Philosophy and aims of the Bioengineering streams
|Medical Devices and Systems||
Medical Devices and Systems
In recent years remarkable accomplishments have been realised in the field of Bioengineering. To allow this scientific and engineering progress there is a strong need for state of the art medical devices and systems that allow, facilitate and create innovation in the field. The Medical Devices and Systems (MDS) stream evolves around the development of novel medical devices and the creation of new clinical engineering systems and tools. Such devices and systems are in very high demand by medical practitioners, researchers and patients alike. These include new measurement and communication systems, intelligent medical sensors, diagnostic systems, health monitoring and control devices, imaging systems as well as advanced computational tools for the analysis of complex data and processes.
If you choose this stream, in year 2 you will learn about biomedical instrumentation, control systems analysis and design, as well as other devices and systems-specific topics. In year 3 and 4 you will explore advanced bioengineering topics such as design of medical devices and implants and robot technology, as well as bioimaging and regulatory affairs for medical devices. Years 3 and 4 also include group and individual projects that are strongly influenced by the research portfolio of our academic staff.
After the fundamental discovery of DNA, the most basic unit of life, the tools to precisely manipulate this cellular component arrived. This led to the emergence of the most recent branch of bioengineering- Biological and Systems Bioprocessing (BSB). Bioengineering in this sense, has the ability to impact on the diverse issues mankind faces today, such as producing novel medicines, super-efficient food crops, carbon neutral energy from photosynthetic organisms, pollution degrading bacteria, biological computer chips and a wide array of consumer products and industrial processes.
Although very complex, biological systems are governed by the laws of chemistry and physics, and therefore amenable to engineering, and bioengineers are needed to convert these new visions into impact. This will form the foundation of your training in this stream. You will learn about the components in biological systems, including their control and manipulation. The ability to add mechanistic and quantitative elements will also be explored. By making living cells more predictable, they can be rationally assembled at large-scale level, and consequently bioprocessing principles will be taught. Specific applications will be deciphered fully in years 3 and 4 in line with academic staff research portfolios, including environmental engineering, biomanufacturing and metabolic engineering.
|Biomaterials Science and Tissue Engineering||
Biomaterials Science and Tissue Engineering
As the subject of Bioengineering develops, its diversity becomes apparent with specialisations across many disciplines of science, engineering and medicine. The subjects of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering are intimately associated as Biomaterials have a pivotal role in field of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine. The development of biomaterials is evident in such specialized areas, such as biomimetic synthetic polymers created to trigger specific cellular functions and direct cell-to-cell interactions, both for medical implants that are initially cell-free and then serve as matrices to direct tissue regeneration, and in implants that support cell transplantation. Biomaterials are also encountered in everyday life in the form of medical grade stainless steel for orthopedic implants and indeed many of us have some form of dental biomaterial within our teeth, as an amalgam or ceramic. Biomaterials are now being employed to conduct and accelerate natural processes in the form of tissue regeneration, whereby cellular responses not normally present are stimulated, such as formation of a new vascular bed prior to cell transplantation – or to prevent damaging processes such as immune rejection.
If you choose this stream, in your second year you will learn further about biomaterials, human physiology, cell biology, materials processing and properties with a view to medical application. This leads through to years 3 and 4, whereby a more applied approach is taken and specific case approaches are given on how one can ‘engineer’ medical devices or biological constructs for addressing tissue and organ repair, and more broadly many future healthcare problems.
Biomedical Engineering (BME) is an established and yet highly dynamic and evolving discipline which strongly supports the development, advancement and accomplishment of Bioengineering. It provides a broad and strong platform to integrate and advance our knowledge in engineering, biology and medicine, by systematically developing innovative solutions and approaches. This can include novel and better functional implants, algorithm and processes for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases to restore body functions and enhance human health.
You will learn objectively through a solidly-integrated structure which is built upon essential core knowledge supported by a broad spectrum of thematic subjects. The depth and breadth of BME starts in year 2, during which you will develop your chosen thematic focus in biomechanical systems, systems and instrumentation or tissue engineering, supported by quantitative, computing and design skills along with physiology, instrumentation and imaging technology.
In years 3 and 4, you will acquire the necessary management skills and develop essential writing and presentation skills, but more importantly, start to integrate and apply your thematic knowledge to solve practical BME issues systematically by researching into innovative design and solutions through group projects (for example, in the Design of Medical Devices and Implants) and individual research projects supported further by more advanced thematic knowledge and tools, such as computational modelling and experimental techniques.