Combining engineering and medical science for the betterment of society
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Combining engineering and medical science for the betterment of society

Combining engineering and medical science for the betterment of society

In a world that’s becoming more interdisciplinary and interconnected, fields such as bioengineering and biomedical engineering – born out of the marriage of engineering and medical sciences – are growing.

Bioengineering encompasses emerging subfields such as tissue engineering, biomechanics, biomechatronics and biomedical electronics.

In these fields, students are taught how to apply engineering principles within medicine and healthcare, enhancing and saving lives all around the world.

Using advanced technological methods, bioengineers and other scientists are accelerating innovation in the healthcare industry, making a positive impact on society and overcoming global challenges.

Innovation in this field not only help prolong human lives, they also help detect diseases, make life more accessible for those with disabilities and help us understand more about our bodies and what they can do.

By combining engineering principles to medical science, some truly amazing innovations and breakthroughs have been born.

One example is the prototype of a smart pill that can be used to diagnose and treat diseases, monitoring brain, blood and gastrointestinal tract activity, with the ability to measure factors like temperature and pH levels, and to deliver that information to doctors.

Another example is the invention of biomechatronic leg joints, nicknamed “the bionic knee.” This device allows amputees to walk in a fully functional way due to its ability to connect with computers and sensors, enabling the device to “replicate typical knee motions” – going one step further from normal prosthetics where movement can be limited.

It’s not only a rewarding career, it’s also a highly lucrative one due to the growing demand and the rise of Industry 4.0.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of biomedical engineers is projected to grow four percent from 2018 to 2028, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

“Increasing numbers of technologies and applications to medical equipment and devices, along with the medical needs of a growing and aging population, will require the services of biomedical engineers.”

Engineering & Technology reported, “While its fragmented nature makes it difficult to quantify the overall biomedical engineering sector in terms of number of people employed and its worth, the global medical devices market alone is estimated to be worth US$381bn, according to medical market research company Kalorama.”

Interested to become a bioengineer? Here are four universities in Europe that are offering cutting-edge education in this field.

VILNIUS GEDIMINAS TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY, LITHUANIA

As one of the leading and biggest higher education institutions in Lithuania, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University focuses on innovation in engineering and technology.

The university offers a progressive Bachelor of Technological Sciences in Bioengineering degree, where students learn subjects such as molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics, chromatography, gene engineering and pharmaceutical biotechnology.

VGTU

The programme aims to mould students into professionals capable in using their theoretical knowledge in both natural sciences and engineering when solving practical problems.

They discover the importance and influence of engineering solutions when applied to medical science, learning how to think critically and creatively to drive change in the sector.

Another innovative programme is the Master of Technological Sciences in Nanobiotechnology, a two-year course where students acquire advanced knowledge and skills in both biotechnology and materials science to solve practical problems and conduct biomedically-oriented scientific research.

In this programme, they develop further knowledge in cell, tissue engineering, nanomaterials, nanomedicine, diagnostic nanobiotechnology, nanobioelectronics and microcapsulation of the biocomponents.

Students graduate as leading scientists in bioengineering, armed with the skills and thorough knowledge developed through these intensive courses.

NOTTINGHAM UNIVERSITY, UNITED KINGDOM

MSc in Bioengineering students at this highly-ranked university in the UK start by developing a strong foundation in modern bioengineering technology.

Along with providing science and engineering graduates from diverse backgrounds with knowledge in modern bioengineering technologies, students also have options to focus on biomechanics, biomaterials, bioimaging, biosensing and digital modelling of various human systems.

This course is one of two closely related bioengineering Master courses that comprise of a common core with the ability to focus on specific aspects of bioengineering.

The MSc in Bioengineering has a broader scope than the other related course, allowing students to select modules related to biomaterials, biomechanics and digital modelling.

Learning through innovative core modules such as Advanced Materials Research and Communication, Medical Device Design and Regulation, and Cell Structure and Function for Engineers, they graduate as experts with a solid understanding in materials engineering for tissue repair and regeneration.

This programme prepares students well for a career in an industrial, clinical or research environment in the exciting field of bioengineering.

TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY, ISRAEL

At the Iby and Aladar Fleischman Faculty of Engineering at Tel Aviv University, Israel, students develop expertise in this field through the MSc in Biomedical Engineering programme, offered by the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

This interdisciplinary programme produces graduates who are able to provide advanced tools for clinicians around the world for accurate and non-invasive diagnosis, along with innovative therapeutic devices for health problems like cardiac disease – one of the main causes of deaths in the Western world today.

Tel Aviv University

Students in this graduate programme learn through the work of specialised researchers from diverse backgrounds in areas such as biofluids, biomechanics, numerical modelling, biomedical image processing, physiological signal processing, vision, hearing, sensory communication, computational and systems biology.

Research done in this Department has captured national attention in the past through innovations such as a computerised system for identifying babies susceptible to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome based on heart signal analysis and a minimally invasive system for early detection and location of coronary and vascular occlusions based on dynamic measurements of pressure and flow waveforms in the arteries.

UNIVERSITY OF BASEL, SWITZERLAND

At this university in Switzerland, students can undertake a MSc in Biomedical Engineering programme, choosing courses to learn the basics of the broad spectrum of medical devices used for diagnostics, surgery and treatment.

This course is ideally suited for students with backgrounds in both medicine and engineering or the natural sciences.

In the first term, students with a medical background take courses in mathematics and computational techniques, while those with an engineering or a natural science background study courses in human anatomy and physiology.

All students will also receive education on the principles of biomedical engineering including biomaterials science, nanotechnology, medical imaging as well as signal and image processing.

This is followed by the second term where students choose courses depending on their chosen majors:  Biomaterials Science and Nanotechnology or Image-Guided Therapy. The programme culminates in the completion of a Master’s thesis in the third and final semester.

*Some of the institutions featured on this article are commercial partners of Study International

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