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Bioscience tour: Temple High students learn about research work at local facility

By December 27, 2019 No Comments

December 27, 2019
Temple Daily Telegram | By Janice Gibbs

In November, Temple High International Baccalaureate students spent a couple of hours at the Temple Health and Bioscience District office and lab facility learning what type of research work goes on in the building and who works there.

In December, Temple High students in advance placement classes visited the facility and received some hands on instruction using some of the District’s high tech medical research equipment.

Shaterika Griffin, 11th grader at Temple High, had been on the tour in November as an IB student, but felt the tour for the Advance Placement students was better.

Gabriela Leon said she learned from the focus on engineering of some of the tenants.

Griffin said she knew there was technology to slice cells, but hadn’t seen it first-hand until her visit to the district facility’s common lab.

The Instron Linear-Torsion Material Testing System caught the attention of Leon, also an 11th grader.

Griffin is interested in becoming an audiologist and was interested how the 3D printer could be used to make hearing aids and parts for hearing aids.

Leon is considering mechanical engineering for a career and found the Instron System fascinating.

Tami Annable, executive director of Temple Health and Bioscience District, explained to the students that the district’s board of directors fund a number of summer internships that place high school students with compatible mentors in medical and science research facilities in the area.

During the tour, students were broken into small groups and spent time with investigators who work in the Bioscience District facility.

Colin Dodson, biomedical engineer and chief technical officer and a founder of SiMMo3D, explained how his company uses the Instron Testing System. Dodson demonstrated testing a part of a hip replacement that had been reinforced. The question was if the changes would make the replacements stronger and less prone breakage.

Using the Instron Dodson could simulate the stress on the hip replacement part with repetitive walking, running and jumping.

A readout on a screen that is part of the testing system provides information on the forces being placed on the item being tested.

During the test the forces and pace are increased, Dodson said.

“What I’ll typically do is have these experiments run for a very long time at a fast rate,” he said.

The physician, who initially comes up with the idea and a template for the device, will at times want to see how far the item can be pushed until the part breaks, Dodson said.

These devices are made to function inside the human being for the remainder of their lives, he said.

Once a final material is selected for the device, material testing will continue, before it’s placed inside a person, Dodson said.

Ryan Quinn, co-founder of SiMMo3D, began working with 3D printing while a student at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he studied entrepreneurship.

He walked the Temple Hig1h students through how his company uses 3-D printing process.

SiMMo3D provides accurate replicas of healthy or diseased organs for education.

Using MRI data, CT scans, synthetic polymer resin and a 3-D printer, Quinn and Dodson make organ models used for medical training and for planning specific procedures.

Operations manager Rod Annable, Tami’s husband, explained to the students there are a variety of resins that can be used in 3-D printing.

It’s important that the correct resin is selected for the project, Annable said as he held up a 3-D printed wrench that flopped over as if it were made of Jell-O.

Tami Annable walked the students through slicing samples of mouse brain cells using a laser with the Leica Microdissection System.

David Sprague, a former fertility investigator with Scott & White, explained the equipment typically found in a lab and demonstrated how it is used.

Texas Bioscience Institute students are supposed to tour of the district facility in January.

For information on THBD, visit www.templebioscience.org.

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