Week 9: Anticipation and Preparation

Everyone knows that when you wear white, you are only bound to get something on it- whether it’s a pen mark or food stain. Well on Wednesday this week I wore a white shirt, with this mentality of course. But instead of a little pen mark or food stain, I dropped an ENTIRE mocha on my shirt during lunch because of cap mix-up (it was the wrong cap, I promise). If you can imagine that chocolatey, milky, coffee mess on a white shirt, then you can imagine the embarrassment. Luckily Sanjana came to the rescue with water to flush out the stain! Despite the clean-up, I smelt (and felt) like a walking hot cup of coffee all day- giving me the name Coffee Girl.

Beyond my coffee escapades, this week was spent anticipating and preparing for my experiments and prototype builds. As a recap:

Project one: Optimizing the use of a new material for urethral stents.

Project two: Building or preparing a build for prototypes based on an R&D engineer’s design plans.

(New) Project three: [A continuation of a mini side project I did on Week 1&2] Advisement on the characterization of a new material for guidewires (for the Coyol and Heredia sites), using a submitted business proposal.

Project One, testing the material and equipment!

Project one got the green light once I was able to arrange a time and day to use the equipment in the clean room. So Friday afternoon I ran a test drive with the equipment and the material I am investigating. This experiment was helpful as I could configure how to use the equipment and note the material’s characteristics. These were all important factors to consider before I moved on to the next step involving the urethral stents and how I seek to optimize the use of it.

Project two is still in the preparation stage as I gathered most of the supplies I need to build the prototypes this past week. During my preparation, I have been meeting with Manufacturing engineers to determine what equipment I can use for my prototypes and finalizing the build plans little by little.

Project three is currently in the research stage. Since this project wasn’t one of my main or prioritized projects, I mostly hope to make progress on it for my team to continue carrying it out at the end of my internship. During week one of the internship I had begun this project by requesting FTIR testing of the guide wires to obtain solidified confirmation of the material. Throughout my research, I have compiled as much information as possible and documenting it in order to make it easier when moving forward. I am learning about a lot of new characterization tests, but the next step is seeing what is possible to do on site, since the main point behind this project is to bring the manufacturing of guidewires with this material to Coyol and Heredia.

While juggling these three different projects, I began to understand the undercurrents that fuel a medical device industry and the responsibilities of the engineers concerting these projects. Unlike research, where you can focus on one sub-aspect for years, in the industry it is important to multitask several sub-aspects as efficiently as possible. You have to work quickly but thoroughly in responding to stakeholders’ needs and collaborate with others to complete all the tasks.

To end the week, the GMI team made a trip to Manuel Antonio for a day trip on Saturday. Along the way we stopped on Crocodile Bridge, a bridge that overlooks a river bed where several enormous crocodiles tend to congregate. We also made a trip to the mangroves and explored this unique ecosystem through a kayak tour. And last but not least, we spent the afternoon at Manuel Antonio Park, which was by far the most beautiful beach we have visited so far!

Kayaking through the mangrove forest.

Looking down from Crocodile Bridge.

 

One of the beaches in Manuel Antonio Park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until next time! Pura Vida.

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