We are Emile and Lennart, two master students in the Medical Sensing and Stimulation track. Somewhat accidentally, we’re both doing an internship in the United States right now, Emile on the East Coast and Lennart on the West Coast. All the physicians, engineers and researchers here are intrigued by the combination of medical and technical knowledge that we have acquired from technical medicine. Besides, it’s an amazing experience, but today, we’re sharing a short story on what we did together at Twente about a year ago.
In the first year of the master Medical Sensing and Stimulation we followed a course on biomedical signal acquisition. As part of this course the two of us wrote a review paper about a sensor type of our own choice. We chose the subject ‘potassium selective electrodes’. Although we missed the deadline, we were rewarded with a good grade. What’s more, our teacher dr. Wouter Olthuis considered our paper of such quality that he believed publishing it in a peer-reviewed scientific journal was a real possibility. Although he did stress that doing so takes a lot of work, we quickly agreed that we’d go for it. We like a challenge, so to say. After getting additional input from dr. Olthuis we improved our paper and sent it to a journal that matched our subject and which had a reasonable impact factor, neither too high or too low.
Next up was waiting for the response of the editor, who decides on whether the paper will be published based on input from several independent reviewers. After a long time waiting the response was finally there: major revision. This was good news, as it more or less guaranteed publication, although a lot of work was necessary to get the quality of the paper on par. This was no easy feat, as one reviewer mentioned that our paper lacked a deeper understanding of the subject. Perhaps not very surprising, as we only followed one course about this subject! It proves that writing a review paper really doesn’t go over one night of ice, so to speak. In short it resulted in a lot of days spent with our laptops in the Zavor, a place where you can drink coffee all day long for only €5. There we succeeded in acquiring a deeper understanding by reading, sketching, discussing, and of course by getting the most out of our coffee abo. Fortunately, we also had a lot of fun during all the work. When we finally submitted our second version we only had to wait a week for the response. “YES YES YES!!” was the first sentence of dr. Olthuis’ mail. We did it! Our first publication! Solid contact potassium selective electrodes for biomedical applications - a review. Of course, we had to drink to that. And still; a drink for every citation we get.