AskDefine | Define bioengineering

Dictionary Definition

bioengineering n : the branch of engineering science in which biological science is used to study the relation between workers and their environments [syn: biotechnology, ergonomics]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The applications of the principles of engineering to any of the biological or medical sciences

Related terms

Extensive Definition

Bioengineering (also encompases biomedical engineering and medical engineering) is an application of engineering principles and design to challenges in human health and medicine. Bioengineering is related to Biological Engineering, the latter including applications of engineering principles to the full spectrum of living systems, from microbes and plants to ecosystems. Bioengineering exploits new developments in molecular biology, biochemistry, microbiology, and neuroscience as well as sensing, electronics, and imaging, and applies them to the design of medical devices, diagnostic equipment, biocompatible materials, and other important medical needs. Bioengineering couples engineering expertise with knowledge in biological sciences such as genetics, molecular biology, protein chemistry, cytology, neurobiology, immunology, physiology, and pharmacology. Bioengineers work closely with, but are not limited to, medical doctors and other health professionals to develop technical solutions to current and emerging health concerns.
Bioengineering is not limited to the medical field. Bioengineers have the ability to exploit new opportunities and solve problems within the domain of complex systems. They have a great understanding of living systems as complex systems which can be applied to many fields including entrepreneurship.
Much as other engineering disciplines also address human health (e.g., prosthetics in mechanical engineering), bioengineers can apply their expertise to other applications of engineering and biotechnology, including genetic modification of plants and microorganisms, bioprocess engineering, and biocatalysis. However, the Main Fields of Bioengineering may be categorised as:
The word was invented by British scientist and broadcaster Heinz Wolf in 1954.
"Bioengineering" is also the term used to describe the use of vegetation in civil engineering construction.
The term bioengineering covers a range of applications, including surface soil protection, slope stabilisation, watercourse and shoreline protection, windbreaks, vegetation barriers including noise barriers and visual screens, and the ecological enhancement of an area.
Vegetation can affect the stability of slopes by modifying the hydrological regime in the soil. The root systems of woody perennial species are considered one of the most beneficial types of vegetation for bioengineering, due to the ability of the strong woody root systems to penetrate the soil at depth, providing an anchoring system to the substrate, whilst binding the soil particles together, thus increasing the shear strength of the slope. Roots of vegetation also decrease the soil water content by water uptake through the root system. The higher the rate of evapotranspiration of the plant, the more water will be required, so larger plants with high rates of evapotranspiration are favoured from a bioengineering perspective.
Species often used in bioengineering applications include willow, poplar, grasses and native shrub species.
bioengineering in Arabic: هندسة حيوية
bioengineering in Catalan: Enginyeria biològica
bioengineering in Hebrew: מהנדס ביוטכנולוגיה
bioengineering in Polish: Bioinżynieria
bioengineering in Portuguese: Bioengenharia
bioengineering in Serbian: Биоинжењеринг
bioengineering in Turkish: Biyomühendislik
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