The Biomedical Engineering Major is the application of engineering principles and techniques to the medical field. Selecting the right set of Biomedical Engineering schools is important. This field seeks to close the gap between engineering and medicine. It combines the design and problem solving skills of engineering with medical and biological sciences to improve healthcare diagnosis and treatment. The Biomedical Engineering Degree has only recently emerged as its own discipline, compared to many other engineering fields.
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Biomedical engineering is the application of engineering principles and techniques to the medical field. This field seeks to close the gap between engineering and medicine. It combines the design and problem solving skills of engineering with medical and biological sciences to improve healthcare diagnosis and treatment.
Biomedical engineering has only recently emerged as its own discipline, compared to many other engineering fields; such an evolution is common as a new field transitions from being an interdisciplinary specialization among already-established fields, to being considered a field in itself. Much of the work in biomedical engineering consists of research and development, spanning a broad array of subfields.
Biotechnology (see also relatedly bioengineering) can be a somewhat ambiguous term, sometimes loosely used interchangeably with BME in general; however, it more typically denotes specific products which use "biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof." Even some complex "medical devices" (see below) can reasonably be deemed "biotechnology" depending on the degree to which such elements are central to their principle of operation. Biologics/Biopharmaceuticals (e.g., vaccines, stored blood product), genetic engineering, and various agricultural applications are some major classes of biotechnology.
Tissue Engineering is a major segment of Biotechnology.
One of the goals of tissue engineering is to create artificial organs (via biological material) for patients that need organ transplants. Biomedical engineers are currently researching methods of creating such organs. Researchers have grown solid jawbones and tracheas from human stem cells towards this end. Several bladders actually have been grown in laboratories and transplanted successfully into patients. Bioartificial organs, which use both synthetic and biological components, are also a focus area in research, such as with hepatic assist devices that use liver cells within an artificial bioreactor construct.
Genetic engineering, recombinant DNA technology, genetic modification/manipulation (GM) and gene splicing are terms that apply to the direct manipulation of an organism's genes. Genetic engineering is different from traditional breeding, where the organism's genes are manipulated indirectly. Genetic engineering uses the techniques of molecular cloning and transformation to alter the structure and characteristics of genes directly. Genetic engineering techniques have found success in numerous applications. Some examples are in improving crop technology (not a medical application per se; see BioSystems Engineering), the manufacture of synthetic human insulin through the use of modified bacteria, the manufacture of erythropoietin in hamster ovary cells, and the production of new types of experimental mice such as the oncomouse (cancer mouse) for research.
Pharmaceutical Engineering is sometimes regarded as a branch of biomedical engineering, and sometimes a branch of chemical engineering; in practice, it is very much a hybrid sub-discipline (as many BME fields are). Aside from those pharmaceutical products directly incorporating biological agents or materials, even developing chemical drugs is considered to require substantial BME knowledge due to the physiological interactions inherent to such products' usage.
This is an extremely broad category -- essentially covering all health care products that do not achieve their intended results through predominantly chemical (e.g., pharmaceuticals) or biological (e.g., vaccines) means, and do not involve metabolism.
A medical device is intended for use in:
• the diagnosis of disease or other conditions, or
• in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease,
Source: Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org
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