Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineers integrate classic engineering principles with biological and medical sciences and clinical practice.  In industry, they may create designs where an in-depth understanding of living systems and of technology is essential. They may be involved in performance testing of new or proposed products. 

There is some confusion with regards to terminology in this field and the terms bioengineering, biomedical and clinical engineering are often used without a clear distinction.  Our members work in a number of areas within the field of biomedical engineering, but these areas frequently depend on each other and sometimes overlap:

•    Biomechanics including prosthetic devices and artificial organs
•    Bioinstrumentation
•    Biomaterials including tissue engineering & regenerative medicine
•    Systems physiology and Physiological modelling
•    Clinical engineering
•    Rehabilitation engineering

In biomechanics mechanical principles (such as motion, behaviour of material, flow) are used to solve biological or medical problems .  For example are how drugs pass across biological and synthetic media and membranes.  Biomechanics also play a role in the design and development of replacement and assistive devices for replacement and improvement of bodily functions such as artificial organs and joint replacements.

In bioinstrumentation electronics, computing and measurement principles and techniques are applied to develop medical devices used in diagnosis and treatment of disease. For example development of medical devices to record and analyse physiological signals.

In biomaterials living tissue and materials are used for implantation. For example researching what material would be appropriate for a certain type of implant (metal alloys, ceramics, polymers, and composites etc). Tissue engineering in particular looks at replacing or regenerating biological tissue to restore physiological and mechanical function

In systems physiology engineering techniques are used to understand human body function, including how major processes work together at the cellular and molecular level.  For example researching the control of limb movements and development of numerical simulations of physiologic systems in the human body.