College of Engineering
Room 2130 Engineering Centers Building, 1550 Engineering Drive, Madison, WI 53706-1609; 608-263-4660; www.bme.wisc.edu
Faculty: Meyerand (chair), Beebe (Mechanical Engineering), Block (Medical Physics), Brace (Medical Physics), Campagnola (Cellular and Molecular Biology), Chesler (Mechanical Engineering), Gong (Materials Science), Kao (Pharmacy), Kreeger, Lakes (Engineering Physics), Li (Cellular and Molecular Biology), Masters, Meyerand (Medical Physics), W. Murphy (Materials Science and Engineering/Pharmacology), Ogle, Thelen (Mechanical Engineering), Tompkins (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Vanderby (Orthopedic Surgery/Mechanical Engineering/Engineering Physics), Webster, Williams
Biomedical engineering (BME) is the application of engineering tools for solving problems in biology and medicine. It is an engineering discipline that is practiced by professionals trained primarily as engineers, who specialize in medical and biological applications. As engineers, BMEs are engaged in design and problem solving. BMEs assert their multidisciplinary expertise for designing new medical instruments and devices, applying engineering principles for understanding and repairing the human body, and for decision making and cost containment using engineering tools. BME is an interdisciplinary profession. BMEs often work in teams consisting of engineers, physicians, biologists, nurses and therapists.
The BME undergraduate degree emphasizes engineering design in preparation for employment in biomedical industries and for graduate study. Novel aspects of the undergraduate program include design projects throughout the curriculum supervised by a faculty mentor and a committee of affiliated faculty, clinicians and biomedical industry professionals; industry cooperatives/internships; continuous advising; flexibility in engineering specialization areas; in program evaluation and improvement; and an option to complete an M.S. degree in just one year after the B.S. degree. The BME curriculum will also enable a student to prepare for medical school in four years.
Biomedical engineering combines engineering expertise with medical needs for the enhancement of health care. It is a branch of engineering in which knowledge and skills are developed and applied to define and solve problems in biology and medicine. Students choose the biomedical engineering field to be of service to people; for the excitement of working with living systems; and to apply advanced technology to the complex problems of medical care. The biomedical engineer is a health care professional, a group which includes physicians, nurses, and technicians. Biomedical engineers may be called upon to design instruments and devices, to bring together knowledge from many sources to develop new procedures, or to carry out research to acquire knowledge needed to solve new problems. Some of the well-established specialty areas within the field of biomedical engineering are bioinstrumentation, biomechanics, biomolecular engineering, radiological engineering, tissue engineering, biomaterials, systems physiology, and rehabilitation engineering. BME students choose a course of study that emphasizes one of the following technical areas:
Biomechanics applies engineering mechanics for understanding biological processes and for solving medical problems at systemic, organ, tissue, cellular, and molecular levels. Biomechanics includes the mechanics of connective tissues (ligament tendon, cartilage and bone) as well as orthopedic devices (fracture fixation hardware and joint prostheses); vascular remodeling (normal and pathological mechanics of pulmonary hypertension); muscle mechanics with injury and healing, human motor control, neuromuscular adaptation (with age, injury and disease); microfluidics for cellular and subcellular applications, cellular motility and adhesion. Rehabilitation engineering focuses on quantifying, adapting, and restoring function for individuals who have lost abilities because of a condition at birth, accident, illness, or aging.
Bioinstrumentation and Micro-electromechanical Systems (BioMEMS) is the application of electronics and measurement principles and techniques to develop devices used in diagnosis and treatment of disease. It involves knowledge in bioelectronics, biosignal processing, or biocomputing. Examples include medical instruments and devices such as the electrocardiogram cardiac pacemaker, blood pressure measurement, hemoglobin oxygen saturation, kidney dialysis, and ventilators. Microelectromechanical systems (BioMEMS) and microscale phenomena is an emerging area of research in biomedical engineering. Many of life's fundamental processes take place on the micro and nano scale. The ability to engineer systems at the cellular scale enables the creation of new tools, instruments and methods for the quantitative study of cell biology. Understanding cell function and behavior is essential for the development of new treatments and therapies. Neuroengineering involves the use of engineering technology to study the function of various neural systems and involves the development of implantable technology and materials for neuroprosthetic and rehabilitation applications or basic neuroscience studies.
Biomaterials are synthetic or biological materials used for the permanent augmentation or replacement of tissues, as well as for applications that require a relatively short duration. A wide range of materials are employed in the construction of biomedical devices such as artificial blood vessels, mechanical heart valves, breast implants, orthopedic joints, dental fillings, and devices such as intravenous catheters and drug delivery vehicles. Understanding the properties of the material is vital in the design of implant materials. The selection of an appropriate material to place in the human body may be one of the most difficult tasks faced by the biomedical engineer. Biomimetics considers the intricate nano, micro, and macro architecture and multifunctional properties of biological systems that are used as the foundation biomimetic material design. Tissue engineering is the application of engineering and the biological sciences to understand structure-function relationships in normal and pathological tissues and to develop biological substitutes to restore, maintain, or improve function.
Cellular Engineering is an interdisciplinary field in which the principles of engineering and life sciences are used to study or manipulate biological processes at a cellular or even molecular level. Cellular engineering also includes adoption of biological processes and mechanisms as templates to develop novel molecules and artificial materials (biomimetics), and the regeneration of biological substitutes aimed at the creation, preservation or restoration of lost organ function with cellular technologies. Stem cell engineering is an area of emphasis. Cellular engineering also includes a broad, systems approach to study how cells respond to surrounding information and use it to make decisions.
Biomedical imaging designs and enhances systems for noninvasive human imaging by measuring the body's response to physical phenomena. Although the field has traditionally concentrated on anatomical imaging for diagnostic information, it is expanding into functional and therapeutic applications. Advanced capabilities result when fundamentals of engineering, physics, and computer technology are applied in conjunction with the expertise of clinical collaborators.
Healthcare and medical informatics blends healthcare management and information systems. Biomedical engineers use medical informatics for improving healthcare outcomes through the application of information technologies. Medical informatics deals with the resources, devices, and methods required to optimize the acquisition, storage, retrieval, and use of information in health and biomedicine. This involves developing strategies for clinical decision making, such as a computer-based system for managing the care of patients or for diagnosing diseases.
These specialty areas frequently depend on each other. Often the biomedical engineer who works in an applied field will use knowledge gathered by biomedical engineers working in more basic areas. For example, the design of an artificial hip is greatly aided by a biomechanical study of the hip. The forces which are applied to the hip can be considered in the design and material selection for the prosthesis. Similarly, the design of systems to electrically stimulate paralyzed muscle to move in a controlled way uses knowledge of the behavior of the human musculoskeletal system. The selection of appropriate materials used in these devices falls within the realm of the biomaterials engineer. These are examples of the interactions among the specialty areas of biomedical engineering.
The 128-credit, four-year BME core curriculum is shown below. At UW-Madison, new students admitted to the College of Engineering are assigned to the pre-engineering classification. All pre-engineering students take the same basic science and math courses and transfer into a degree-granting program as soon as they are eligible, usually in the Sophomore I semester. The admission criteria for the BME Program is above the minimum required for the College of Engineering. Since space is limited, the BME Program will admit only outstanding students.
Designing and close advising are significant aspects of the new undergraduate program. Students take an advising/design project course every semester during the sophomore through senior years. A faculty member advises small teams of students, serving as their advisor/consultant/mentor, to guide them through real-world design projects solicited from clients throughout the university and from industry. This design sequence of six courses culminates in a capstone design of a real world (e.g., rehabilitation engineering) project in the senior year. Potential clients for the design projects are BME researchers, clinicians, and biomedical industry representatives. The clients serve as resources for students in their project, conduct discussions, and expose the students to various aspects of the BME field. This novel approach gives the students an exceptionally balanced education by incorporating clinical and biomedical industry issues. Students can choose to have optional coop experiences with local or national medical device manufacturers, hospitals, or laboratories.
Students transferring from other UW-Madison undergraduate programs or from outside of UW-Madison may need to make up course deficiencies. Consult Bonnie Schmidt, the Transfer Admissions Coordinator, about transfer credits.
Students successfully completing the B.S. degree in BME, with an overall GPA of 3.0 or a GPA of 3.25 for the last 60 credits of the B.S. program are eligible to apply for the 24-credit M.S. degree.
Freshman Year, First Semester, 15 credits
Chem 109 General Chemistry I (i), 5 cr (M)
Math 221 Calculus Analytic Geometry, 5 cr
EPD 155 Basic Communication (a), 2 cr
InterEgr 160 Introduction to Engineering, 3 cr (R)
Second Semester, 15 credits
Chem 327 General Chemistry (k), 4 cr (M)
Math 222 Calculus Analytic Geometry, 5 cr
EMA 201 Statics, 3 cr
Chem 343 Introductory Organic Chemistry (h), 3 cr (M)
Sophomore Year, First Semester, 17 credits
Zoology 101 Animal Biology (c,d), 3 cr (M)
Zoology 102 Animal Biology Lab (c,d), 2 cr (M)
EMA 202 or ME 240 Dynamics, 3 cr
Math 234 Calculus, 3 cr
Phys 202 General Physics, 5 cr
BME 200 Biomedical Engineering Design, 1 cr
Second Semester, 17 credits
Chem 345 Intermediate Organic Chemistry (f,k), 3 cr (M)
ECE 230, Circuit Analysis, 4 cr
CS 302 or CS 310, Computer Programming elective, 3 cr
BME 310 Bioinstrumentation, 3 cr
BME 201 Biomedical Engineering Design, 1 cr
Advanced Math Elective (e), 3 cr
Junior Year, First Semester, 16 credits
Chem 344 Introductory Organic Chemistry Lab (f,k), 2 cr (M)
Physiology 335 Physiology (c), 5 cr
BME 315 Biomechanics, 3 cr
BME 300 Biomedical Engineering Design, 1 cr
Stat 541 or 371, Biostatistics elective, 3 cr
Liberal Studies Elective, 2 cr
Second Semester, 16 credits
Advanced Zoology Elective (c,g), 3 cr (M)
Advanced Zoology Lab Elective (c,f), 2 cr (M)
BME 430 Biological Interactions with Materials, 3 cr
BME 301 Biomedical Engineering Design, 1 cr
Engineering Technical Elective, 3 cr
Liberal Studies Elective, 4 cr
Senior Year, First Semester, 16 credits
EPD 397 Technical Communication, 3 cr
BME 400 Biomedical Engineering Capstone Design Course, 3 cr
Engineering Technical Electives, 6 cr
Liberal Studies Elective, 4 cr
Second Semester, 16 credits
BME 402 Biomedical Engineering Design, 1 cr
Advanced Biomedical Engineering Technical Elective (j), 3 cr
Engineering Technical Elective, 6 cr
Liberal Studies Electives, 6 cr
Total Required Credits: 128
(M) All these courses should be taken for students interested in satisfying premed requirements.
(R) Recommended for all new Freshmen. Students not taking InterEgr 160 are required to take an additional Engineering Technical Elective.
(a) Any approved Comm A course may be substituted for EPD 155.
(c) Students very serious about medical school may select to replace this set of courses with Biocore 301, 303, 304, 323, 324, 333. The Biocore courses have limited enrollment and students must be accepted into this program as freshmen.
(d) Zoology 151 and Zoo 152 may be substituted for Zoo 101 and Zoo 102.
(e) Students choose from Math 319 or 320.
(f) If not interested in satisfying all premed requirements, students may substitute a free elective course for this one.
(g) Students must choose from Human Anatomy (Anatomy 328), Comparative Anatomy (Zoology 430), Introduction to Animal Development (Zoology 470), Cell Biology (Zoology 570), Comparative Physiology (Zoology 611), or Genetics (Zoology 466), or Biological Interactions (Biocore 333).
(h) Chemistry 341 may be substituted by those students who are not interested in satisfying all premed requirements and who expect to take only ones semester of organic chemistry.
(i) Chem 103 and 104 may be substituted for Chem 109.
(j) Students choose from the following list. A course used to fulfill this requirement cannot also be used as part of the student's 12-credit area technical elective requirement: Mathematical and Computer Modeling of Physiological Systems (BME 461), Medical Instrumentation (BME 462), Computers in Medicine (BME 463), Biofluidics (BME 505), Introduction to Tissue Engineering (BME 510), Stem Cell Bioengineering (BME 520), Medical Imaging Systems (BME 530), Introduction to Biological and Medical Microsystems (BME 550), Biochemical Engineering (BME 560), Occupational Ergonomics and Biomechanics (BME 564), Tissue Mechanics (BME 615), Design and Human Disability and Aging (BME 662).
(k) Either Chem 344&345 or Chem 327 (or 329) are required. Premeds should choose to take Chem 344&345. Premeds may also choose to take both Chem 109 and 327 (or 329) or alternately Chem 103&104, since many medical schools specify one year of general chemistry.
BME majors must take 12 credits of area technical electives in one of the following tracks:
- Medical Instrumentation. Choose any ECE courses and/or any from the following list: BME 461, BME 462, BME 463, BME 550. Note: This area encompasses the subareas of Bioelectronics, Bio-computing, and Biosignals and Medical Imaging. These subareas are separated below only for advising purposes so that students can put together a comprehensive set of related courses.
- Medical Imaging. Choose from BME 530, ECE 533, BME 547, BME 567, BME 568, BME 573, BME 574, BME 575.
- Biomechanics. Choose any ME or EMA courses and/or any from the following list: BME 505, BME 564, BME 615.
- Biomaterials/Tissue Engineering. Choose any ChE or MS&E courses and/or any from the following list: BME 320, BME 510, BME 520, BME 560.
- Health Care Systems and Medical Informatics. Choose any IE courses and/or BME 662.
- BME majors must take 6 additional credits of engineering technical electives including InterEgr 160, if selected.
- BME majors must take 15 additional credits of courses from a Suggested Electives List (see department Web site) and/or 300 level-or-above engineering courses, including: Physiology 335, Animal Sci 301, or Biocore 323.
- At least one course selected from the following advanced zoology electives: Anatomy 328, Zoology 430, Zoology 466, Zoology 470, Zoology 570, Zoology 611, or Biocore 333.