Cellular Biology

Bioengineering Explained

Barnaby Meins's image for:
"Bioengineering Explained"
Image by: 

Bioengineering is defined as an interdisciplinary field that integrates engineering principles with physical sciences, chemical sciences, mathematical sciences, computational sciences and applies them to solve problems in biology, medicine, and health care.

The mainstream bioengineering research areas are Biomaterials, Biomechanics, Bioimaging and Bioinstrumentation. New bioengineering Emerging Research Areas are Molecular bioengineering, Tissue engineering, Computational bioengineering and Micro- & nano-bioengineering

A biomaterial is a nonviable material used in a medical device, intended to interact with biological systems. Broadly speaking, it is any substance, other than a drug, that treats or replaces any tissue, organ, and body function in a safe, reliable, economic, and physiologically acceptable manner.

Biomechanics is a bioengineering field that combines the branches of biology and mechanics in engineering. It utilizes the tools of mathematics and physics to describe for instance, the properties of biomaterials. A basic biomechanics property is embodied in constitutive laws, which fundamentally describe the mechanical properties of the constituent materials and specifically describe how a biomaterial deforms in response to applied forces. Although basic mechanics principles apply to isolated living tissues, the complex composition of organs and systems makes the actual constitutive laws complicated.

Biomedical imaging aims to produce images, either 2D or 3D of normal and diseased tissue within the human body. All through human history, a relentless objective of medicine has been the development of medical imaging procedures for discovering the origins of a person's suffering and thus the search for instruments that can image the interior of the human body with as little harm to the person as possible.

Bioinstrumentation is the application of electronics and measurement principles to develop devices used in the practice of medicine including monitoring, diagnosis and treatment of diseases

The examples of body parts that uses bioinstrumentation are
the heart: electrocardiogram, cardiac pacemaker
lung: spirometer
kidney: dialysis
blood: glucose sensor
vessels: blood flow/pressure meter, and
body: thermometer

Molecular Bioengineering is the study of the structure and function of biomolecules. Its aim is to design molecules to achieve specific biological function. Applications include new drugs or therapeutic strategies for treating diseases, for example, targeted drug delivery to disease site.

Tissue Engineering basically uses principles of engineering, chemistry, and biology are combined to create tissue substitutes from living cells and synthetic materials. Tissue engineering allows ones to repair or replace the function of natural tissues with the bioengineered substitutes.

Computational Bioengineering has many various fields. One of the fields includes bioinformatics, which is using mathematical tools to extract useful information from data produced by high-throughput biological techniques such as genome sequencing. Computational molecular chemistry involves molecular modeling, prediction of protein-protein binding, folding, ion channel conduction and more commonly rational drug design. Biomedical imaging and signal processing is of source a major field of study in Computational Bioengineering.

More about this author: Barnaby Meins

From Around the Web