What is Biomedical Engineering?

Biomedical engineering career opportunities are growing, find out why!

Biomedical Engineering applies engineering principles to medicine and improving quality of life for humans and animals. It is a highly transdisciplinary field, integrating physical, chemical, and mathematical sciences with clinical studies. Practical applications of biomedical engineering include things like:

Designing biomedical materials and/or medical device equipment (e.g., pacemakers, bio-compatible wheelchairs, exercise equipment for astronauts, or creating/improving materials to help joint replacements last longer).

Developing or improving therapies for fighting cancer, tuberculosis, or other illnesses and diseases (e.g., nanoscaffolding for localized chemotherapy delivery, telemetric sensors to determine healing rates in bone fractures, etc.).

Finding better ways to image and/or diagnose illnesses (e.g., using lasers to detect viruses, developing ways to increase electrical signals to detect threats to food safety and security, designing a biosensor to diagnose cancer cells, or developing software to determine toxicity levels in people exposed to pesticides).

Biomedical engineers' work improves the lives of others

Biomedical engineers use their expertise in engineering, biology, and medicine to make the world a healthier place. They develop and apply transdisciplinary knowledge and skills to solve complex problems and improve health care technology, from diagnostics to treatment.

Biomedical engineers make amazing discoveries every day

Some of the major advances that biomedical engineers have made to improve health care technology include:

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  • Artificial Joints
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technology
  • Heart Pacemakers
  • Arthroscopy (minimally invasive joint surgery technique)
  • Angioplasty (heart surgery technique)
  • Bioengineered Skin
  • Kidney Dialysis
  • Heart-lung Machines

Biomedical engineers work in a variety of settings

Some biomedical engineers spend their days in the lab, researching new devices and systems that solve medical and health care-related problems. Others might work in clinical settings, run biomedical-focused enterprises, or research patent law.

Biomedical engineers are involved in a wide variety of activities on a daily basis:

  1. Doing research along with scientists, chemists, and medical scientists
  2. Developing artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation and health management and care delivery services
  3. Designing technology used in various medical procedures such as the lasers used in corrective eye surgery
  4. Developing and testing imaging systems such as MRIs, ultrasounds, and x-rays
  5. Constructing and implementing mathematical/computer models of physiological systems
  6. Designing and constructing biomaterials and determining the mechanical, transport, and biocompatibility properties of implantable artificial materials