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Biomedical Engineering Design Projects

Heated Diagnostic Radiology Exam Table

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Project Overview

Develop and build a model of a heated X-ray exam table or exam table attachment. One of the biggest complaints patients have regarding their radiologic exams is that the tables are hard and cold. A pad can be used to eliminate the first complaint; however the temperature of the table cannot be altered on standard tables. Our client would like to develop a heated exam table or attachment that has a temperature control to give patients added comfort during exams. There are many factors in developing this type of device. The materials used need to be radiolucent. Certain materials used in the design may obscure the body part being imaged, therefore would not be functional. The other aspect is patient safety. There has to be a mechanism that eliminates the possibility of patient injury such as a burn.

Team Members:

From left to right: Paul Schildgen, Tyler Vovos, Joseph Labuz, & Joel Gaston

From left to right: Paul Schildgen, Tyler Vovos, Joseph Labuz, & Joel Gaston

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Project Status

Construction of our prototype is complete. The final report, design notebooks, and peer/self evaluations will be turned by 9:00am Friday, May 8th.

Below is an image of our complete prototype.

Complete Prototype

Progress Report Archive.

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Project Timeline

Week Reporting Period Beginning Activities
1 January 23 As a team the preliminary Project Design Specifications was written and general research on radiolucent materials, heat transfer, exam tables, and patents relating to the device was conducted. This research will continue and provides us with a better understanding of the problem statement and approaches needed, also preparing us for our first client meeting.
2 January 30 As a team, we met with our client at her clinic in Verona, WI. At the meeting we learned many of the specifics the client was looking for in our design. We were able to view the exam table at the clinic and even obtain a user’s manual. All members of the team have been conducting general research including research on radiolucent materials.
3 February 6 All members of our team have been conducting general research including research on radiolucent materials. Due to the many general considerations that must be accounted for in our design our group has split up the research to have a better understanding of specific problems. The research was split up accordingly: Joel, heat transfer; Tyler, tubing; Joey, liquids/matting; Paul, pumping. Student shop applications were picked up from the shop; all team members will be applying for shop permits. This will allow us the opportunity to use the student shop in the development of our prototype.
4 February 13 Met as a group and continued to brainstorm taking into consideration the “blue sky” approach. Ideas include but are not limited to radiant heating through the use of liquid filled tubing, chemical thermo pads, and a hollow supported box with liquid, air or steam heating. Due to the many general considerations that must be accounted for in our design our group has split up the research to have a better understanding of specific problems and since last week we have refocused our individual research. The research was split up accordingly: Joel, thermodynamics; Tyler, tubing; Joey, padding; Paul, x-ray. The PDS and problem statement were updated. Lastly, all team members have submitted applications and are in the process of acquiring a student shop pass. This will allow us the opportunity to use the student shop in the development of our prototype.
5 February 20 As a team, we prepared a rough draft of the mid-semester PowerPoint presentation. The presentation was split up as follows: Tyler - Problem statement, background, tubing; Joel – Thermodynamics, fluids dynamics; Paul – x-ray attenuation, fluid dynamics; Joey – Padding, component matrix. We are scheduled to present Friday March 6th from 12:29 to 12:41 P.M. Also, each team member continues to research accordingly: Joel, thermodynamics; Tyler, tubing; Joey, padding; Paul, x-ray.
6 February 27 All group members prepared a rough draft of their assigned segment of the mid-semester PowerPoint presentation. The mid-semester presentation was then compiled and practiced as a group. Also, a meeting with Dr. John Vetter, the Department Administrator for Diagnostic X-Ray imaging in the Medical Physics Department, was arranged. Dr. Vetter provided very useful insight concerning X-Ray attenuation as related to our design. Lastly, a meeting with our client at her Verona clinic was arranged and we were able to test the X-Ray attenuation of several types of tubing and padding.
7 March 6 All group members completed thier portions of the mid-semester paper and the paper was compiled, reviewed, and submitted. Also, design notebooks were completed and submitted and the PDS was updated.
8 March 13 Spring Break
9 March 20 Contacted Dr. John Vetter to schedule a time for us to retest our materials with a phantom. In the meantime, group members have begun researching alternative materials, such as PMMA, in the event that the currently selected materials fail the second round of testing.
10 March 27 Calculated the required power of our system to determine the appropriate sized pump. Developed a Matlab program to estimate the relative radiolucency of different materials with different geometries. Acquired a 100 Watt “Roof De-Icer” cord to be used as our heating mechanism. Calculated the heat dissipated throughout of our system to determine the required fluid temperature.
11 April 3 Tested the heat transfer of the tubing/padding sample and found the necessary temperature of tubing liquid to provide comfortable heat. Built and tested the functionality of our heating unit and incorporated a dimmer control to allow for temperature control of the heating unit.
12 April 10 Tested different variations of our design with the phantom and found that the contrast introduced was not acceptable. The polyethylene tubing filled/unfilled with water, was tested in different configurations with the phantom, wood, and acrylic sheets. Vertical edges were the main source of the contrast observed. Also, went to Menards to search for pumps and finalize the materials and plan for construction of the piping system for our design.
13 April 17 Several variations to our tubing design were made and tested for radiolucency. Also, the construction of our heating element, and the PVC junction between the heating tubes and the heater hose was completed. In addition, we have obtained two pumps that will be of possible use.
14 April 24 As a team we finished the construction of our prototype and tested its ability to heat the surface. Completion of our prototype required increasing the power of the heating element, constructing a wooden box to enclose the heating element and pump, and incorporating a bubble trap into the tubing conduit. Also, the task of creating the final poster was divided up among team members. Once, compiled, the final poster was finalized and printed.
15 May 1 As a team we compiled and completed the final report. Also, design notebooks, and peer/self evaluations were completed individually.

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Presentations and Reports

pdf icon MidSemester Presentation (Mar 10 2009, 491 kb)
pdf icon MidSemester Paper (Mar 11 2009, 912 kb)
pdf icon Final Poster (Apr 30 2009, 931 kb)
pdf icon Project Design Specifications (May 3 2009, 50 kb)
pdf icon Final Report (May 6 2009, 868 kb)

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Contact Information

Project Team

Project Advisor and Client

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Created: Feb 3 2009
Content updated: May 7 2009

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