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Proof of Concept: Miracle Drug Encapsulation

Proof of Concept: Miracle Drug Encapsulation
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Students experience the engineering design process as they design, fabricate, test and redesign their own methods for encapsulation of a (hypothetical) new miracle drug. As if they are engineers, teams make large-size prototypes to test proof of concept. They use household materials (tape, paper towels, plastic wrap, weed-barrier fabric, glues, etc.) to attach a coating to a porous "shell" (a perforated plastic Wiffle® ball) containing the medicine (colored drink mix powder). The objective is to delay the drug release by a certain time and have a long release duration—patterned after the timed release requirements of many real-world pharmaceuticals that are released from a polymer shell via diffusion in the body. Guided by a worksheet, teams go through at least three design/test iterations, aiming to achieve a solution close to the target time release constraints. This engineering curriculum meets Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
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Teaching Duration
4 days
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