What is Bioengineering?

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  • Written By: Jason C. Chavis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2019
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The principle engineering applications involving the fields of biology and medicine are known as bioengineering. The field addresses various challenges that exist within the biological scientific community and also encompasses all aspects of biomedical engineering and biotechnology. Basically, anything that involves technology and engineering as well as living systems is considered bioengineering.

A number of different methodologies have been developed and implemented in an effort to achieve the best results in biological engineering. Each of these methods can be applied to medical equipment, diagnostic devices, bio-materials and other medical and biological needs. The varieties of methodologies have supported the development of different types of job fields for bioengineers.

In the general field of life sciences, bioengineering is relevant with a number of disciplines. Molecular biology uses bioengineering to aid in the study of molecules in the sciences of chemistry and genetics. Biochemistry and cytology utilize the principles to assist with studies of a living organism's chemical processes including the cellular components and structure. The applications are also implemented in the study of microorganisms known as microbiology.

The medical field uses bioengineering to identify drug interaction in the field of pharmacology. The biomedical science of immunology utilizes it to help analyze the immune system and disorders with physiology. Neuroscience also makes use of the processes in the study of the brain.


The concept of the science was coined by a British broadcaster named Heinze Wolff in 1954. Since that time, a number of advancements in the field have occurred and become commonplace in the world of human health care. Genetic engineering has made considerable progress in the understanding of the hereditary origins of many diseases. Also, the concept of artificial organs and limbs stems heavily from bioengineering. An example of this is the artificial heart and prosthetic limbs, which are directly identified as being part of the field.

Other applications for the field of science include the development of genetically modified foods. The simple adjustment of vegetation to produce more efficient and substantial yields has revolutionized the food industry. Other civil engineering construction also implement the engineering principles to assist with windbreaks, water runoff protection, surface soil protection and other ecological enhancements.

According to the National Institute of Health, bioengineering is one of the fastest-growing fields of science and medicine. The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that bioengineering and biomedical engineering jobs with increase by approximately 7,600 each year until 2015. This is nearly a 32 percent increase each year. Various industries such as manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, health care and government are all estimated to have a larger need for people knowledgeable about this field.


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