MedTech Futurist: Cheryl Chai

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Cheryl, 22, on task with the creative projects.


One of our creative mentors fascinated us with her confident disposition towards meeting the key objective of completing creative projects built on technology in mere 3 hours. Her Total Artificial Heart (TAH) also captured our attention on the futuristic outlook of humans' march towards cyborgism. We are intrigued by this MedTech rockstar. Let's find out more about her:


Tell us about your name, age, and current study/work?

Cheryl Chai, 22, current year 4 undergraduate at National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Engineering (Biomedical)


How do you think Technology will be of relevant in the future?

Technology creates innovative solutions for problems or enhance experiences in society in many areas (eg gaming – vr, rehabilitation – sensors/apps)

What about the importance in being equip with these skills? How are you also using skills related to technology now in your daily life?

Good to know that there are technology available for certain issues, can concentrate more on finding solutions that cannot be simply solved by technology but more of the application or adaptation of it.


Tell us about the one project you have done, your experience and takeaway. Describe difficult situation/project and discuss how you managed to overcome it.

Total Artificial Heart (TAH) prototype. Using Arduino to simulate pumping motion and speed, and ANSYS to visualise extreme stress forces that could lead to hemolysis (shearing of red blood cells) and stagnation in areas of the pump that might lead to thrombosis (blood clots) in real life application. Using these technology, can better refine our prototype to address abovementioned issues of current heart devices. Design had to be constantly changed using Solidworks (for pump rotor to be 3D printed) based on ANSYS analysis, code for Arduino can be hard to start from scratch, hence we edited on an existing template code to suit our prototype.

See gallery for TAH protoype:


What are your goals for future?

Towards the end of my NUS academic year, to be able to capture the fundamentals of medical devices (biosensors) present in hospitals/labs, for them to be accessible to the everyday person for real-time self-assessment/monitoring


What sort of help that you need you could think of now that will help you advance in your goals?

Lab equipment (Microscopes, Infuse/Withdraw device etc) for experimentation


Generate an idea instantaneously now and how would you do it, and what’s the purpose and impact of this?

Application of microfluidics in paper to be used on sides of stretchers, to constantly monitor condition of critical patients and preempt condition before reaching professional medical attention at the hospital, since time is critical for bleeding patients


Propose a project Creative Coding Lab can work with and you may be involve in the future in a single tweet’s limit of 140 characters.

Rehabilitation games, in conjunction with Arduino and/or apps to be created and available on the app store, MaKey MaKey kits can be used to enhance the rehab experience from a gear attached with sensors and a 2D game to a 3D experience of touching everyday things turned into game buttons, which additionally motivates the patient to look forward to the next session (by connecting to different themes of objects each week). Difficulty of the games can be increased by placement and/or design of the crocodile clipped objects, which is more cost-effective than creating newer/tougher games to pique the interest levels of patients during different stages of rehab.