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Organising Anatomy classes for Bioengineer students (includingdissection).

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  • Organising Anatomy classes for Bioengineer students (includingdissection).

    Dear Biomch-L readers,

    [sorry for cross-posting!]

    Our University is organising a Master in Bioengineering (joined degree of both Faculty of Applied
    Mathematics and Medicine).

    Our Department (Dept. of Anatomy) has been requested to develop an Anatomy class (both theoretical
    and dissections) dedicated to bioengineering students (these are 4th grade students, so they
    already have a serious mathematical and technical background).

    We could organise something similar to our first grade in Medicine (i.e., a deep anatomical
    introduction to the various anatomical systems with the associated functional aspects), but doing
    so we'll lack a bioengineering perspective ... and I'm not sure the students will understand how
    they could use the Anatomy class in their future jobs.

    So, I'm contacting you for the 3 following things:

    1- a nice "feature" of our coming class is that bioengineer students will have the opportunity to
    perform dissections themselves (this will be a light program compared to medicine students, but
    even with 12 hours "only" this will be a unique experience from them).

    My idea is to ask them, during their dissection/observation to make an attempt to approach the
    structures they are dissecting using a bioengineering approach .... the way they would have to do
    in their future profession (for example, for kidney and urinary system, or blood circulation:
    "represent it as a system for fluid dynamic").

    The aim is not to achieve the perfect bioengineering model with the students (of course not), but
    to force the students to realize in an early stage that it is sometimes very difficult to reduce
    the complexity of the Anatomy (and its numerous variations) to a "simple" bioengineering model.

    Do you think point 1 is a good idea? Would you have any suggestion to do or experience to share on
    that matter about how to organise such dissections for bioengineers?

    2- I'm also looking for representative bibliographic sources (papers or book) that describes
    current bioengineering problems and research closely related to the Anatomy.

    We have plenty of experience in the biomechanics of the musculo-skeletal system, but we are
    missing experience in the bioengineering aspects of other anatomical systems: - central nervous
    system; - ear; - eye; - cardio-vascular system; - pulmonary system; - digestif system; - uro-
    genital system.

    I'm looking to collect some materials to better understand the needs of bioengineers working in
    these various fields. Any documents that would help us to achieve that goal is very welcome.

    3- I would also appreciate illustrative material (images, animations) that show some anatomical
    aspects of on-going bioengineering work (with some explanations). This material will be used during
    the class as illustration (with clearly indicated acknowledgment of the source). This would be of
    great value to allow students to get a better picture of current bioengineering research (and maybe
    to orientate their career in a particular direction).

    I thank you in advance for any help you could send me !!!!

    And I will of course send a summary of the information I'm receiving to the list.

    Bye for now,


    Serge VAN SINT JAN, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor, Marie Curie Fellow
    Department of Anatomy (CP 619)
    Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
    Lennik Street 808
    1070 Brussels - Belgium
    Phone: +32-2-555-6325 (-6376)
    Fax: +32-2-555-6378
    LAB website: