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General Card #377
Quit Smoking: An engineering physiology and biomedical perspective
Updated: 12/11/2020 8:49 AM by Becky Benishek
Reviewed: 10/14/2022 2:20 PM by Becky Benishek
Connecting neuromuscular junction physiology to nicotine addition, creating value by inspecting nicotine patches and exploring solutions.

Physiology is one of the core course for biomedical engineers. Traditionally, the course is packed with content that makes it a passive lecture format. Moreover, the challenge with engineering physiology is to make the course relevant to engineers for them to apply the biological concepts to medical devices and products.  This module was created to bring in EM into physiology course to promote active learning through group jigsaw discussions, creating value for campus community, university and society, investigate market for existing technology, and analyzing solutions. 

Smoking and vaping is a relevant topic these days due to various reports suggesting addiction and lung diseases among teenagers. The module concentrates on why one suffers from nicotine addiction and how it affects the normal physiological activities. The action of nicotine on neuromuscular junction that leads to addiction is not a common knowledge but is integral to create awareness in the society. The goal was to bring a socially relevant topic that could impact society and link it to the course of study.

Hook Statement: The module was introduced using the following hook statement.
You and your friends are out for dinner. You all encounter a vaping shop. The topic diverts to smoking and vaping. One of you mentions about the recent news article about a teenager with a lung of a 70yr old. Some of the group members were against vaping and others said that this was just a specific example and smoking is not as harmful if done occasionally. Being a biomedical engineer and a sincere engineering physiology student, you want to educate your friends regarding the harmful effects of vaping and smoking. Also, you want to investigate the possible options in the market that help in quitting this habit.   

Who: The module was designed for Junior level undergraduate core course on engineering physiology. The class was divided into 5 groups with 5 students each.

Where: The module was introduced in the second half of the semester after students were introduced to concepts such as gated channels, ligand activity, action potential, muscles and mechanism of neuromuscular junction. This gave students all the tools needed for independent discussion and product analysis.  

When: The module was spread over 4 class hours which included pre-class preparation and two homeworks.  In class sections included jigsaw discussion, stakeholder worksheet discussion, product analysis (nicotine patch) and product innovation presentation. Homework included picture essay of places on campus that could be potential source of secondary smoking and market search for already existing products that help in quitting smoking.

What:  (Please see sub-folders for details)
Class 1: Jigsaw discussion

Class 2: Photo essay and stake holder worksheet.

Class 3: Product analysis and innovation discussion.

Class 4: Gallery walk and poster making.

  • Explore a contrarian view of accepted solution
  • Integrate information from many sources to gain insight
Creating Value
  • Identify unexpected opportunities to create extraordinary value
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