Specialisations - Biomedical and Biotechnology
Biomedical engineering and bioengineering involve finding solutions to medical problems, often using technology, electronics, or mechanics.
There are not many specialisations in either of the field as the courses themselves are one of the specialisations of biology. Still, we've jotted down a few:
Biotechnology, although similar to biomedical engineering in terms of fundamental concepts and knowledge, but the application lies in numerous diverse fields like agriculture, oils, food sciences and the new favourite which is DNA analysis and bio-informatics. This highly diverse field will require you to take up courses like cell biology, biochemistry and molecular biology. Gene splicing and analysis of DNA, its components, genetics and gene mutation is the in-thing as of now and cutting-edge research is carried out in these fields.
There will also be courses which require you to deal with plants, animals and their usage in general. Core engineering courses like fluids and mass transfer, kinetics for bioprocessing and bioreactor design generally overlap with chemical engineering.
Undergrad in biotechnology is a must in most courses but there could be some courses where you may be allowed to take up the Masters after an undergrad in chemical engineering. In case of specializing in bio-informatics, programming skills will be greatly in need. Check out the knowledge of biology required for the various colleges you will apply to.
The industrial recruiters are similar to biomedical engineering. Obviously, the roles and functions may slightly differ based on what you have specialised in. Research scope is present in the fields like computational biology, computational modelling, agricultural chemistry, green chemistry and other environment related fields.
This is quite simply put a multi-disciplinary field at the heart of which lies the subject most engineers hate - BIOLOGY. There are numerous sub-branches students can concentrate on in the graduate studies.
Bioinstrumentation and medical imaging are two closely related fields which involve creating electronic equipment and other instruments for medical usage and usage of light, sound and radiation for processing medical images. You will basically be constructing stuff like ECG machines and sonographs. Study of biomaterials and creating synthetic ones for usage is another important aspect overlapping with materials science.
Biomechanics involves analysing mechanics and motions of living organisms and correcting the flaws in them. A typical example of a biomechanist is one who checks to see the legitimacy of a bowling action.
Tissue engineering requires large amounts of knowledge of biology and involves putting replacing living cells with synthetic ones.
Lastly, the aspect of drug delivery technology involves improving the drugs are administered and improving the instruments required to do so.
For someone looking to specialise in biomedical electronics, an undergrad in ECE/EXTC/Electronics will suffice but if you intend to deviate into other fields then it’s essential that you have done a specialised course like biomedical or biotechnology. Moreover, proficiency in mathematics and programming is a must apart from basic knowledge of biology which you will require.
Jobs are aplenty in biomedical or pharmaceutical companies which create products and give supporting infrastructure to the medical field. The companies which are hot favourites are GE Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson and P&G. Research scope is present in fields like biomedical optics and photonics, biosurfaces, neuroengineering and multi-scale biomechanics.