This is an archived course. A more recent version may be available at

Lectures and Readings

Part 1: survey of global health challenges and medical device categories
1 Global health overview Slides (PDF - 2.7MB)  
2 Drug delivery overview


Fundamentals of drug delivery devices

Design strategies that can provide sustainable solutions in the field

Forms of devices:

- Oral: capsules, pills, thin films

- Transdermal

- Inhalable: metered dose inhalers, dry powder inhalers, nasal delivery, nebulizers and appropriate accessories

- Injectable

3 Infectious disease Slides (PDF - 3.7MB)  
4 Lab 1: drug delivery  

Mizrahi, Boaz, and Abraham J. Domb. "Mucoadhesive Tablet Releasing Iodine for Treating Oral Infections." Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 96, no. 11 (2007): 3144-3150. DOI:10.1002/jps.20876.

Shemer, A., et al. "Efficacy of a Mucoadhesive Patch Compared with an Oral Solution for Treatment of Aphthous Stomatitis." Drugs R D 9, no. 1 (2008): 29-35.

5 Non-communicable diseases  

Disease Control Priorities Project. Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries [abstracts, PDF and full text HTML available for download]

- Chapter 30, "Diabetes: The Pandemic and Potential Solutions." by K. M. Venkat Narayan, et al.

- Chapter 33, "Cardiovascular Disease." by Thomas A. Gaziano, et al.

International Atomic Energy Agency. A Silent Crisis: Cancer Treatment in Developing Countries. September 2003. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF)

McNeil Jr., Donald G. "In India, a Quest to Ease the Pain of the Dying." New York Times, September 11, 2007.

———. "Procedure May Save Women In Third World From Cancer." New York Times, March 25, 2003.

Monroy-Hernandez, Andres, and Leo Anthony Celi, MD. "ICT4D to Scale Cervical Cancer Prevention." May 07, 2008. YouTube. Accessed August 25, 2009.

amithap1982. "CytoSight a Telepathology Solution by KTwo powered by Intel." February 4, 2009. YouTube. Accessed August 25, 2009.

"Professor Focused on Cheap Specs." BBC News, February 9, 2009.

byronetics. "Aravind Eye Hospital." November 19, 2006. YouTube. Accessed August 25, 2009.

Zoomify Enterprise - a telepathology software interface.

6 Vital signs monitoring Slides (PDF) (Courtesy of Dr. Gari Clifford. Used with permission)

Kahn, Jonathan. "Race in a Bottle." Scientific American, August 2007.

Wuethrich, Bernice, ed. "Introduction and Sustainable Use of Vaccines in Developing Countries." Proceedings of the Albert B. Sabin Vaccine Institute 12th Annual Vaccine Policy Colloquium, October 19-21, 2005. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF - 2.1MB)

"Students Devise Oral Quick-dissolve Strips for Rotavirus Vaccine." Johns Hopkins University press release, May 14, 2007.

Mullins, Justin. "Immune System in a Jar." New Scientist: Invention Blog, March 05, 2008.

Groleau, Rick. "Killer Disease on Campus: Making Vaccines." PBS: NOVA, August 2002.

Mitragotri, Samir. "Immunization without Needles." Nature Reviews Immunology 5 (December 2005): 905-916. doi:10.1038/nri1728.

Garcia-Contreras, Lucila, et al. "Immunization by a Bacterial Aerosol." PNAS 105, no. 12 (2008): 4656-4660. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0800043105.

Flatow, Ira, and Alex Chadwick. "Vaccine Tech Could Help Millions in Developing Nations." National Public Radio, October 21, 2004.

7 Lab 2: vital signs    
8 Convergence of devices: advances in telemedicine and vital signs   Martinez, Andres W., et al. "Simple Telemedicine for Developing Regions: Camera Phones and Paper-Based Microfluidic Devices for Real-Time, Off-Site Diagnosis." Anal Chem 80 (2008): 3699-3707. DOI: 10.1021/ac800112r.
9 Vaccines Slides (PDF - 2.0MB)  
10 Lab 3: medical instruments: surgery and infection control    
11 Neglected tropical diseases    
12 User and setting-driven innovations to advance global healthcare

Slides (PDF - 2.4MB) (Courtesy of Aya Caldwell. Used with permission.)

Supplemental video (covers some material in the D-Lab lecture)

Olson, Kris Dr., and Aya Caldwell. "Neonatal Asphyxia Intervention: Philosophy and Outcome." CIMIT Global Health Initiative forum, May 5 2009:

Design that Matters Incubator Article Archive, including photos, text and videos
13 Lab 4: diagnostics: paper diagnostics and HIV testing  

Martinez, Andres W. "Three-dimensional Microfluidic Services Fabricated in Layered Paper and Tape." PNAS 105, no. 50 (December 16, 2008): 19606-19611. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0810903105.

Paper diagnostics Combur-10 test: Combur-Test® Product Line. Roche Diagnotics. Accessed August 26, 2009.

Grifantini, Kristina. "TR10: Paper Diagnostics." Technology Review, March/April 2009.

Urdea, Mickey, et al. "Requirements for High Impact Diagnostics in the Developing World." Nature 444 (23 November, 2006): 73-79. DOI:10.1038/nature05448.

14 Prototyping of medical devices    
15 Neglected tropical diseases Slides (PDF - 1.3)  
16 Lab 5: microfluidics  

Schilling, Eric, and Paul Yager. "Basic Microfluidic Concepts." September 7, 2001. Accessed August 25, 2009.

Goho, Alexandra. "Diagnosing the Developing World: Turning High-tech Innovations into Low-cost Medical Tests." Science News, February 14, 2004.

Sia, Samuel K., and Larry J. Kricka. "Microfluidics and Point-of-care Testing." Lab Chip 8 (2008): 1982-1983. DOI: 10.1039/b817915h.

17 Disabilities in the developing world


* Burden of disability in global health

* Strategies for creating appropriate devices

* Case example of Open Prosthetics Project, Jaipur Foot, Aravind Eye Care, and Auralab

Norton, Quinn. "Give 'em a (Working) Hand." Wired, September 21, 2006.
18 Imaging Slides (PDF) Szot, Agneiszka, et al. "Diagnostic Accuracy of Chest X-rays Acquired Using a Digital Camera for Low-cost Teleradiology." International Journal of Medical Informatics 73 (2004): 65-73. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF)
19 Visit Shriners Hospitals for Children, Boston MA Hosted by Dr. Robert Sheridan, Chief of the Burn Surgery Service. Students visited an operating room, discussed the medical equipment used, and brainstormed ideas in which the parallel devices in the developing world can be improved.  
Spring break: Nicaragua trip
Part 2: project design and development
Some lectures and group trips continue, but the emphasis shifts to project team work
20 Lecture on FDA approvals    
Forming project teams    
21 Field trip: visits to MIT laser cutter and 3-D printing labs    
Project brainstorming    
22 Field trip: visit Mass General Hospital operating room    
Project work    
23 Lecture on intellectual property   Evening screening at MIT of film Bamako (outside of class time)
Project work    
24 Role-playing simulation games Simulation game description (PDF)  
Project work    
25 Project work    
26 Finish projects    


Supplemental Readings

Supporting material for the course textbook (Rx for Survival)

Geelhoed, Glenn W. Surgery and Healing in the Developing World. Georgetown, TX: Landes Biosciences, 2005. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF - 4.7MB) [a complete online text]

Amazon logo Werner, David, Carol Thurman, and Jane Maxwell. Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook. Updated. 2nd ed. Berkely, CA: Hesperian Foundation, 2009. ISBN: 9780942364156.

Amazon logo Gordon, Bruce, Richard Mackay, and Evan Rehfuess. Inheriting the world: The Atlas of Children's Health and the Environment. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO, 2004. ISBN: 9789241591560.

BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH). "Global Health Primer." October 2007. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF)

  • A tremendous resource on diseases that form the focus in global health: background information, descriptive "disease sheets", lists of organizations, NGOs, advocacy groups, biotech companies and other partnerships, all engaged in trying to address these problems.

Chowdury, Zafrin. "Bangladesh Launches Mass Immunization Campaign after Polio Re-emerges." UNICEF, 2006.

Google Flu Trends

Helft, Miguel. "Google Uses Searches to Track Flu's Spread." New York Times, November 11, 2008.

Medical Hacks: DIY projects with step by step instructions.