Biomedical Engineering is a branch of engineering which combines biology and medicine with engineering principles and mechanics for the enhancement of advanced health care treatment and numerous breakthroughs in medicine. Bioengineer is a cross-disciplinary field which requires skills and knowledge to understand, define and solve biomedical and clinical problems through engineering sciences. Biomedical Engineers works on various sector within bioengineering i.e. tissue engineering, genetic engineering, imaging, biomaterials and a lot more. Bioengineers design and develop new equipment and methods, surgical devices, prosthetics and artificial organs for medical imaging, monitoring and diagnosing disease. They also work for the development of new medical procedures and research solutions. Bioengineering has become a promising and developing field in present times.
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Among various inventions of biomedical engineering, a cochlear implant is one of the important medical discovery. A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted medical device which replaces the function of a damaged inner ear by bypassing the damaged hair cells of a cochlea to provide signals to the brain. It works more than a hearing aid device. It is basically used by the people who have hearing loss in both ears and those who are not benefitted by hearing aids. The implant has been used by enormous population having hearing loss and difficulties because of its immense effectiveness. And as of December, 2012, approximately 324,200 registered devices have been implanted worldwide.
Figure: Cochlear Implant (https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiNqNuKhqrSAhWBPCYKHUGND3IQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.medindia.net%2Fpatients%2Fpatientinfo%2Fcochlearimplants.htm&psig=AFQjCNHJBWApt8n01ZcD9A0LCeka2nVq7A&ust=1488070699063874)
Another Significant achievement in Biomedical engineering is Composite tissue transplantation. There has been a lot of interest in the development of bioengineered structures with multiple tissue types because of the recent success of clinical Vascularized Composite Allografts (VCA’s) including the face (upper, lower) and abdominal walls. The tissue transplantation serves as a replacement of traumatic losses from explosives, burns, cosmetic concerns and various major functional injuries. Since VCA depends upon the growth of recipients nerves into the grafted donor tissue, many difficulties have been arising for achieving the cooperation of different tissue in vivo. Further research is going on to meet the challenges and difficulties.
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The field of biomedical engineering is expanding with successful experiments and surgeries. However, there are certain experimental and surgical failures as well. In one of the cases, one of the Duke university Hospital surgeon operated a heart and lung transplantation surgery of Jessica Santilan on February 7, without recalling the information of the donors blood type. There was absence of positive confirmation of ABO compatibility of the donor organs and the identified recipient patient. This was considered a critical mistake as it caused Ms. Santilan desperately ill with signs of irreversible brain damage.
Biomedical Engineering is one of the most promising career. One must complete a four years Bachelor’s degree and a two years’ master degree in Biomedical Engineering major to become a professional Biomedical Engineer. An average salary of a Biomedical Engineer is $86,220 per annum. Being a Biomedical engineer, one can work for the betterment of health, society and can achieve a standard professional and financial living.
- Mattsson, J., Ringden, O., & Storb, R. (2008, Januaary). Graft Failure Allogenic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2344125/
- Ericson, G. (2016, January 13). One-sided hearing, cochlear implants studied in project. Retrieved from: https://source.wustl.edu/2008/09/onesided-hearing-cochlear-implants-studied-in-project/
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