BN3101: Biomedical Engineering Design

Module Description :

Preparation of formal engineering reports on a series of engineering analysis and design problems illustrating methodology from various branches of applied mechanics as applied to bioengineering problems. Statistical analysis. A term project and oral presentation are required. Students are exposed to the entire design process: design problem definition, generation of a design specification, documentation, design review process, prototype fabrication, testing and calibration.

Note: Lecture to be conducted online. Students need to go through the lecture notes each week before attending tutorials.

Schedule & Tutorials

wk1: Background and clinical descriptions

Tutorial: Background introduction slides (HandExoskeletonIntro.pdf)
A pre-recorded video tutorial for the project introduction:

Selected videos (a playlist of video series):


In-house soft robotic hand

Reference in-house manipulators

wk2: Intellectual Property

Tutorial Agenda:

– Literature review slides – wk2-IP-Literature Review Of Biomimetic Wire-Driven Mechanisms for Swimming/Flying/Medicine (.pdf)

– Present the rough idea of your design concepts

– Do patent search, present &

Follow up actions:

  1. Search for 10 most relevant patents for your projects
  2. Generate keywords using these patents pertaining to your projects
  3. Generate a list of User specifications for your device using this list of 10 related patents. Hint: look for the various features of patented devices, and appreciate the intention of these features
  4. Create a table to compare the 10 patented devices’ features
  5. discuss/present the 3 (1 patent for every 2 members) most related ones for each group


– You may search patents from or

– Patents filed by other groups (deflectable catheter US2013296781A1) | (arthroscope US2007179340A1 )

– Provisional patents filed to ILO by my research group FYI: (soft endoscopic robot) | (cable-driven flexible manipulator)

– How to tell if a patent has expired? It turns out not obvious and please refer to the following readings: Brown & Michaels – “How To Determine Patent Term” USPTO:Patent Term Calculator (Beta Version) Has a patent expired? – Part I

FYI only: Flipped class lectures:
– Week 2 breeze video lecture about IP study:

wk3: Design Methodology and Design Analysis

Tutorial Agenda (with tutors):
Follow the Design Methodology Slides and briefly identify:
– Role of each team member
– Procedure
– Project Plan Schedule
– Rough Needs‐Metrics Matrix

FYI only: Deprecated Flipped class lectures:
– Design Methodology Slides by Prof Leo & Prof Chan: Design Methodology in Bioengineering
– Associated breeze video lecture (also accessible through IVLE):

wk4: Risk Analysis, Design Rationale and Verification

Tutorial Agenda:
– Follow up with week-2 action items and progress update
– Follow the above slides in Design Rationale, Design Verification, and Risk Analysis, briefly/roughly identify:
– How to address “Anatomical Variations” issue
– How to address “User Needs, Product Scope, and Design Acceptance Criteria”
– Failure Mode, Cause of Failure, and Harms associated with your products

FYI only: Deprecated Flipped class lectures:
Risk Analysis Table[.docx]
Design Rationale and Design Verification 2014[.pdf]   breeze lecture (
Risk Management [.pdf]

wk5: Recap IP, Design Justifications, ASTM Assignments

– F1218 – 89(2014) : Standard Specification for Bronchoscopes (Rigid)
– F2726 – 08Standard specification for fixation devices for tracheal tubes and other airway devices
– ASTM F1992 – 99(2007) Standard Practice for Reprocessing of Reusable, Heat Stable Endoscopic Accessory Instruments (EAI) Used with Flexible Endoscopes
ASTM F1518 – 00 Standard Practice for Cleaning and Disinfection of Flexible Fiberoptic and Video Endoscopes Used in the Examination of the Hollow Viscera (Withdrawn 2009)
– Rebuttal documents by my research group FYI: (cable-driven flexible manipulator )

wk6: ASTM presentation


Reference News: the hand grasp testing will have international standard – check out here, which will be excellent references for you to set up your experiments after you have the prototype :

wk7: Mid-term Review

Dr. Ren: Presentation by Groups
– Presentation: 20 minutes for each group (15 presentation +5 QA)
– An extended/refined/polished/justified wrap-ups for the work done in the past 6 weeks, including introduction/background/clinical needs/markets/significance/SOA/gaps-to-fill; IP, design methodology/design analysis/rationale/verification; risk analysis; regulatory; prototyping;envisioned procedures/system etc.

wk8: Sterility Requirements & GLP

– Reference: Highly Biomimetic Design of a Muscle Glove (pdf from a RAL/ICRA 2016 submission 16-0311_01_ms)

wk9: Bioethics, Quiz, & Individual Project Update

Flipped online class: Bioethics (Bioethics and Medical Device.pdf)

Quiz:  1) 50 MCQs; 2) Duration is 1 hour, from 11am; 3) Quiz comprises of MCQs questions from weekly online assessments, and some new MCQs; 4) Closed-Book quiz

Tutorial:  Motorization (slides: MotorControl-Tutorial.pdf) & modeling (slides: tendon-driven-manipulator-kinematics.pdf).

wk10: Final Dry Run with Project Supervisors

wk11: Free Day for Team to Fix any problem with prototype


wk12: Final Oral Presentation of Project

wk13: Submit prototype, reports and final project documents to project supervisor by 5 pm

Please submit soft copy of your report & project data and actual prototype to your respective supervisor. That is:

  • Physically: submit project prototype (including tools borrowed, make also sure the prototype is functional at the time of your submission.) to Dr. Ren
  • Electronically: (dropbox/google-drive or whatever ways preferred) submit to Dr. Ren your group-project development documents including:
    • – reports in .docx format
    • – project presentation files (ASTM and final) in .pptx or equivalents (please make sure the video(s) is playable in another PC if applicable);
    • – CAD design files (in solidworks or equivalents)
    • – if applicable, source codes and a readme file on how to run the code
    • – other key project data (e.g., verification experiment data collected in .xlxs), references including ASTM standards, patents cited, and reference papers, etc.

Further possibilities

Possibility of investing your project and extend it to competitions (Completely voluntary and please discuss with Dr. Ren if for possible further extensions/supports/funding):

  • A manuscript to IJRA or MBEC
  • Samsung Solve For Tomorrow Competition
  • The Design of Medical Devices Conference call for 2-page technical brief (by Nov. 9, pretty easy to get accepted and it can be just a summary of your group project). You only need to follow “the required Technical Brief Template (Word)” (2-page) and get my comments before submission. The benefit is that “All accepted papers will be published as a two-page Technical Brief in the June and September issues of ASME Journal of Medical Devices” after giving the conference presentations and this would be a pretty good record in your CV when you are looking for jobs.

Open source robotic hand projects


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