Design of an Automated, Rapid, Tissue Processing System

Energy Beam Sciences

Energy Beam Sciences Team: Iris Gonzalez, Chelsea Andrews

2010-2011: In collaboration with Energy Beam Sciences (EBS), this student team designed automation components of a microwave-based tissue processing system for use in point-of-care facilities.  The goal of the final system is to reduce both the time and cost of tissue processing, enabling faster and more reliable diagnoses.

The multi-disciplinary team included two engineering students from Smith and four engineering students (two biomedical, two mechanical) from the University of Connecticut.  Building on EBS’s existing microwave processing system, the team focused on those components needed to automate the overall system, including fluid dispensing, fluid removal, temperature control, vacuum application, and cartridge layout and interface.  The team distributed the different components among team members, pursuing initial concept generation, selection, and development, with consideration of ultimate integration.  The team machined prototypes of several of the components so as to evaluate performance and demonstrate component integration.

The team delivered all its prototypes and design files to EBS who will continue the design development and automation, including additional tissue processing enhancements.  EBS is pursuing completion of the commercial unit; market launch of their device will include the automated tissue processing unit and necessary training of personnel in point-of-care facilities.