The Catholic University of America

What is Biomedical Engineering?

Biomedical engineering is a discipline that advances knowledge in engineering, biology and medicine, and improves human health through cross-disciplinary activities that integrate the engineering sciences with biomedical sciences and clinical practice.

A career in Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineering (BME) applies the science of engineering to the art of medicine for improving health and function of the overall population. BME is a branch of engineering in which knowledge and skills are developed and applied to solve problems in biology and medicine.

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.

Examples of work by biomedical engineers

  • Design and development of cardiac pacemakers, defibrillators, artificial kidneys, blood oxygenators, hearts, blood vessels, joints, arms, and legs.
  • Design computer and information systems to monitor patients.
  • Design instruments and devices for therapeutic uses.
  • Developments of strategies for clinical decision making based on expert systems and artificial intelligence.
  • Design, developments and research in the area of medical imaging systems such as computer assisted tomography (CT), position emission tomography (PET), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, or newer modalities.
  • Development of mathematical/computer models for studying physiology.
  • Design and development of advances biomaterials.
  • Research in the area of biomechanics, sports mechanics and optimizations of human performance.

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