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Biomedical R&D

Engineering for medical application


Western North Carolina’s biological diversity and its natural products culture are fueling continued growth in the biomedical industry. The Rapid Center has a history of partnering with companies for biomedical device development. In partnership with faculty members in healthcare and the sciences, the center has expanded its capabilities in this arena to include prosthetic design and development, biomedical robotics and more.

WCU Healthcare Expertise 

In addition to experienced engineering faculty at The Rapid Center, Western Carolina University provides broad healthcare expertise through its College of Health and Human Sciences. Programs in the college include athletic training, communication sciences and disorders, nursing, physical therapy, recreational therapy, and more. Faculty and students in the college partner with The Rapid Center to bring to life product ideas in the healthcare industry. 

Success Stories

BiOptigen Inc. – BiOptigen needed field-testable poly-carbonate enclosures for a biomedical sensing device for non-invasive imaging of internal tissues. We used fused-deposition modeling to build prototypes of two imaging head designs that could receive the electronic components and be tested as if they were final products. Prototyping took only about a week – fast enough that BiOptigen was able to iterate its design and test it again without slowing the development process.

OptiVia Medical – OptiVia was designing thin, complex parts for a biomedical device in the area of endoscopic medicine. We produced three different rapid prototypes from their early designs to allow engineers to check for fit and strength. In particular, they were able to identify physically weak points and make needed changes very early in the design process.

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