Scope of biomedical engineering
I have found biomedical as most interesting and a good field of interest. Firstly, in this field it does not matters is it for boys or girls. So, the main question that is this field good for girls? Absolutely right! If you have interest in biology and in maintaining human health using engineering approach this field helps you do that. From each and every thing relating to the human body you can use your engineering techniques to make people life easier. For this field you should have interest in biology, math’s, chemistry and physics. It is a combination of all of these from genetic engineering methods to any device for healthy safety, biomaterials, artificial organs this field is just love for biomedical enthusiastic students. I suggest you study the whole article and choose this career if you find it interesting as it is tough one because it has too much responsibility on the other hand it has too much humanity because you are helping make people’s life easier and devising new ways and devices that could change the entire way of treating diseases. This field allows you to work for disabled as well as to create body parts with new advanced technologies.
In mine opinion this field is good for medical students that have interest in math’s, physics and chemistry as well. And they want to serve humanity by making treatment procedures easier.
Students choose the biomedical engineering fields to be of service to people; for the excitement of working with living systems; and to apply advanced technology to complex problems of medical care. The biomedical engineer is a part of a multi-disciplinary heath care team, a group which includes physicians, nurses, and technicians. Biomedical engineers may be called upon to design instruments and devices, to bring together knowledge from many sources to developed new procedures, or to carry out research to acquire knowledge needed to solve new problems.
The Biomedical engineering involves application of engineering principles and techniques to medicine, biology, behavior, and health. It combines the design and problem-solving skills of engineering with medical, physical, chemical, biological and computational sciences to help improve patient health care and the quality of life.
“It advances fundamental concepts; generates knowledge from molecular to organ systems level; and develops innovative biologics, materials, processes, implants, devices and informatics approaches for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, serves in health improvement and patient rehabilitation”
Disciplines in biomedical engineering
This is one of the oldest and best-established areas in biomedical engineering, based on the study of body from a mechanical perspective, including mechanics of movement and posture, effect of trauma or surgery, strength of bones, tendons, etc. An important area related to biomechanics is bio ergonomics: The study of how systems such as chairs, keyboards, steering wheels, tools, etc., can be designed to minimize physical stress on their user’s bodies.
Acquiring information about the body, diagnosis and monitoring requires biologically compatible sensors that can be placed in desired locations- often through implantation. Design and fabrication of such sensors using solid-state devices, enzymes and other biochemical agents is one of the extremely important and active areas of biomedical engineering. Recently, interest in using biological systems such as cultured cells, glucose sensors and genetically modified bacteria, a few examples of biosensors, have found great pace.
Bio-MEMS / Nanotechnology
Micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and nanotechnology are the two most promising methods for creating microscopic implants or injectable used for sensing and drug-delivery design. Two prominent applications for these technologies are “lab on a chip” and injectable probes.
Some of modern technologies of diagnosis rely heavily on instruments such as EKG and EEG machines, monitors for blood pressure, heart rate, etc., defibrillators, scanning systems (e.g., MRI, PET, etc.), dialysis machines, ventilators, endoscopes, etc. Research in this area requires centrifuges, electronic instruments and sophisticated tools for extraction and sequencing of DNA. Training engineers to design, manufacture and maintain such systems is a key focus in biomedical engineering.
Medical Imaging and Scanning
Aside from the issue of developing and implementing scanning devices like X-rays, ultrasound, MRI, CT, PET, scanning presents very complex challenges in image analysis and interpretation. These include registration, segmentation, feature extraction, pattern recognition and object identification of 2D and 3D images. Developing efficient algorithms and platforms for these applications is a major research area for biomedical engineers and computer scientists.
Biomedical Signal Processing and Systems Analysis
Signals such as blood pressure, heart rate, EEG, respiration, postural sway, etc., are often monitored over time in clinical situations. Analysis of these time-varying signals provides very valuable diagnostic and often prognostic information. A variety of tools such as Fourier analysis, Statistical analysis, Wavelets transformation, Neural networks, etc., have been applied to automate the processing of biological signals in real-time. Recently, there has been great interest in applying tools for nonlinear dynamics and chaos theory (e.g., fractal dimensions, Hurst exponents, entropies, etc.) to interpret complex biological signals. Methods from systems theory- especially system identification are widely used to model biological systems. Signals and systems is one of the most mature sub-areas within biomedical engineering and are very accessible to students with basic training in engineering.
Implants and Prostheses
One of the most rapidly growing areas in biomedical is the development of implantable systems. Neural implants for disrupting seizures, Parkinsonian deficits and cochlear problems are now well-established. In the near future, retinal, and even cortical implants for vision problems will become practical. There has also been great success in developing artificial limbs controlled by the nervous system and using neural signals could also control external objects (such as screen cursors, robots and vehicles). Cardiac implants such as pacemakers are very widely used. As understanding of biomechanics, neuroscience and systems biology advances and nano scale devices become more feasible, there is likely to be an explosion in implants for many applications.
With increased longevity and greater mobility in the population, rehabilitation after trauma, surgery and disease (especially stroke & diabetes) is a major medical problem. The standard practice of physical therapy is now being strongly augmented by prosthetics and orthotics in which a patient is provided with artificial limbs or external supports. Started after the Second World War, making and fitting a prosthesis/orthoses has now become a research interest for many organizations and scientists. Gait Analysis is another important area in which problems such as repetitive motion injuries, slips and arthritis are predicted through continuous monitoring and prevented by providing patients with subsequent measures.
When engineered devices or tissues are incorporated in the body, it must meet stringent requirements to allow their integration into the system. The materials used must be compatible with living tissue in many different ways and must not interfere with the body’s normal functioning. This applies to common implants such as replacement joints and stents as well as to more exotic systems such as scaffoldings for engineered tissue. Thus, the study of biologically suitable materials has become a vast and growing field in its own right.
As understanding of cellular and molecular processes in living tissue has grown, it is becoming feasible to create artificial tissues through biomaterials, called tissue engineering. Typically, tissue engineering involves growing cells on an artificially created scaffolding or matrix. This approach has been used to create artificial skin and cartilage. In the future, advances in stem cell research may allow the engineering of many other tissues, and even organs, leading to a revolution in the treatment of diseases such as diabetes, kidney failure, cirrhosis, lung cancer, heart failure, macular degeneration, and others that can be treated through transplantation.
Bioinformatics (Genomics, Biostatistics, Intelligent Diagnostics, etc.)
Broadly, the area of bioinformatics covers all applications of information technology and computer science to biological and medical problems. This includes statistical analysis of epidemiological data, pattern matching, sequence analysis, genomic modeling and the construction, maintenance, mining and use of biomedical databases. This reflects the fact that methods from information and computer science apply more extensively to genetic and molecular analysis than to any other area of biomedicine — mainly because genetics and molecular processes are inherently about the representation and processing of information within biological organisms. Bioinformatics is arguably one of the most dynamic and significant areas within the biomedical sciences.
With rapid improvements in communications and medical technology, many developed countries are now improvising techniques to provide competent distance medical services (like surgery, diagnostics and community health services). Referred to as Telemedicine, this technology allows patients anywhere to avail specialized medical expertise available only in limited locations such as major hospitals and research centers. Even in Pakistan, basic level of Telemedicine is now emerging in many institutions and holds great promise for scattered rural populations.
Computational and Systems Biology
The human body can be understood at many levels, from the molecular level upwards. However, it is extremely difficult to organize the enormous amount of experimental data available at all levels into a coherent picture. Systems-level thinking has proved to be of enormous value in this regard. Since all these systems are very complex and even the most valuable, nonlinear mathematical analysis cannot be applied in all situations. This leads to the use of computational/numerical techniques. With computers becoming cheaper and faster, computational biology has become one of the most active areas of biology and biomedicine and is being used to address all kinds of difficult problems from the nature of cognition to the prediction of heart failure. Advances in nonlinear dynamics, information theory and discrete mathematics have contributed enormously in this regard and provide a fruitful nexus between engineering and biology.
Molecular and Cellular Engineering
One of the newest and most exciting possibilities in biomedicine is of manipulating living systems at the cellular and molecular level. Many clinical disorders result from genetic variations or faults in the metabolic reactions, responsible for cellular function. It is increasingly possible to fix these problems by altering the molecules involved, even changing the genetic code within cells. Another application for such manipulation is in creating organisms (typically bacteria) that can act as biosensors or produce valuable chemicals. There is even speculation about designing bacteria that can spontaneously assemble organic circuit components, and there is now a well-developed science of DNA computing that seeks to use the natural molecular processes within cells to perform computations — much like analog computers of old and all living cells.
Electronic neural networks can be used to build implants for retinal and visual processing, cochlear implants for auditory perception, and artificial limbs that can be directly controlled by the brain.
Medical experts in remote locations can examine patients by accessing their records on the internet, communicating through teleconferencing, and can even perform physical procedures through virtual reality.
Customized Therapies/Transplant Tissues
Drugs and transplant tissues (liver, lungs, pancreatic cells etc.) can be customized for each patient using their own DNA to prevent rejection and enhance efficacy.
Wearable Sensors/Support Systems
Wireless networked sensors and actuators can be embedded in the clothing of disabled patients to continuously monitor posture.
Intention-Based Control for the Disabled
Wheelchairs and other assisting systems for profoundly disabled individuals can be controlled directly by signals from the brain.
- Rehabilitation Centers
- Educational and Research Institutions
- Biotechnology Industry
- Pharmaceutical Industry
- Medical Instrumentation Industry
- Prosthetics and Implants Industry
- Environmental and Public Health Sector
- Government Regulatory Agencies
Career paths in biomedical engineering tend to be driven by the interests of the individual: the huge breadth of the field allows biomedical engineers to develop specialties in an area that interests them, be it biomaterials, neuromodulation devices, orthopedic repair, or even stem cell engineering. Biomedical engineers often combine an aptitude for problem solving and technical know-how with focused study in medicine, healthcare, and helping others. It is this hybridization that has led to so much innovation—and so much opportunity—in biomedical engineering.
- Biomedical engineers are employed in the industry, in hospitals, in research facilities of educational and medical institutions, in teaching, and in government regulatory agencies. They often serve a coordinating or interfacing function, using their background in both engineering and medical fields. 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. Government positions often involve product testing and safety, as well as establishing safety standards for devices.
- In the hospital, the biomedical engineer may provide advice on the selection and use of medical equipment, as well as supervising its performance testing and maintenance.
- They may also build customized devices for special health care or research needs.
- In research institutions, biomedical engineers supervise laboratories and equipment, and participate in or direct research activities in collaboration with other researchers with such backgrounds as medicine, physiology, and nursing.
- Some biomedical engineers are technical advisors for marketing departments of companies and some are in management positions. Some biomedical engineers also have advanced training in other fields. For example, many biomedical engineers also have an M.D. degree, thereby combing an understanding of advanced technology with direct patient care or clinical research.
We hope that this article helped you about scope of Biomedical Engineering for girls.