What Is Bioengineering? A Guide for Beginners

What Is Bioengineering

What is bioengineering, and how does it impact your daily life? If you’re sure about the answers to these questions, then this article may help.

Bioengineers are the architects of our future selves. But understanding what they do and how they do it can be challenging. Let’s take a closer look at the biological engineering field to learn more about this fascinating position.

What Is Bioengineering?

Biological engineering, or bioengineering, is the confluence of practical engineering processes and biological systems. In short, it’s a field where engineering and biology meet.

But to better understand the concept of biological engineering, it may be helpful to break down the study into its two essential components. Let’s quickly review both biology and engineering to define them more clearly.

What Is Biology?

Biology is the study of life and its many systems. For this reason, it is often referred to as “life sciences.”

In this way, biology is one of the most crucial of the natural science fields. It helps us understand life on the molecular, organism, and community levels.

There are quite a few subsections of biology, and it’s not uncommon to find specialists that devote their entire lives to a single biological field of study. Some of the most common types of biologists include:

  • Microbiologist
  • Biostatistician
  • Marine Biologist

Zoology (the study of animal life) is a considerable subsection of biology. Botany (the study of plants) is also a major part of the biological sciences. As such, zoologists and ecologists are also considered biologists.

What Is Engineering?

Engineering is a field of study relating to problem-solving. When defining engineering, it’s impossible not to mention the primary types of engineering. For example, engineering students can choose to study:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering

All four of these significant subtypes are dedicated to a specific type of problem-solving. Civil engineers attempt to plan city development to reduce traffic, pollution, and housing crises. 

Chemical engineers, on the other hand, tend to focus on creating new or improved chemical solutions. These engineers work on developing everything from shampoo to poisons.

Mechanical and electrical engineers tend to focus more on physics. A mechanical engineer may research how to make a building more structurally sound, and the electrical engineer may plan the new wiring.

Overall, engineers solve technical problems using their understanding of mathematics, natural sciences, and economics. They are often natural problem-solvers with exceptional organizational skills.

How Do They Combine Into Bioengineering?

In many cases, bioengineering refers to biomedical engineering. Artificial organs or human tissues are all products of modern biomedical engineering technologies and innovations.

For example, Dr. Kenneth R. Chien is a biological engineer studying the effects of stem cells on organ tissue. Tissue regeneration and artificial organ growth are two primary aims of the biomedical field.

This research is critical to the improvement of human life. However, it doesn’t result from a purely biological study. Instead, stem cell and artificial organ research are the results of biological and engineering principles.

Think of it like this: Engineers seek to find the most efficient solution to any given problem. If you’ve got a leak in your roof, an engineer may perform research to discover the cause of the leak, then recommend a solution.

This solution could be new roof shingles or a change in the roof’s angle, but the outcome is the same: No more leak. Bioengineers also seek to solve problems efficiently, but the problems they face are biological in nature.

What Is Biomedical Engineering?

Though we’ve briefly explored the notion that biological engineers often work in a biomedical setting or capacity, we’ve not yet touched on what ‘biomedical’ means.

As you might imagine, ‘biomedical’ is a combination of biology and medicine. Biomedical engineers are individuals that focus heavily on the healing aspect of biological engineering.

Biomedical engineers tend to have strong backgrounds in chemical engineering, organic chemistry, and mechanical engineering. This knowledge set helps them to develop potentially life-saving drugs and medical devices.

What Do Bioengineers Do?

Now it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty of what a bioengineer does. But it’s crucial to note that the precise tasks of any given bioengineer are bound to differ depending on their education and employment.

For example, a bioengineer with a background in statistics may work with modeling software to gather data. They can then use the data from their projections to keep clients, colleagues, and employers informed. 

But a bioengineer with a specialization in mechanical engineering may spend their time inventing new mechanical devices or medical equipment. These innovations are used to help improve a person’s quality of life or health.

Artificial hearts and heart valves were invented and improved by bioengineers. The same can be said of artificial skin grafts, stem cell dental implants, and many other biomedical advances.

Just as with other types of engineers, the primary focus of a bioengineer to improve the world around them. But to do this, they need a comprehensive understanding of both basic engineering principles and biological trends.

Learn More About Biological Engineering

What is bioengineering? Biological engineering is a field of study that utilizes the analytical, problem-solving nature of engineering and applies it to biological processes, organisms, and systems.

A biological engineer’s primary role is to upgrade and invent devices that can improve a living organism’s quality of life. They may also be tasked with creating or improving software related to the biomedical field.

If you’re interested in learning more about health and lifestyle, be sure to read our related articles now!