Bioengineering is the branch of engineering in which the engineering principles are applied to define and solve problems in biology and medicine. It is basic research oriented activity carried out using the tools and principles of the physical sciences to develop a better understanding of biological systems. Bioengineering is the application of engineering principles to living structures, such as creating artificial organs, chemicals, drugs and tissues. However the biomedical engineering uses concepts and principles for the design, maintain, validate and calibrate all the devices and equipment that we see in the hospitals, research and medical centers. Biomedical engineering also includes the study of biology but it is for the sake of knowledge.
Bioengineering generally apply engineering principles like mass and heat transfer, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, kinetics, catalysis, separation and purification methods, surface phenomena and polymer science to design and create usable and tangible products to either mimic or control the biological systems. For example it is used for the designing of the bioreactor or fermenter which is commonly used in the food and drug industries it is more about understanding biological systems in engineering terms.
Bioengineering includes the study of cellular engineering, tissue engineering, cell signaling, cell imaging, bioinformatics, molecular engineering, bioacoustics, biomaterials, genetic engineering etc. Examples of the concrete applications of the bioengineering's are sequencing of eukaryotic genome, creation of the anterior crucial ligament and study of the effects of zero gravity on mechanical signal transduction pathways of bone cells, creation of artificial organs like vulva of rabbit, creation of sensors by using biomembranes and genetic modification of plants and microorganisms.
Biomedical engineering combines the design and problem solving skills of engineering with medical and biological sciences for the beneficial of the patient healthcare. It is multidisciplinary i.e., brings together concepts from different branches of engineering like electrical, mechanical, chemical and computer engineering. The aspects of the fields are biomedical devices and instrumentation, biomechanics and biotransport, biomedical optics, neural engineering etc. An example of the wide applications of the biomedical engineering includes the development and manufacture biocompatible prostheses like prosthetic eye in ophthalmology which uses the principles of the mechanical engineering and the biocompatible materials.
Breast implant is also an example of the biocompatible materials to cosmetic surgery which is included in clinical engineering involving the clinical aspects of the health care delivery systems. Medical devices, diagnostic devices, can be used for the treatment or prevention of the diseases. Imaging equipment such as MRI generally used for the scanning of human head is the application of electrical engineering to diagnostic imaging.
Bioengineering is a relatively new engineering discipline as compared to other traditional fields of engineering usually referrers to genetic engineering while biomedical engineering is medical machinery and medical nanotechnologies i.e., direct doctor patient apparatus. The difference between bioengineering and biomedical engineering is that bioengineering is a global term which encompasses the biomedical engineering and it is applied to all life sciences and medicine while biomedical engineering more focuses on medical and healthcare. However, few universities, research institutes, and corporations adhere strictly to those definitions and, in fact; the terms are often used interchangeably.
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