What is Biomedical Engineering?

Biomedical Engineering combines a knowledge of electronic, mechanical, chemical and materials-engineering, with the life sciences of medicine, biology and molecular biology. Biomedical devices:

  • Support and enhance human life
  • Help individuals to overcome physical disabilities
  • Aid in delivering medical procedures
  • Test and deliver data which improve health and safety.

The disciplines of Biomechanics and Bioengineering are rapidly expanding with developments in Biosensor Technology, Tissue Engineering and Nanotechnology.

Biomedical engineers work with doctors and medical scientists, researching and designing ways to improve health care and medical services. They may use microcomputers, lasers, and other materials to develop and improve medical research equipment that is used to diagnose health problems. They may be involved in the development of medical products and different types of equipment used to monitor and treat patients and in designing and improving equipment for disabled people.

A biomedical engineer working in a hospital, for example, may be responsible for the safe and effective operation of equipment such as monitoring, diagnostic, and therapeutic medical equipment ranging from catheters, CAT scanners, pacemakers and kidney machines. They may be involved in designing artificial joints and limbs and assisting the surgical team in fitting these to the patient.

Biomedical engineers also design and deliver technology to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities. For example, they may develop equipment to assist people who may have difficulty walking, communicating or carrying out simple daily tasks.