In a biomedical engineering lab at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, co-author Dr. Glenn R. Gaudette and his research team are investigating the effects of stem cell therapy on the regeneration of function in damaged cardiac tissue in laboratory rats. Each instance of stem cell experimentation on a rat yields hundreds of data sets that must be carefully captured, documented and securely stored so that the data will be easily accessed and retrieved for papers, reports, further research, and validation of findings, while meeting NIH guidelines for data sharing. After a brief introduction to the bioengineering field and stem cell research, this paper focuses on the experimental workflow and the data generated in one instance of stem cell experimentation; the lab’s data management practices; and how Dr. Gaudette teaches data management to the lab’s incoming graduate students each semester. The co-authors discuss the haphazard manner by which engineering and science students typically learn data management practices, and advocate for the integration of formal data management instruction in higher education STEM curricula. The paper concludes with a discussion of the Frameworks for a Data Management Curriculum developed collaboratively by the co-authors’ institutions -- the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Worcester Polytechnic Institute -- to teach data management best practices to students in the sciences, health sciences, and engineering.
biomedical engineering, data management, case study, stem cells, coronary heart disease, regeneration, heart, paper lab notebooks, instruction, experiment
Gaudette, Glenn R., and Donna Kafel. 2012. "A Case Study: Data Management in Biomedical Engineering." Journal of eScience Librarianship 1(3): e1027. http://dx.doi.org/10.7191/jeslib.2012.1027
Rights and Permissions
Copyright © 2013 The Author(s).
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.
Mesenchymal stem cells on suture
Figure 1b.tif (7007 kB)
Higher magnification of stem cells
Figure 2a.tif (3547 kB)
Figure 2b.tif (236 kB)
Delivery of stem cell suture to heart
Figure 3.tif (82 kB)
Image to determine regional heart function
Figure 4a.tif (4530 kB)
Heart tissues with areas of trichrome staining (multiple images)
Figure 4b.jpg (538 kB)
Single image of heart tissue with trichrome staining
Figure 4c.tif (4153 kB)
Healthy heart tissue stained for actinin