What is a Biomedical Engineer?
A relatively new discipline, biomedical engineering involves research and development that combine medical and biological sciences for the advancement of all healthcare disciplines. It is a growing and evolving career field and according to CNNMoney.com, is the #1 Best Job for 2012 in America.
Some biomedically-engineered phenomena include regenerative tissue growth, pharmaceuticals, high-tech prostheses, diagnostic imaging equipment, and micro-implants. Biomedical engineering includes an increasing subset of specialties. Some of those specialties include:
Organ transplants made from patients' own tissue, offer a quality of life not possible with donor organs. This field has produced solid jawbones and tracheas from human stem cells. Artificial bladders have been developed and successfully transplanted into humans.
Manipulates an organism's genes on a molecular level. Some applications include improved crops, synthetic insulin, and the production of mice more suitable for cancer research.
Centers on the repair of neural systems—those pathways that tell our muscles when to move. All paralysis victims have an interest in this science on some level.
Falls into both biomedical and chemical engineering categories. While some pharmaceuticals have upfront need of biological agents, even the development of chemical drugs requires BME knowledge.
Cover all health care products not developed primarily through chemical means. They aid in disease diagnoses, cures, treatment, and prevention. Examples include prostheses, pacemakers, life-sustaining machines, artificial organs, and non-organic implants.
Equipment essential to diagnoses typically accounts for hospitals' most complex tools. Radiological techniques through ultrasound, magnetism, and UV, are among medical/biomedical imaging equipment achievements.
Bionic limbs give functionality to amputees, and their development has also led to improved electronic transmission that affects much of the world.
Practicing in clinical settings, these engineers train and supervise biomedical equipment technicians, work with governmental regulators, and consult with hospital staff. They are closely connected with medical device producers and end users.Regulatory Issues require routine consultation with specialized attorneys. Equipment safety and efficiency are the foremost objectives, and the Food and Drug Administration has jurisdiction over many biomedically-engineered products.