From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Biomedical engineering (BME) is the application of engineering principles and techniques to the medical field. It combines the design and problem solving skills of engineering with the medical and biological science to help improve patient health care and the quality of life of healthy individuals.
As a relatively new discipline, much of the work in biomedical engineering consists of research and development, covering an array of fields: bioinformatics, medical imaging, image processing, physiological signal processing, biomechanics, biomaterials and bioengineering, systems analysis, 3-D modeling, etc. Examples of concrete applications of biomedical engineering are the development and manufacture of biocompatible prostheses, medical devices, diagnostic devices and imaging equipment such as MRIs and EEGs, and pharmaceutical drugs.
Disciplines in biomedical engineering:
Biomedical engineering is widely considered an interdisciplinary field, resulting in a broad spectrum of disciplines that draw influence from various fields and sources. Due to the extreme diversity, it is not atypical for a biomedical engineer to focus on a particular aspect. There are many different taxonomic breakdowns of BME, one such listing defines the aspects of the field as such:
Bioelectrical and neural engineering
Biomedical imaging and biomedical optics
Biomechanics and biotransport
Biomedical devices and instrumentation
Molecular, cellular and tissue engineering
Systems and integrative engineering
In other cases, disciplines within BME are broken down based on the closest association to another, more established engineering field, which typically include:
Chemical engineering - often associated with biochemical, cellular, molecular and tissue engineering, biomaterials, and biotransport.
Electrical engineering - often associated with bioelectrical and neural engineering, bioinstrumentation, biomedical imaging, and medical devices.
Mechanical engineering - often associated with biomechanics, biotransport, medical devices, and modeling of biological systems.
Optics and Optical engineering - biomedical optics, imaging and medical devices.