After spending the summer of 2023 in Human Fusions Institute director Dustin Tyler's laboratory as a Wen H. Ko summer intern, Marquis Globokar decided to present her research at Case Western Reserve University’s annual Intersections event in December 2023. Her presentation, “Tensile Strength of Jointed Microwires for Interfascicular Implantation into Peripheral Nerves,” received the Undergraduate Research Presentation Award for Engineering.
A senior in CWRU’s Biomedical Engineering department, Globokar studied neural engineering in Tyler's laboratory. She worked primarily with Ph.D. student Margaux Randolph, whose research focuses on stimulating peripheral nerves by implanting microwires between the fascicles of pigs' ulnar nerves. Globokar's summer objective was designing, fabricating, and testing joints between smaller and larger wires with the strength to endure micromovements and the ability to be routed subcutaneously. She initially manufactured three different wire configurations, then built a tensile tester comprised of a strain gauge, a micro slider attached to a servo motor, and an Arduino.
In addition to studying the tensile strength of the wires, Globokar had the opportunity to explore coding and mechanical and electrical elements. “I enjoyed the diversity of my research and exposure to various topics,” she said.
Randolph praised Globokar as “an excellent problem solver” and was particularly impressed by her mentee’s creativity during the design process.
Working in Tyler's lab was Globokar's first exposure to neural engineering and conducting research. "I learned how important it is to be resilient when it comes to research, as almost nothing is ever linear and how the effectiveness of neural interfaces can vary based on selectivity and invasivity," she said, pointing out the importance of "resilience and meticulous documentation."
Globokar described Randolph as "extremely knowledgeable" and "very kind and always willing to answer any of my questions... she was a great communicator, and I knew I could always count on her for support."
A member of CWRU’s cross-country team as well as an engineer, Globokar credits her involvement with sports for "(developing) an appreciation for everything the body is capable of doing." She also enjoyed math and science, so she felt biomedical engineering combined all her interests.
After Globokar graduates from CWRU in May 2024, she will begin a project manager position at Epic in Madison, Wisconsin. Once she starts her career, she hopes to promote the optimal use of medical technology, bridging the gap between her field's technical and clinical sides. “I want to utilize my understanding of complicated technology to simplify the experiences of consumers and optimize the usefulness of up-and-coming medical devices,” she said.
“I am sure (Globokar) will be excellent at her position,” said Randolph.
“I am grateful for all that I have learned at CWRU and the amazing people I have had the pleasure to meet and work with who have helped shape me into the person I am today,” Globokar said. “I look forward to what the future holds for me as a biomedical engineer in industry, and I hope to actively contribute to making the world a healthier and happier place.”