasks. Although arthritic symptoms
may be present, economic needs or other factors may be deemed more pressing, and the health of the
individual may then be placed at risk. The Agro-Tools group proposes to design and manufacture a
product that can ease arthritic pain in the upper extremities, specifically the hand of the individual,
and is versatile to multiple tools. This product will be a glove design with geometric griping
attachments so it may provide a comfortable grip to multiple pre-existing tools so a client can
maintain his typical work schedule at a reduced level of pain. The main focuses will be to utilize
current tools and alleviate pain caused from gripping hand tools in patients with arthritis in the
hands. This report documents the definition of the problem at hand, the process of designing and
selecting the final assistive tool, as well as the testing procedures used to evaluate the final designs.