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About Biomedical Engineering

What is biomedical engineering and what do engineers do in this field?


Biomedical engineering is a multi-disciplinary field which applies the knowledge and tools of various spheres of engineering to the development of medical diagnostic methods and treatments, and to the study of the physiological basis of diseases.

The wide range of products in the biomedical industry includes artificial limbs, artificial implants, diagnostic and treatment tools, medical equipment for catheterization and imaging, rehabilitation engineering, aids for the disabled, biochemical engineering, and tissue engineering.

Biomedical engineers are trained in a wide variety of professions (machinery and electricity, for example), as well as biology and medicine. The biomedical engineer’s task is to develop methods and instruments for diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and follow-up. Instruments are designed through a combination of mechanical, electronic, electro-optic, and computer systems, as well as biological methods. The work of the biomedical engineer is integrated with the work of engineers who have specific fields of expertise, doctors, biologists, physiologists and paramedics.

The following examples of biomedical instruments were made possible through cooperation between engineers, doctors, and specialists in bioscience and the natural sciences:

Orthopedics: orthopedic implants to replace hip or knee joints.

Dentistry: dental implants to replace teeth.

Ophthalmology: glasses, contact lenses.

Diagnosis and monitoring technology: three-dimensional imaging of fetuses through ultrasound, a camera capsule that passes through the digestive system and charts the intestines, microsurgery using fibro-optics, endoscopy and laparoscopy, monitoring the flow of blood to the heart and other organs through ultrasonic Doppler and MRI.

Cardiovascular uses (heart and blood vessels): pacemakers and support systems for weak hearts, balloon expansion of blocked valves and artery supports (stent – a tube inserted into the artery to keep it open and ensure blood flow).

Tissue engineering: creating living cell tissue from cell cultures grown outside the body, in order to heal sick or injured organs without the need for organ donations.
Date Created: 05/05/13
Date Updated: 05/05/13