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Feb. 27, 2020

Media Advisory: Schedule A Tour of New Medical Device Design Lab at UArizona

What: Peter and Nancy Salter Medical Device Design Lab Tours
When: Scheduled by request
Where: Peter and Nancy Salter Medical Device Design Lab at the Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering Building, 1130 N. Mountain Ave.

TUCSON, Ariz. — The University of Arizona College of Engineering opened the Peter and Nancy Salter Medical Device Design Lab this semester. The lab houses a unique combination of equipment rarely seen in a teaching lab setting.

Led by the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the lab is a place where students can design and create medical devices. Associate professor Urs Utzinger and assistant
professor Philipp Gutruf developed the space and an associated course for students majoring in biomedical engineering and other engineering fields.

"There is no other space like this anywhere on campus," Gutruf said. "Students have access to equipment only found in top research labs of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering and the biosciences – and it's all in one space."

The facility features research-grade equipment that students are using to design and construct medical devices, which require the interplay of many disciplines. Examples include soft patches that attach to the body to capture and analyze sweat for clues about how the body is functioning and wireless sensors that record minute changes in posture, heartbeat irregularities and blood oxygenation.

Students can fabricate their own printed circuit boards, build custom enclosures for wearable devices, perform sophisticated image analysis using specialized computers, and conduct chemistry and biology experiments. Equipment includes a laser cutter, water jet, 3D printer and a full set of electrical analysis tools. Features such as a biosafety and chemistry hood allow students to handle research-grade cells and chemicals.

Construction of the space, and the development of the corresponding course, was made possible by a $1.5 million gift from University of Arizona alumnus Peter Salter and his wife, Nancy Salter. The lab represents an integral part of the college's Craig M. Berge Engineering Design Program, which immerses students in hands-on design projects throughout all four years of their undergraduate experience.

Members of the media are invited to schedule private tours of the space to learn more about how it is preparing engineering students for careers in research, industry and the medical fields.

Photos of the space can be found here:

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Media contact:
Emily Dieckman
College of Engineering

760-981-8808 (cell)

The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation's top public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the university is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The university ranked in the top 20 in 2018 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $687 million in annual research expenditures. The university advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 65 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually.