Biomedical engineering encompasses both engineering science and applied engineering in order to define and solve problems in medical research and clinical medicine for the improvement of health care. Biomedical engineers must have training in anatomy, physiology, and medicine, as well as in engineering.
Biomedical engineers develop devices and procedures that solve medical and health-related problems by combining their knowledge of biology and medicine with engineering principles and practices.
Many do research, along with life scientists, chemists, and medical scientists, to develop and evaluate systems and products such as artificial organs, prostheses (artificial devices that replace missing body parts), instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems.
Biomedical engineers may also design devices used in various medical procedures, imaging systems such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and devices for automating insulin injections or controlling body functions.
They also aid in the design of safety devices, equipment, and clothing. This includes bullet-proof vests for police and military, fire and chemical suits for firefighters, and form-fitting seats for fire engines. They also address the different needs in clothing and safety harness sizes and capacities between men and women.
Most engineers in this specialty need a sound background in another engineering specialty, such as mechanical or electronics engineering, in addition to specialized biomedical training. Some specialties within biomedical engineering include biomaterials, biomechanics, medical imaging, rehabilitation engineering, and orthopedic engineering.