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workshop to make research visible and reflect on the challenges and opportunities of biomedical engineering
Among the speakers was Dr. Owase Jeelani, a British pediatric neurosurgeon, famous for the separation of Siamese twins joined at the head.
A showcase to connect multidisciplinary profiles such as engineers, biologists, chemists or doctors interested in medicine and social impact. This is the goal of the workshop "Time to share" organized by the School of Medicine of the University of Navarra and the School of Engineering Tecnun to give visibility to the research being done and to face the challenges and opportunities of biomedical engineering.
"Biomedical engineering is a field of research where the results lead to a direct impact on society through patents, transfer, new companies... and for this it is very important the collaboration between different areas of knowledge", highlighted Paloma Grau, Vice President research. "In that sense, the university is distinguished because different disciplines are combined and relate to each other in a natural way. The challenges presented by society cannot be addressed individually, but require collaboration".
Along the same lines, Naiara Rodriguez, professor and researcher at the department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials at Tecnun, explained that at the University of Navarra there are several groups of researchers working in the field of Biomedical Engineering and "these conference serve to promote the exchange of knowledge, so that we know who is working on what and can establish synergies": "For example, in the Clinic there are doctors who do research, something that does not happen in all universities. But there are times when they want to innovate and don't know where to turn. That's what meetings like this one are for.
Thus, during the workshop a total of 10 medical projects were presented, which have been developed in recent years in different Departments of the Clínica Universidad de Navarralaboratories of the Cima University of NavarraTecnun, the School of Engineering and the School of Medicine, from tissue production to design and biofabrication of human myocardium in the laboratory.
The University, a privileged environment for symbiosis between physicians and engineers
One of the catalysts for many of these projects has been the Medical Engineering Laboratory at School of Medicine. "The differentiating factor is that this laboratory is located within the School of Medicine, an idyllic position to provide engineering solutions to the healthcare environment," explained Marcos Llorente, organizer of the meeting and head of the Laboratory.Llorente also highlighted the different lines of action of the Laboratory: they are dedicated both to development of simulators, as well as to the quantification of physiological variables and 3D printing, and a fundamental element has been the collaboration in all the projects that have been carried out. "This is also possible because of the University environment, where different areas of knowledge come together and links can be created that help us together to achieve objectives," he confessed.
The case of Dr. Jeelani and the separation of Siamese twins joined at the head
One of the guest speakers at the workshop held at the University of Navarra was Dr. Owase Jeelani, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London. Famous for designing a system to separate Siamese twins joined at the head, in 2019 he created the Gemini Untwined Foundation for the research and treatment of craniopagus twins.
In his talk, he discussed how multidisciplinary teams of doctors, engineers and software specialists contribute to solving problems at discipline, using engineering and artificial intelligence platforms to perform work on craniofacial morphometry, biomechanics, surgical devices and clinical outcomes. "When something seems impossible, the solution is to break it down into small problems and let everyone - engineers, plastic surgeons, neurosurgeons, etc. - tackle what they are familiar with.