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Translational Design Clinical Immersion Co-op Program

The Translational Design Clinical Immersion Co-op is part of an innovative new Junior Design / Senior Design program in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems. This program is funded by the National Institutes of Health and gives junior-year students the opportunity to spend their co-op cycle working alongside clinicians and biomedical engineers to identify unmet clinical needs and translate novel technologies from bench to bedside.

The goals of this fellowship program are as follows:

  1. to sharpen the focus on translational design solutions and facilitate the achievement of completed designs with working prototypes,
  2. to transform senior design projects from academic exercises to the development of design solutions to unmet clinical needs by matching students with clinical and engineering investigators who are actively developing and commercializing biomedical technologies, and
  3. to provide first-hand experience of the clinical environment and how it affects the design solution, identify clinical needs for new design solutions, and develop an understanding of the design constraints imposed by the environment in which the design will be used.

Following a 10-week clinical experience, the students complete a 10-week design lab co-op in the lab of the Biomedical Engineering co-PI of the project. They then develop the initial designs for the newly identified applications or participate in the design validation and refinement of an existing solution and recruit a multidisciplinary team to carry out the design as a Senior Design Project. The Clinical co-PI is involved in advising the individual participant in the Clinical Design Co-op, and then the Senior Design team throughout this two-year process. At the conclusion of the program, each student is required to form his or her own BIOMED Senior Design team, centered on the experiences gained from their respective Clinical Immersion Co-ops.

Student Experiences




Principle Investigators' Comments

"The purpose of our NIH-funded Translational Design-Clinical Immersion Co-Op Program is to provide first-hand experience in the clinical environment to our biomedical engineering students. The Co-Op fellows develop an appreciation for interdisciplinary collaborative design, an ability to innovate new therapeutic solutions, and a unique awareness of the design constraints imposed by the clinical environment in which the new medical devices will be employed."

– Dr. Amy Throckmorton, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Drexel University

"Mentoring Drexel engineering students during clinical immersion in the hospital was a pleasure, enlightening, and enlivening. Bringing fresh eyes and a sincere sense of wonder and curiosity to the beside was a win-win for both students and hospital staff!"

– Dr. Vinay Nadkarni, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia