Innovation Day

Capstone Projects 2021

Welcome the BMEG 457 Capstone Design Project suite for 2021. Using the knowledge and skills they have gained during their studies, graduate students are tasked with solving real world problems that require immediate solutions.

See below for this year’s project presentations.




Covid-19 has forced people residing in long-term care homes to be isolated. Specifically, for people with dementia, this isolation can further deteriorate their memory and overall well-being. Virtual Immersive Experience for Seniors (VIES) aims to decrease the negative side effects of isolation from Covid-19 such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, and stress, which affect the progress of people with dementia. The solution is a projected immersive video chatting application that allows people in long-term homes to connect with their loved ones while being submersed in an outside setting from the inside. A very simple and clear interface allows people with dementia to connect with others easily with little or no help. The family member or friend who is connecting from the outside is able to control the immersive environment of the person with dementia for further ease of use. Through social connection and the ability to “adventure outside”, VIES can bring joy, love, and stress relief to long-term care homes.


Laura Vargas, Thomas Buhler, Rael Gumbe, Alexander Yemane

CLIENT: Dr. Lillian Hung
UBC School of Nursing and VCH Research Institute

NOTE: This video only works on Firefox and Chrome



Bladder cancer is managed initially by transurethral resection of the bladder tumour (TURBT). Whenever possible, many surgeons perform an ‘en bloc’ resection where the tumour is kept completely intact throughout the resection. This is a safer technique than the conventional piece-meal resection because it avoids stimulation of the obturator nerve which can lead to bladder perforation, and it provides an intact specimen for more complete pathologic analysis, including assessment of surgical margins. The main barrier with this approach is the easy extraction of the tumour from the bladder. The tumour is typically larger than the instruments surgeons have and often larger than the diameter of the urethra. There is currently no device designed to remove an ‘en bloc’ tumour specimen from the bladder. The only established approach is to fragment a larger tumour into smaller pieces after the complete ‘en bloc’ resection, but this destroys the biological architecture of the tumour, making it more challenging to assess pathologically, and it theoretically disseminates bladder cancer cells throughout the bladder. Our objective is to prototype a device capable of a safe transurethral removal of the intact tumour. A device such as this one would greatly facilitate wider adoption of en bloc TURBT with all its associated advantages for patients, surgeons, and pathologists.

En Bloc Team

Ajay Banga, Gabrielle Booth, Sophie Gjervan


Dr. Peter Black
Urologic Oncologist at Vancouver General  Hospital; Senior Research Scientist, Vancouver Prostate Centre;
Professor, Department of Urologic Sciences, UBC.

Dr. Drew Phillips
Urology Resident Doctor in the Department of Urologic Sciences, UBC



Metabolomics is the study of the entire set of metabolites in a biological system (Figure 1). It is an emerging and powerful technology that enables an unbiased and comprehensive view of system-wide metabolism. Although computational programs and tools have been developed in the past decade to extract the metabolic features in the raw LC-MS data, it is still a critical bioinformatic challenge in metabolomics as current computational tools lack robustness, comprehensiveness in data processing and are not user friendly or intuitive.

Flanker Team

Sam Shen, Zhibo Zhao, Milos Stamenic, Jianyu Gu

CLIENT: Dr Tao Huan
Assistant Professor, UBC Department of Chemistry



Orthopedic surgeons in all countries get most of their radiation exposure from having to perform a time-consuming repetitive process that involves taking several (usually 7) X-ray shots to help determine where the C-arm should be placed. Orthopedic surgeons do this process their entire career, but long-term exposure can increase the likelihood to develop cancer, cataracts, and other disorders. Current solutions have big weaknesses such as being inaccurate or obstructing procedures due to the required hardware needed in the operating room. Our solution uses optical floor data from two cameras on the base of the C-arm to track the position of C-arm. This way we can save important locations during surgery and accurately return to those important locations without taking the extra X-ray shots. Bluetooth is used minimize the number of wires in the operating room so that procedures are not obstructed.

Optix Team

Joshua Pak, Alex Devlin, Josh De Fritas

CLIENT: Dr. Antony Hodson
Professor, UBC Department of Mechanical Engineering

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Raquel De Souza

Partnerships Manager
School of Biomedical Engineering