Short description Key concepts: mechanical tools, biomedical applications, iterative design Duration: 1 hour
Students will work in teams to design a device that can unblock a clogged blood vessel.

In this activity, students will design devices that can unblock clogged arteries. When blood flow in the body is obstructed by plaque in arteries, blood, which carries oxygen and many different nutrients, cannot flow effectively to different parts of the body. Sometimes, it is necessary to clear partially blocked arteries in a surgical procedure. One key role of biomedical engineers is medical device design, for example, to use to clear a partially clogged artery. In this activity, students will build a model clogged artery with a large piece of tubing and play dough, and will then build tools to clear the blockage. This activity teaches the iterative design process; students should build their design, test it, and improve on their design as needed. The activity is based on the program described here.

Clearing a Path to the Heart
Clearing a path to the heart