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To provide the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP) with engineering expertise for biomedical and clinical research driven technology development, SPIS maintains engineering laboratories consisting of specialized test & measurement equipment, advanced software development platforms, and rapid prototyping systems. The wide array of test and measurement equipment is critical during the in-house design and troubleshooting of custom biomedical instrumentation and electronics. Examples of the test and measurement equipment include: signal generators, signal analyzers, oscilloscopes, signal processing modules, data acquisition devices, and power supplies. The engineering-focused advanced software development platforms are essential for modern electrical, computer, and mechanical engineering tasks, such as: circuit schematic and printed circuit board design (EAGLE), embedded system development (Xilinx FPGA, Code Composer Studio), signal processing algorithm development (Matlab), 3D mechanical design and modeling (SolidWorks), and laboratory automation (LabVIEW).
The on-campus rapid prototyping systems allow SPIS to efficiently and interactively fabricate working prototypes, which enables rapid integration of a new instrument or method into collaborator laboratories and clinics. Example rapid prototyping systems and capabilities include: 3D-printers, circuit board plotter, laser cutter, CNC milling machine, robotics, and high density soldering. The SPIS infrastructure is an asset to IRP investigators involved in high risk high reward research, allowing collaborative teams to quickly move forward on projects requiring technology and methodology innovation. IRP investigators provide funding for project specific hardware, software, and assembly services, for example, when a custom instrument will be deployed to their laboratory or clinic. As opposed to limited support for specific IRP projects, the SPIS infrastructure supports the IRP with central and fundamental engineering capabilities.
SPIS provides the NIH IRP with electrical, electronic, electro-optical, biomedical, mechanical, computer, and software engineering expertise for projects that require technology development of novel biomedical laboratory and clinical research enabling systems, instrumentation, and methodologies. More specifically, SPIS collaborations, driven by IRP principal investigators, necessitate extensive engineering design expertise, examples include: