Explore Bioengineering (BS)
Bioengineers traditionally create devices or tools using mechanical, chemical and electrical engineering.
- Our faculty and students use ultrasound technology to better image cardiovascular disease.
- We develop noninvasive ultrasound therapies—for example, to stop internal bleeding.
- We improve prosthetic limbs for amputees.
Bioengineers today do even more. We combine biological and nonbiological materials to create tools at the molecular level for diagnosing and treating disease.
- We develop nanoparticles that use biological targeting molecules to bind to and deliver a high dose of drug specifically to cancer cells, minimizing the side effects of chemotherapy.
- Our faculty and students integrate biological sensor molecules into microfluidic devices for rapid and inexpensive diagnostics for infectious diseases in the developing world.
- We engineer stem cells to form replacement tissues and organs.
Bioengineers also expand the understanding of biology by asking basic science questions.
- Our faculty and students study the mechanical response of adhesive molecules to understand how cells bind in blood coagulation or during bacterial infections.
As the field of bioengineering grows, the knowledge a bioengineer needs to be successful grows. It is no longer sufficient to add a few biology or physiology courses to a more established engineering major. Instead, a bioengineer must understand how biological and nonbiological components come together to create new properties. They need to know how to re-engineer biological components and complete systems. More and more bioengineers incorporate biological molecules into their toolbox—for example, as contrast agents for molecular imaging.