During this past week, I worked on giving feedback for peer reviews and completing both the product and self-assessment. Furthermore, within the product assessment, I delved deeper into my final product and discussed how the idea developed. To continue at the beginning of the second semester I was ready to switch my topic if it helped me find a mentor easier but after I was able to meet Dr. Ecker encouraged me to continue my research in spinal cord injuries and gave me some suggestions as to how I could conduct a project virtually. Through her advice, I was introduced to nerve conduits and instantly became fascinated with how conduits work. Moreover, within the product assessment, I discussed my fascination with conduits and how my product developed over time. Then due to my self-assessment, I was given the opportunity for retrospection of my ISM journey throughout this year. I was shocked by the number of skills and lessons I learned within just one academic year. After emphasizing the skills and lessons I learned, I also discussed how I can use the skills I learned this year for my endeavors within ISM 2.
Lastly, I had the opportunity of reviewing the presentation of one of my peers. Their presentation was focused on neuroscience and taught me a lot about the technologies used within Neuroscience. It was interesting to watch their presentation because I also wanted to study neuroscience with a focus on the technology used in terms of vision therapy. Moving forward my goals for the next couple of months is to get a basic background on photography and vision and to compile clinical studies on the impact on teens who have used art therapy and. Some of my guiding questions will be: How can photography make an impact on art therapy? What are some technologies used to improve vision?
During the past week, I finished my Final ISM presentation and conducted a presentation in person. For the first half of the week, I practiced my presentation by replicating the environment within the in-person classroom to become more acquainted with the setup. Also, I prepared for my final presentation by creating backup plans for my slides and printing my slides to help me during the presentation. Even though I was nervous, I had a lot of fun during my presentation because I was passionate about the subject which made talking about it a lot more fun. In addition, it was nice to see my mentor, my teachers, and my friends during my presentation which made me feel grateful for all the support that I have received. Another great aspect of the presentation night was that I was able to meet my peers in ISM and take pictures with them. They were always there for me and comforted me during hard times and were one of the main reasons I was able to achieve my goals.
After completing my in-person presentation, I gave my Mentor her plaque with a Thank You card and some flowers as well, she was very happy and told me I did a great job on my presentation, which is one of the greatest praises I could have received. Later on during the week, I worked on recording my presentation for any virtual attendees who would be interested in learning more about my journey. Moreover, my goals for next week will be to send my presentations to those who could not attend the presentation night and to complete the self-reflection assessment. Some of my guiding questions next week will be: How have I grown over the past year? How can I use the lessons I learned this year in the future?
During this week, I focused on the final product finishing touches and on my presentation. Although my final product itself has been completed, I still had to work on getting reviews from peers and mentors. Furthermore, during our last mentor meeting, Dr. Ecker helped me adjust a couple of technical things on my paper and gave me positive feedback on the grit I showed while working on my product. Also, my peers had the opportunity to review my paper, and most proclaimed that my product was very interesting and depicted my hard work. Knowing that people can see my hard work through my final product, meant a lot to me and motivated me to work harder on the final presentation.
In preparation for my final presentation, I sent out final emails to all the attendees to confirm their arrival. Then I went to school, to print out my programs for my attendees and to also accommodate myself with the school technology to make sure they will work with my presentation. Lastly, I rigorously worked on my presentation and drafted speech notes on notecards. Even though I have already memorized most of the information on my presentation, having notecards can help me stay on track without running off on a tangent. This week my goal would be to complete my final presentation and input all the information into my digital portfolio. Moving forward, some of my guiding questions will be: What are some of the most important lessons I have learned on my journey? How can I communicate my passion for biomedical engineering clearly through my presentation?
During the past couple of weeks, I worked on my final product and was finished. Firstly I finished screening all the remaining publications and took comprehensive notes on the important sections. Then I started working on editing my research paper and added the extra information I learned from the publications. Later I focused on finding figures for explaining different sections of my research paper. Also, I had the opportunity to make my figure using an online software known as BioRender which allowed me to make my figures from scratch. After adding the figures, I sent my final draft to my mentor to get some more feedback on any finishing touches. Within a couple of hours, my mentor sent me an email saying she was proud of my work and also included some minor changes that could perfect my paper. Therefore, using my mentor's feedback I made some final tweaks and also conducted grammar and plagiarism checks to make sure my review was authentic and near-perfect.
Once my paper was finished I worked on my virtual prototype on my view of the most efficient conduit and screen recorded the product to include in my submission. After completing my virtual prototype, I worked on my Product Set-Up & Completion and I also organized a folder with all the information about my product so the information was easily accessible. Now that my product has been completed I will work on my presentation for Final Presentation Night and also start preparing for potential summer internships I could do. My focus questions for this week would be: How can I summarize my journey into 40 minutes? What are some of the key lessons I learned from my work?
During the past week, I worked diligently on completing the first draft of my literature review and on screening more articles to provide additional information for my review. Currently, I have screened the essential articles that have helped me create a foundation for knowledge and are the main supporting articles in my paper. Moreover, for the next couple of articles, I am screening, I will be focused on finding specific details that can be used in my paper, or I will be using the articles as an additional source of support when cited in my bibliography. To continue, when I met up with my mentor last week and showed her my initial work on my paper, she gave me some formatting suggestions to help my literature review to look more professional.
After the last mentor meeting, I had completely devoted myself to the paper and completed my first draft of the literature review. In my first draft, I have delved deeper into the biopolymers that can be used for making nerve conduits and discussed the necessary categories when deciding the efficiency of a nerve conduit. Furthermore, I have sent my article to my mentor, and later this week, she will help revise my draft and refine the information. Also, I worked on creating the program for my Final Presentation Night and I hope to refine the information in the next couple of weeks as I finish my product. Moving forward, some of my goals this week would be to revise my literature review to finish my product and I would also like to work on planning for my Final Presentation Night. Some of my guiding questions will be: How can I represent my brand throughout the final presentation night? If a source has not been cited but has been screened for research, can it be included in the bibliography? I will work this week to answer these questions as I finish my final product.
During this week I screened some more publications for research papers, more specifically I focused on particular materials. This includes both Chitosan and Hyaluronic acid because there are two other potential natural biomaterials I can use for my efficient prototype. In my research, I learned that both of the materials I mentioned above have been used before in other conduits and have shown promising results. The benefits include biocompatibility because they are already present in the body and also their ability to efficiently bond with synthetic materials, to make an efficient polymer that can help prevent the shortcomings of both synthetic and natural, and help improve the benefits to a higher standard.
To continue, I also met with my mentor this week to discuss my progress. I was able to show her a new software I discovered on my laptop that has the potential to create my virtual prototype in 3D form and make it presentable online, she was impressed with me and was excited to see my future results. After the meeting, I worked on creating invitations for my final presentation night and also worked on creating an outline for my research paper. Over the next couple of weeks, my goal is to complete the first draft of my research paper and get feedback from my mentor on how I can improve it. Moving forward, some of the main questions I would like to answer are: If a piece of evidence on a publication was discovered on another publication as well, which publication would be cited in my research paper? How do researchers know what type of figures to use and where to place them in their paper?
During this week I worked very diligently on my product progress assessment and worked on finishing screening some articles. For my product progress assessment, I had to delve deeper into my journey for the past couple of weeks as I researched nerve conduits, furthermore, this assessment forced me to reflect on my findings and expectations for the future. Although this was a mandatory assignment, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to reflect on my work halfway through the project because it helped me gain a better understanding of what I have accomplished and my goals for the future. To continue after completing my assessment, I spent a lot of time updating my calendar and including links to all the work I finished over the past weeks.
Also, I had worked on screening an article about the prospects of various polymers in treating spinal cord injury. I have been spending a couple of weeks screening this article because it has exactly all the information I need for my research paper and includes past trials where certain materials were used to help me learn more about the efficiency of using the specific material. Moving forward my goals will be to complete the first draft of my research paper and to work on finding a platform to create my virtual prototype. Some of the guiding questions I will use this week are: How to differ from common knowledge and original conclusions when writing an article in a specialized field? In what situation should citations be inserted into a research paper? What would be the best platform to use to make figures for the paper and which platform would be the best for making a prototype?
During the past couple of weeks, I screened multiple articles for my final product. Through these articles, I have been able to note down the important parameters that are necessary for making conduits. This includes the desired mechanical properties of the material and a detailed analysis of specific polymers which might be suitable for making conduits. Until now I have been able to screen over 10 articles and have logged at least 14 hours for my project which places me in a suitable position according to my product proposal calendar.
Also during spring break, I had the opportunity to visit my mentor in person and make polymers in a specialized lab. During this time my mentor explained how to make polymers, especially for neuroprosthetic implants. Firstly, we went over a previous publication that Dr.Ecker assigned to me and we talked about how to measure the amount of chemical needed for making the polymer. Then we went to the lab and made the polymer, and while the polymer was curing under the UV light, Dr.Ecker gave me a tour of the UNT College of Engineering Campus and showed me a lot of cool technology they had.
Lastly, I also worked on updating my digital portfolio with all the latest information I had and also was able to advise my peers about their portfolios. Overall the past couple of weeks have been very productive and put me back on track for my final product deadlines. Moving forward my goal is to screen as many articles as I can to confirm the information I already have and also delve deeper into significant differences between peripheral and central nerve injuries. Some of my guiding questions for the next week are: What is Wallerian Degeneration? Are the necessary mechanical properties of conduits for peripheral nerve injuries different from the parameters for spinal cord injury?
During this past week, I had to attempt to overcome unprecedented circumstances that have caused me to readjust my calendar and hope to be able to make up for the lost time in the coming weeks. To prepare I researched various publications for almost 3 hours and have accumulated over 15 core articles to be screened for my research paper. Most of the articles are related to how nerve conduits can be connected to spinal cord injuries and reviews on specific polymers for conduits; I chose these articles to expand my knowledge past the basic definition of nerve conduits.
Also able to meet with my mentor and she answered some of the questions I had after my last assessment. For example, we discussed the process of adjusting the mechanical properties of biomaterials for them to be more compatible with the body. One common and easy technique for manipulating the surface of the conduit would be through surface modification procedures that can be done after the conduit is constructed. These procedures can be in the form of placing the conduit in a chemical solution or manually changing specific parts using tools. Also, my mentor explained that although 3d-printing may be one of the most promising technologies in current times it can be very expensive and risky, therefore for experiments it may be more cost-effective to produce conduits using molds and different types of chemical procedures. Moving forward this week I will be screening all of my articles and taking notes. Besides screening, I will be creating an outline for my research paper and working with my mentor to gain feedback on how I can improve it. Some of my guiding questions for this week will be: How do the mechanical properties of conduits need to be manipulated for spinal cord injuries? What are the processes for mixing biomaterials to create new biopolymers?
During this week I worked on my final product by completing more research. In order to begin my research paper I hope to be able to assess and screen at least 22 scientific publications regarding nerve conduits. Furthermore in the past week I accumulated 8 publications that will be referenced in my paper and I hope to be able to discuss the information from the reviews with my mentor soon.
In addition to finding articles I was also able to meet with my mentor. During our mentor meeting we discussed the process of inserting nerve growth factors into nerve conduits and the importance of Schwann cells within the nerves. Unfortunately I was unable to meet my mentor in person due to circumstances, however I hope to reschedule in the future and meet my mentor in person. Moving forward this week I will work on editing my digital portfolio and update it with my latest articles. Also I will be screening more articles for my core research for my paper. Some of my guiding questions this week will be: Have nerve conduit studies been applied to the central nervous system yet? How do the conduits for the CNS differ from those used for the PNS?