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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Pierre Mourad
BIOEN 599
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in Bioengineering

Offered at a graduate level periodically by faculty members within the Department of Bioengineering; concerns areas of research activities with current and topical interest to bioengineers. Prerequisite: undergraduate or graduate courses (or equivalent) determined individually for each special topic.

Class description

Survey basic concepts and methods of diagnostic and therapeutic ultrasound as well as of the central and peripheral nervous systems. Through calculations, become familiar with canonical quantitative concepts that lie at the foundation of diagnostic and therapeutic ultrasound. Through several detailed, clinically motivated examples, understand the interplay of physics and neuroanatomy that lead to specific advances in ultrasound applied to the central and peripheral nervous systems. We will emphasize multiple sclerosis and its potential, highly speculative, but still possible and exciting treatment via ultrasound as a unifying theme throughout the class. My hope is that we’ll invent something through that emphasis. BTW, this class is open to advanced undergraduates as well as graduate students.

Student learning goals

understand qualitatively *and* quantitatively concepts underlying diagnostic ultrasound, being able to answer questions like: what is diagnostic ultrasound? how does it interact with tissue? At a very high level, what are the pieces required to build a diagnostic ultrasound system?

understand qualitatively *and* quantitatively concepts underlying therapeutic ultrasound, being able to answer questions like: what is therapeutic ultrasound and how does it differ from diagnostic ultrasound? how does therapeutic interact with tissue and to what possible effects? At a very high level, what are the pieces required to build a therapeutic ultrasound system?

understand qualitatively, and have at your fingertips, basic neuroanatomy and neurofunction concepts.

gain a deeper understanding of multiple sclerosis as a disease and how one may bring to bear the variety of ways that ultrasound is known to create therapeutic effects that may plausibly treat multiple sclerosis.

General method of instruction

2/3 of our time will be spent in lectures given by me or a couple of experts, with many opportunities for class participation via questions, etc. 1/3 of the time will be given over to student presentations, or in-seminar discussions on topics. (I hate lecture-only classes. everyone gets bored and the lack of interaction that implies reduces learning relative to what it could be.)

Recommended preparation

Mathematics through differential equations. Exposure to and understanding of basic linear wave physics. Introduction to biology. Basic MATLAB skills.

Class assignments and grading

3-4 quantitative assignments so you can demonstrate to yourself and to me that you can calculate critically important quantities. at least one presentation on a topic of interest to you, based upon a paper you will read in detail, dissect, and summarize for the class. that topic/paper preferably straddles the topics of both ultrasound and the central or peripheral nervous systems, but could focus on one or the other.

quantitative performance on homework. qualitative performance and demonstration of mastery of the subject of your presentation. CLASS PARTICPATION.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Pierre Mourad
Date: 10/27/2011