This area of emphasis combines biology and engineering in order to develop medical instruments and prosthetic devices. Engineers with this expertise develop, design, and manufacture products for the medical healthcare industry.
The educational goal of this area of emphasis program is to prepare graduates who can function effectively at the complex interface between engineering and medicine or biology.
Faculty / Student Activities
- Cellular Engineering: This activity is centered on investigating cellular signaling with emphasis on establishing quantitative information about how the components (e.g., receptors, enzymes, signaling molecules) fit together in space and time to produce mechanical, chemical, and biological outputs that constitute cell, tissue, or organ function. Applications range from cell-based sensing to biological effects of magnetic fields.
- Biomechanics: Faculty are developing an understanding of the tissue healing mechanism. Results are intended to ensure the health of the general public and of companion and food animals. The specific goals of this program are: to utilize an avian model to examine human medicine issues such as tendon rupture, wound healing, and bone loss/gain; to study the effects of vascularization and the hormonal/endocrine systems on tendon mechanics.
- Environmental Physiology: This activity is investigating the effects of temperature, relative humidity and other environmental factors on bone and soft tissue mechanics. Past studies have focused on animal respiratory problems due to air born particulates and pollutants.
- Nanoscale Structures: This activity seeks to integrate biotechnology and nanotechnology for advancing fundamental knowledge in the development of new products such as a biosensor. Researchers in the Nano-fabrication Center are developing new structures for growing cells with the long term objective of developing biomedical devices such as glucose sensors.
As engineers, graduates with this specialization are qualified to
- Develop new biomedical products such as surgical glues,
- Design medical implants and orthopedic devices,
- Develop software to monitor the physiological function of patients and workers,
- Assist in the fabrication of biomaterials needed in implants,
- Analysis of patient health using imaging equipment.
These graduates are pursuing careers such as:
- Researchers developing new medicines and medical devices
- Safety engineers evaluating medical and health care products
- Support engineers working with physicians to solve health care problems.