Electrical Engineering Department
BS in Electrical Engineering
In 2011 health care costs for transplants were over 12 billion dollars in the United States for evaluation, procurement, facilities use, physicians, and post-transplant check-ups. In 2012 burns hospitalized 40,000 people and over 17,000 people received organ transplants. Sadly, the number of organ donors greatly lags the number of people on the transplant waiting list and the gap has widened over the decades. While preventative health care is extremely important, researching tissue engineering (TE) to treat patients in fatal condition provides alternatives for replacing or repairing a variety of damaged tissue. These alternative treatments can considerably reduce the supply-demand gap for transplant organs and hopefully reduce the cost of such procedures in the future. Breakthroughs in TE such as tracheal transplants, porcine heart valves, dermal tissue, and others show substantial potential in the medical field. However, technology for this relatively new field of research limits its progress. For example, growing tissues require a specific environment for stability and optimum growth. In this project a laminar flow hood is built which sustains an ideal tissue environment and can assist TE research and development. This paper outlines the control system for a laminar flow hood, also referred to as a tissue engineering hood, in which scientists could engineer and investigate tissues. The laminar flow hood keeps tissues alive by regulating CO2 concentration, temperature, airflow, and humidity to provide the optimum environment for tissues to thrive.