Pediatric Educational Diagnostic Simulator (PEDS)

Tonsil Simulation Model to Improve Pediatric Medical Training


Member profile details

Membership level
2012-2013 Team
Team Name
Pediatric Educational Diagnostic Simulator (PEDS)
Project Title
Tonsil Simulation Model to Improve Pediatric Medical Training
Design Challenge
Current pediatric training models are limited in their ability to simulate a full-body physical exam. Physicians currently train on actual pediatric patients with limited opportunities to see rare findings and restricted ability to conduct repeated practice of technique. Our project focused on modeling the highly prevalent pediatric case of tonsillitis by differentiating amongst different tonsil symptoms to enable physicians to discern the underlying cause of tonsillitis. Integrating this tonsil model into a holistic pediatric physical exam mannequin will enhance physician training and improving patient care.
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Design Summary
We have designed a tonsil model for a pediatric simulation mannequin that teaches medical personnel basic physical examination techniques. This mannequin simulates common and uncommon exam findings in a low stress environment that allows for multiple examinations and instructor feedback. We modeled several tonsil disease states, including pathologies with swelling and color changes, using electronic control.

Our design consists of a working prototype of tonsil models with implemented swelling and color states. Linear actuators move servo motors and attached resin tonsil models into and out of visible mouth space from the side. Servo motors rotate the tonsil models about their vertical axes to expose different disease coloration states to the user. The different disease coloration states are represented through edited images of real tonsils that are painted with a liquid rubber coating onto sectors of the tonsil surface. The various components of the prototype are attached together using custom 3D-printed parts made of ABS plastic. A new tongue shape has been designed with the liquid rubber material and fitted with memory foam to simulate accurate tongue depression during a physical exam. A consolidated LabVIEW VI allows for user control of swelling and tonsil infection states. Furthermore, physician surveys have confirmed the realism of the device and this design has been integrated with the previously implemented disease states.

Last updated: 4/23/2013
Texas Children's Hospital; OEDK
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  • Bioengineering
Faculty Advisor 1 - Name
Dr. Maria Oden
Faculty Advisor 2 - Name
Dr. I-Chih Tan
Award(s) and Recognition
2013 Brown School of Engineering Design Showcase: Best Health-Related Engineering Design Project

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Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen
Rice University

6100 Main Street MS 390 | Houston, Texas | 77005

Phone: 713.348.OEDK


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