Bioengineering

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Bioengineering is engineering involving living organisms.

While biology depends on inductive knowledge, engineering and technology appear to progress from deductive knowledge. However, various advances in technology have helped in gaining greater insights to biological phenomena. Taking a cue from that, many of the biological principles so deciphered have been effectively utilized for developing new technology and devices, even artificial intelligence.

Modern healthcare delivery is embracing major technological advances. Every aspect of medical diagnosis, therapy and rehabilitation is dependent upon fruitful interactions among all the diverse disciplines that will be mentioned below.

Bioengineering is a highly prospective discipline involving multi-disciplinary interaction. Formally, it is the application of electrical, mechanical, chemical, optical, nuclear and other engineering principles to understand, modify and control biological (plants and animals - including human) systems. It is also meant to design and manufacture products for monitoring physiological functions, assisting in diagnosis, assessing prognosis and helping in treatment of patients. It may be broadly categorized into biomedical engineering - dealing mostly with the biophysical aspects and biotechnology covering mostly biochemical nuances.

Biomedical engineering may be further subdivided into disciplines like biomedical informatics, medical imaging, physiological signal processing, biomechanics, biomaterials, ergonomics, medical robotics, medical simulation including virtual reality and systems biology.

Biomedical informatics may be further classified into medical informatics and bioinformatics. Bioinformatics traditionally contains proteomics, genomics and drug design. Medical or Healthcare informatics include: clinical informatics, nursing informatics, imaging informatics, consumer health informatics, public health informatics, dental informatics, clinical research informatics, veterinary informatics, and pharmacy informatics.

History

The history of each of the subdisciplines mentioned above is quite fascinating.

Social and cultural aspects

The after effects of the second world war was the use of highly advanced defense technology for medical applications. That gave a boost to biomedical engineering. The decoding of the genetic materials made way for biotechnology.

Ethical and legal aspects

The award of the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2007 to the pioneers of stem cell research have focused the attention of laity and media on the ethical land legal issues surrounding cloning.

Notable Bioengineers