The Bioengineering educational laboratories host a variety of laboratory programs, from Middle School programs through Graduate level courses. If you are interested in using the lab for a class or event, please contact the lab staff. Students can access course specific information through Penn's Canvas site.

BE 100: Introduction to Bioengineering

Freshman introductory bioengineering course. Labs in this course introduce students to the breadth of Bioengineering, with chemical engineering, biomechanics, electronics and microcontrollers, data science, tissue engineering, and synthetic biology.

MEAM 147: Introduction to Mechanics Lab

This half-credit laboratory class is a companion to the Introduction to Mechanics lecture course (MEAM 110). It investigates the concepts of Newtonian (classical) mechanics through weekly hands-on experiments, emphasizing connections between theoretical principles and practical applications in engineering. In addition to furthering their understanding about the workings of the physical world, students will improve their skills at conducting experiments, obtaining reliable data, presenting numerical results, and extracting meaningful information from such numbers.

BE 220: Introduction to Biomaterials

This course investigates the application of materials science and engineering to biomedical applications, with a focus on polymers, ceramics, and metals. The course will cover concepts related to basic material fabrication and synthesis, structure and property characterization, as well as applications of biomaterials. The lecture and recitation will be complemented with laboratory examples.

The first of a of a two laboratory course sequence designed to integrate real world experiences into various Bioengineering and Bioengineering Science courses. Current modules include experiments in dialysis, drug delivery, and neuroscience and limb control of insects.

The second of two laboratory courses that are taken during the junior year. The goal of these laboratories is to provide students with hands-on experience in utilizing fundamental engineering skills to solve complex medical problems. Current modules involve microfluidics, quorum sensing in bacteria, ECG analysis and filter design, and spectroscopy and construction of a low-cost spectrophotometer.

BE 470: Medical Devices

Lab-based course where students learn the fundamentals of medical device design through hands-on projects using microcontrollers. Students first learn basic design building blocks regularly employed in microcontroller-based medical devices, and then carry out a small design project using those building blocks. Projects are informed by reverse-engineering of competing products, FDA regulations, and marketplace considerations.

BE 472: Medical Device Development

Students will learn the process of developing medical devices that fulfill unmet patient needs. Students will be equipped with an understanding of what is required to lead a startup venture in medical devices including regulatory, legal, fundraising, team building and leadership. In lab, students will develop a proof-of-concept prototype device. Students will pitch their ideas to real med tech investors . The successful student will leave the class with the knowledge, skills and confidence to lead a startup venture in medical devices. If desired by the student, the proof-of-concept device can be used as the basis for their senior design project.

Students develop and design their own full-year projects.

BE 514 / IPD 504: Rehab Engineering & Design

Students will learn about problems faced by disabled persons and medical rehabilitation specialists, and how engineering design can be used to solve and ameliorate those problems. The course combines lectures, multiple design projects and exercises, and field trips to clinical rehabilitation facilities. Students will have substantial interaction with clinical faculty, as well as with patients. Prerequisite: Graduate students or permission of the instructor.

BE 518: Optical Microscopy

An introduction to the fundamental concepts of optics and microscopy. Geometrical optics: ray tracing, optical elements, imaging systems, optical aberrations. Physical optics: the electromagnetic spectrum, the wave equation, diffraction, interference and interferometers, optical resolution limits, optical coherence, lasers. Microscopy methods: phase contrast, differential interference contrast, fluorescence microscopy, confocal microscopy, multiphoton microscopy, optical coherence tomography, superresolution microscopy.

BE 547: Fundamental Techniques of Imaging 2

This laboratory course covers the fundamentals of modern medical imaging techniques. Students will participate in a series of hands-on exercises, covering the principals of X-ray imaging, CT imaging, photoacoustic imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, localized magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy, MR contrast agents, diffuse optical spectroscopy, and bioluminescence imaging. Each lab is designed to reinforce and expand upon material taught in BE483/583 Molecular Imaging and MMP507 Physics of Medical Imaging.

BE 570: Biomechatronics

Mechatronics is the combination of mechanical, electrical and computer engineering principles in the design of electromechanical systems. Biomechatronics is the application of these principles to human biology and includes orthopaedic, hearing, respiratory, vision and cardiovascular applications. In this hands-on, project-based course, these biomechatronic systems will be explored. Students will learn the basic mechanical and electrical elements needed to complete a biomechatronic design challenge including basic circuits, design considerations, material fabrication, microcontrollers and mechanisms (e.g. converting rotational motion into linear motion). Students will carry out a final design project utilizing these building blocks.

Other Classes

The Bioengineering labs support other classes that use the facilities.

If you are interested in using the lab facilities for a course, please contact the Laboratory Staff.

Special Programs

The Bioengineering labs provide laboratory space and assist in a number of special programs, such as:

  • Access Engineering - Outreach program for high school students run by Penn undergraduates.

  • iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machines) - home of Penn's team in this premiere collegiate synthetic biology research competition

  • GEMS - A program for Middle School girls to explore science and Engineering.

  • Summer High School Programs (ESAP & M&TSi)- Intensive summer programs for High School students through which they can obtain college credits.

  • Pre-freshmen program

If you are interested in using the lab facilities for a University of Pennsylvania based program, please contact the Laboratory Staff.