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پژوهشگران جوان علوم زیستی- دانشگاه آزاد رودهن (Biology young researcher club- Islamic Azad University, Roudehen Branch.) - Biomedical engineering and education






پژوهشگران جوان علوم زیستی- دانشگاه آزاد رودهن (Biology young researcher club- Islamic Azad University, Roudehen Branch.)

زندگی فاصله آمدن و رفتن ماست, شاید آن خنده كه امروز دریغش كردی، آخرین فرصت همراهی ماست.

Biomedical engineering is the application of engineering principles and techniques to the medical field. It combines the design and problem solving skills of engineering with medical and biological sciences to improve healthcare diagnosis and treatment[1].

Biomedical engineering has only recently emerged as its own discipline, compared to many other engineering fields; such an evolution is common as a new field transitions from being an interdisciplinary specialization among already-established fields, to being considered a field in itself.

Much of the work in biomedical engineering consists of research and development, spanning a broad array of subfields (see below). Prominent biomedical engineering applications include the development of biocompatible prostheses, various diagnostic and therapeutic medical devices ranging from clinical equipment to micro-implants, common imaging equipment such as MRIs and EEGs, biotechnologies such as regenerative tissue growth, and pharmaceutical drugs & biopharmaceuticals.

Biomedical engineering is a highly interdisciplinary field, influenced by (and overlapping with) various other engineering and medical fields. This often happens with newer disciplines, as they gradually emerge in their own right after evolving from special applications of extant disciplines. Due to this diversity, it is typical for a biomedical engineer to focus on a particular subfield or group of related subfields. There are many different taxonomic breakdowns within BME, as well as varying views about how best to organize them and manage any internal overlap; the main U.S. organization devoted to BME divides the major specialty areas as follows:[2]

Sometimes, disciplines within BME are classified by their association(s) with other, more established engineering fields, which can include:

 Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals

Biotechnology can be a somewhat ambiguous term—in its broadest form occasionally encompassing all of BME; however, it more typically denotes specific products which use "biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof." [2] Even some complex "medical devices" (see below) can reasonably be deemed "biotechnology" depending on the degree to which such elements are central to their principal of operation. Biologics/Biopharmaceuticals (e.g., vaccines, stored blood product), genetic engineering, and various agricultural applications are some major classes of biotechnology.

Pharmaceuticals are related to biotechnology in two indirect ways: 1) certain major types (e.g. biologics) fall under both categories, and 2) together they essentially comprise the "non-medical-device" set of BME applications. (The "Device - Bio/Chemical" spectrum is an imperfect dichotomy, but one regulators often use, at least as a starting point.)

Tissue engineering

Tissue Engineering is a major segment of Biotechnology.

One of the goals of tissue engineering is to create artificial organs (via biological material) for patients that need organ transplants. Biomedical engineers are currently researching methods of creating such organs. Researchers have grown solid jawbones[3] and tracheas from human stem cells towards this end. Several bladders actually have been grown in laboratories and transplanted successfully into patients.[4] Bioartificial organs, which use both synthetic and biological components, are also a focus area in research, such as with hepatic assist devices that use liver cells within an artificial bioreactor construct.[5]

Genetic engineering

Genetic engineering, recombinant DNA technology, genetic modification/manipulation (GM) and gene splicing are terms that apply to the direct manipulation of an organism's genes.[1] Genetic engineering is different from traditional breeding, where the organism's genes are manipulated indirectly. Genetic engineering uses the techniques of molecular cloning and transformation to alter the structure and characteristics of genes directly. Genetic engineering techniques have found success in numerous applications. Some examples are in improving crop technology, the manufacture of synthetic human insulin through the use of modified bacteria, the manufacture of erythropoietin in hamster ovary cells, and the production of new types of experimental mice such as the oncomouse (cancer mouse) for research.

  Pharmaceutical engineering

Pharmaceutical Engineering is sometimes regarded as a branch of biomedical engineering, and sometimes a branch of chemical engineering; in practice, it is very much a hybrid sub-discipline (as many BME fields are). Aside from those pharmaceutical products directly incorporating biological agents or materials, even developing chemical drugs is considered to require substantial BME knowledge due to the physiological interactions inherent to such products' usage.

Education

Biomedical engineers require considerable knowledge of both engineering and biology, and typically have a Masters (M.S., M.S.E., or M.Eng.) or a Doctoral (Ph.D.) degree in BME or another branch of engineering with considerable potential for BME overlap. As interest in BME is increasing, many engineering colleges now do have a Biomedical Engineering Department or Program, with offerings ranging from the undergraduate (B.S. or B.S.E.) to the doctoral levels. As noted above, biomedical engineering has only recently been emerging as its own discipline rather than a cross-disciplinary hybrid specialization of other disciplines; now, BME programs of study at all levels are becoming more widespread, including the Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering which actually includes so much biological science content that many students use it as a "pre-med" major in preparation for medical school. The number of biomedical engineers is expected to rise as both a cause and effect of improvements in medical technology.[6]

In the U.S., an increasing number of undergraduate programs are also becoming recognized by ABET as accredited bioengineering/biomedical engineering programs. Over 62 programs are currently accredited by ABET.[7][8]

As with many degrees, the reputation and ranking of a program may factor into the desirability of a degree holder for either employment or graduate admission. The reputation of many undergraduate degrees are also linked to the institution's graduate or research programs, which have some tangible factors for rating, such as research funding and volume, publications and citations. With BME specifically, the ranking of a university's hospital and medical school can also be a significant factor in the perceived prestige of its BME department/program.

Graduate education is a particularly important aspect in BME. While many engineering fields (such as mechanical or electrical engineering) do not need graduate-level training to obtain an entry-level job in their field, most BME positions do prefer or even require them.[9] Since most BME-related professions involve scientific research, such as in pharmaceutical and medical device development, graduate education is highly desirable (as undergraduate degrees typically do not involve sufficient research training and experience). This can be either a Masters or Doctoral level degree; while in certain specialties a Ph.D. is notably more common than in others, it is hardly ever the majority (except in academia). In fact, the perceived need for some kind of graduate credential is so strong that some undergraduate BME programs will actively discourage students from majoring in BME without an expressed intention to also obtain a masters degree or apply to medical school afterwards.

Graduate programs in BME, like in other scientific fields, are highly varied, and particular programs may emphasize certain aspects within the field. They may also feature extensive collaborative efforts with programs in other fields (such as the University's Medical School or other engineering divisions), owing again to the interdisciplinary nature of BME. M.S. and Ph.D. programs will typically require applicants to have an undergraduate degree in BME, or another engineering discipline (plus certain life science coursework), or life science (plus certain engineering coursework).

Education in BME also varies greatly around the world. By virtue of its extensive biotechnology sector, its numerous major universities, and relatively few internal barriers, the U.S. has progressed a great deal in its development of BME education and training opportunities. Europe, which also has a large biotechnology sector and an impressive education system, has encountered trouble in creating uniform standards as the European community attempts to supplant some of the national jurisdictional barriers that still exist. Recently, initiatives such as BIOMEDEA have sprung up to develop BME-related education and professional standards.[10] Other countries, such as Australia, are recognizing and moving to correct deficiencies in their BME education.[11] Also, as high technology endeavors are usually marks of developed nations, some areas of the world are prone to slower development in education, including in BME.


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