Thursday, January 4, 2024

Biomedical engineering course gives UTSA students medical device experience

Biomedical engineering course gives UTSA students medical device experience

NOVEMBER 13, 2023 — Students enrolled in biology courses might think nothing of seeing “cadaver lab” on their syllabus. But it may surprise a few students in the Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design (Klesse College) at UTSA.

Anyone enrolled in BME 4923, Orthopedic Medical Device Design, should expect it. UTSA students who are enrolled in the class recently made their third trip to Nvision Biomedical to implant orthopedic devices that they conceived, tested and manufactured into cadavers. Surgeons helped the students, along with engineers from Nvision, a local medical device and biologics firm.

The experience is a key step in the students’ semester-long project to take an orthopedic implant from concept to market.


“This is real-world feedback and an exact replication of the actual job of a biomedical engineer designing medical devices.”


UTSA students enrolled in Orthopedic Medical Device Design recently made their third trip to Nvision Biomedical to implant orthopedic devices that they conceived, tested and manufactured into cadavers.


“The cadaver lab is the day when all of their work is put to the test,” said Brian Kieser, Nvision CEO. “They demonstrated their device to a surgeon and the surgeon implanted the device alongside the student team. This is real-world feedback and an exact replication of the actual job of a biomedical engineer designing medical devices.”

This semester, the UTSA students made an ankle implant. The cadaver represents a patient who needs an ankle replacement. Over the duration of the course, the students were challenged to develop a design that solves the patient’s issue. Then, they used the 3D metal printer in the university’s Makerspace to create a model, implant it and ensure it passes regulatory guidelines.

“We are always looking to make the curriculum relevant and as close to the real world as possible,” Kieser said. “Nvision can contribute to San Antonio’s overall goal of creating and growing a biomedical innovation infrastructure by giving students exposure to different opportunities in biomedical engineering. We also can see the students in the same environment as they would work as Nvision engineers.”

Kieser said that Nvision has hired students directly from previous classes. He says that the class gives students a competitive edge when applying for jobs.

“We’re giving them a unique experience that differentiates them in the job market,” Kieser said.

Sean M. Wood



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