Biomedical Engineering In Action
Biomedical engineering is a vast field, and involves everything from the development of new hip or knee joints to revolutionary drug delivery using Nanomaterials. A Biomedical engineer strives to enhance the treatment and experience of medical patients.
Biomedical engineers apply emerging technology to the design and manufacture of medical systems and equipment. They could invent a new diagnostic device – like a Bluetooth ECG that feeds information back to the patient’s smart phone. It could be a new prosthetic arm controlled by brainwaves read through a hat worn by the patient, a smaller, longer-life pacemaker or an artificial kidney.
Whatever it is, a Biomedical engineer combines high level of problem-solving skills with engineering knowledge and a fascination of the human body to improve health outcomes across the board.
Life-changing Biomedical Engineering Innovations
Biomedical engineers have been responsible for many of the world’s life-changing innovations. Here’s a selection of technologies that have made a life changing difference in terms of quality in the lives of many:
AbioCor Artificial Heart
In July 2001, a group of US surgeons implanted a new-generation artificial heart in a patient. Previous hearts had been cumbersome with the patient bedridden, constantly connected to a huge console. The AbiCor unit is completely self-contained within the body so the patient can be mobile.
The Camera Pill was developed as an alternative to the Endoscope, for detecting early stage Esophageal and other digestive tract cancers. The pill, small enough to be swallowed, takes quality, colour images as it travels along the digestive tract. The fact that it is so small means there is no need of Anesthesia and sedation. Find out more about the camera pill.
iLIMB Bionic Hand
An innovation in Prosthetics, the iLIMB Bionic Hand was invented by David Gow in 2007. It was the world’s first artificial hand with five individually powered fingers and meant the user could grip many different shaped objects. Find out more about the iLIMB Bionic Hand.
Berkeley Bionics eLEGS
eLEGS is an easy to wear, artificially intelligent, Bionic Exoskeleton that was released in 2010. An innovation promising to change the lives of Paraplegics and those suffering mobility disorders, it allows them to stand and walk upright with little physical exertion. Find out more about Berkeley Bionics eLEGS.
Dr Kenneth Matsumura developed a totally new approach in creating an Artificial Liver – he used liver cells collected from animals rather than relying solely on a complex machine to carry out the liver’s functions. It was named Time magazine’s Invention of the Year in 2001. Find out more about the Bio-Artificial LIver.