Our project is a novel teaching tool designed to help students learn about cardiac neurophysiology.
More specifically, we have created a microcontroller-based “cardiac cell” that can be used in the lab sections of
ECE/BME/BIONB 4910. The “cardiac cell” is based on a reduced Priebe-Beuckelmann model and
uses differential equations to describe Potassium, Sodium, and Calcium ionic currents. Our end product
is designed such that students are able to manipulate the ion concentrations/conductance across the cell membrane,
choose which ion currents they would like to view, and then watch the voltage/current traces vs. time both
on-board as well as through an oscilloscope. Examples of how students can interface with our product and
learn about cardiac arrhythmia, cardiac arrest, and cardiac neurophysiology are highlighted.
From a teacher’s perspective, this project will be useful for any ECE/Neurobiology cross-listed courses and
can also be used as a teaching tool for when Cornell’s Neurobiology Department travels internationally.