Physiological and Biomedical Research- Isha Patel

With the beginning of the new six weeks, the JetSet team has begun work on our second deliverable, the design proposal. This past week, the team has been working on doing A LOT of research. Our group consists of three engineering students: Erin, Annalise, and Anjali. I am the sole biomedical pathway student. This posed an interesting problem because our groups needed to do research on physiological and biomedical aspects as well as materials research. To share the load of research equally, our group decided to break into two groups. Annalise and Erin were focusing on the engineering aspects of research such as the materials and the different laws and regulations for our product. Anjali and I were focusing on the different parameters of the body we would need to know as well as more in depth research about how DVT affects the human body. With our roles set, we broke into our groups and began working on our research.

The circulatory system is important to our research because we need to know how blood flows through the body and how blood clots are formed. This image was found at Integris Pulmonary Services.

Anjali and I created a list of research topics relating to the human body and our product. Our list included body parameters, in depth DVT research, different pressure points and common points of DVT origin, and research about the circulatory system. The first item on our list was the body parameters. Anjali and I came to the conclusion that we would need to find average lengths of the lower legs (calf), upper legs, and feet sizes. We would need to find this data for both genders and many different age groups. The reason for choosing these two parameters was that we were creating a product that fits below airplane seats. We need to know how much space we would need (based on the leg lengths) and how big our product could be. The size of the product would depend on the size of the feet. Two resources we used quite extensively were Anthropometric Reference Data for Children and Adults: United States, 2007–2010 and University of Rhode Island’s Anthropometric Data. Using these two sources we found average female and males lower leg lengths, upper leg lengths, and we calculated feet length using normalized data. One interesting research mishap that occurred was when Anjali and I were trying to calculate average lower leg length. We were looking at a data table and we assumed that the data was normalized. We used the numbers to generate the average calf length and we got 80.822 cm for females. Just looking at the number we thought it was incorrect. We took out a meter stick and measured that length and we saw it was incredibly ridiculous. We tried to find the problem and we saw that the data we were looking at wasn’t normalized, but the ACTUAL measurements. It gave us quite a laugh. I think this was an important mishap though because it allowed us to conduct research and definitely learn from our mistakes.

The JetSet team is researching many different body parameters including feet sizes. Photo taken by Isha Patel
The JetSet team is researching many different body parameters including feet sizes. Photo taken by Isha Patel

This was just the beginning of our research into the biomedical aspects of our product. We haven’t completed our research on body parameters so we will be doing more research on that topic next week. We also need to conduct more in depth research on DVT, the circulatory system, and common points of origin for blood clots. It is going to be interesting to see what we find in the coming weeks.

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