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Biodesign: Overcoming Disciplinary Barriers

[+] Author Affiliations
Marita Canina

Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy

Paper No. ESDA2008-59458, pp. 237-242; 6 pages
doi:10.1115/ESDA2008-59458
From:
  • ASME 2008 9th Biennial Conference on Engineering Systems Design and Analysis
  • Volume 3: Design; Tribology; Education
  • Haifa, Israel, July 7–9, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: International
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4837-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-3827-7
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME

abstract

A new discipline has been introduced into today’s multicultural scientific context — Biodesign. Behind the main philosophical concept of Biodesign is the human body; considered a psycho-biological unicum. Research activities aim at developing artificial devices which can be fully integrated into the human body, or rather into the prosthetic human being. During the last decade, the interest of design research and the study of solutions specifically focused on the human being gave rise to a number of disciplines characterized by the prefix “bio”, which comes from the Greek word for life. This prefix may refer to various thematic areas such as: engineering, medicine, architecture, physics and chemistry. These areas can be considered as already well-established disciplines. This means that these sectors have already reached certain solutions that led them to concentrate their efforts on an in-depth study of the human-being, in order to tackle what could be called the “bio” problem. Each discipline, therefore, performs research proposes new solutions, and discusses possible future scenarios in the light of its own particular philosophy. In design along with the other disciplines, a significant movement towards of renewal has been developing with human beings; with their bodies as the hub. The biodesigner, in an attempt to solve the medical-biological problems involved, makes use of industrial design methods, sharing their experience with interdisciplinary teams. Biodesign should not be considered merely design applied to medicine. It may indeed be more clearly defined as an entirely new discipline; whose use of an interdisciplinary approach and close cooperation with the medical-biological sciences are essential to its objective. Biodesign one of the most interesting fields of research currently under way, aimed at innovative application of biorobotic devices, that involves the design and use of new technology, such as MEMS and bioMEMS. This paper gives the research results that were developed in cooperation with two Faculties: Design and Engineering. The main research objective is to identify the intervention area and the role of industrial design in the micro (MEMS) and nanotechnology applications. In particular it’s fundamental in biorobotics to determine both the methodology and the right instruments needed. This paper is divided into two conceptual parts; the first is theoretical and the second is application driven. In the introductory analytical part, theoretical basis are put in order to show the importance of designer cooperation in the micro-technologies study and in their innovative applications. Designers can make cooperation amongst experts easier, co-ordinating design process’ among several research fields and skills. In the first part; problems, complexities, application fields and design methodologies connected to biorobotic devices are highlighted. The second part of the research is developed with the methodology defined by C. Fryling as “through (o by)”. This methodology is a research approach done throughout projects and lead by experience. One case history is used to demostrate such an approach.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME

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