Changing the Way We Practice Medicine
From designing and building imaging machines and advanced prosthetics to improving processes for genomic testing and drug development and administration, biomedical engineers bridge the medical and engineering worlds to improve healthcare.
UA biomedical engineering undergraduates say that being able to do high-profile interdisciplinary research at a Tier-I research institution is one of the best aspects of the program.
Academic Focus Areas
Biomedical engineering is one of only a few approved College of Engineering pre-med programs. Undergraduate biomedical engineering students study at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center and have three academic focus areas from which to choose.
- Biomaterials: materials-tissue interface and the creation of tissue mimicking systems
- Biomechanics: interaction of dynamic and static forces with the human body and mechanical engineering principles governing motility and stability of cells and organs
- Biosensors and Microtechnologies: biological principles for building disease-detecting sensors using microscopic and nanoscopic systems
UA biomedical engineers are changing the way we practice medicine. Researchers are deeply engaged in the following projects, for example:
- Developing imaging methods that use radio waves, light and ultrasound to visualize diseases
- Creating custom, implantable body parts to restore sight and repair the cardiovascular system
- Implanting sensors to analyze walking, predict frailty, and warn patients when joints and implants are overloaded
- Studying how mechanical properties of the eye work to maintain normal vision, how nerve paralysis might be caused by mechanical stress, and how vascular tissues remodel for proper circulation
- Pushing the limits on nanomedicine with tiny capsules that deliver drugs to different parts of the body and laboratories the size of a penny to detect bacterial and cancer cells
Outside the Classroom
The UA Biomedical Undergraduate Mentoring Program, in which upper-level students provide mentoring and networking opportunities with faculty and alumni, helps ensure students have the tools and resources to succeed academically and professionally. The UA Biomedical Engineering Society hosts activities that help integrate its members into the academic, medical and business sectors.
Modern technology has become an inextricable part of medicine and healthcare. There is a growing need on both the technological and healthcare sides for professionals who understand increasingly complex biomedical problems. Not only is an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering a good foundation from which to study medicine or pursue graduate studies, but also it can lead to a number of exciting careers, including medical systems and product design, biomedical equipment testing and support, and clinical training, among others.