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Biomedical Engineering

  • Accelerated
  • Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering
  • Erie, Pennsylvania
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  • Biomedical Engineering (BME) expands traditional engineering expertise to analyze and solve problems in biology and medicine, providing an overall enhancement of health care. Biomedical engineers work with health care professionals to design medical devices and equipment that enhance the quality of life for their patients by applying engineering product and process design strategies to medical problems. The role of biomedical engineers includes multiple levels of involvement ranging from choosing an appropriate "off the shelf" system, to modification of commercial approaches, to the design and development of custom systems. Gannon's M.S. BME program is directed especially toward the application of engineering and technology to increase the functional capabilities and quality of life for people with physical disabilities, as well as the study of materials for biomedical applications.

    • Earn your MS-BME degree in as little as 24 credits with our combined 4+1 programs, or 30 credits after Bachelor's Degree.
    • MS-BME graduate students can chose 2 tracks specializing in biomechatronics or biomaterials.
    • Rolling admission allows for multiple program start dates.

    Career Opportunity

    Science fiction is a little less fictional in the day-to-day work of biomedical engineers, who design prosthetic limbs and artificial organs or regenerate tissue. They also create drug formulations, develop pharmaceuticals or collect and analyze biological data, among other work. In this field lies the intersection of biology and engineering skills, which helps crack tough problems in medicine and health. Industries offer great opportunities where graduates might be involved in the design and development of:

    • Prosthesis and orthotic deceives for amputees of impaired individuals.
    • Human-machine interfaces to allow individuals with a paralysis that results in the partial or total loss of use of all limbs and torso to drive a wheelchair or use a computer.
    • Medical devices such as artificial joints, arms and legs as well as cardiac pacemakers, defibrillators, artificial kidneys and hearts.
    • Computer systems to monitor patients during surgery or in intensive care, or to monitor healthy persons in unusual environments, such as astronauts in space or underwater divers at great depth.
    • Sensors to measure movements of impaired and unimpaired individuals.
    • Instruments and devices for therapeutic uses.
    • Mathematical/computer models of physiological systems including biomechanics of injury.
    • Clinical laboratories and other units within the hospital and health care delivery system that utilize advanced technology.
    • Investigation methods for medical imaging systems based on X-rays (computer assisted tomography), isotopes (position emission tomography), magnetic fields (magnetic resonance imaging), ultrasound or newer modalities.
    • Biomaterials and mechanical, transport and biocompatibility properties of implantable artificial materials.

    Internship Opportunities

    Regionally, there is an initiative to establish a "Bio Tech" corridor between Pittsburgh and Cleveland. The Northwest PA Industrial Resource Center is working to include Erie in this effort. The corridor would help to establish connections between manufacturers of biomedical devices, researchers at universities and health care facilities. The Life Sciences Greenhouse in Pittsburgh and BioEnterprise in Cleveland are the two major collaborators on the project. This effort may create new opportunities for internships, research projects and thesis projects for students in the biomedical program.

    Curriculum Highlights

    Biomedical Robotics and Biomimetics: Biomedical robotics focuses on activities such as rehabilitation, training/simulation, manipulation and surgery. These areas currently depend on labor intensive manual procedures performed by highly trained professionals. The goal of the course is to analyze how to improve and transform these operations through teleoperation and automation. Robot-assisted teleoperated systems have the potential to improve the success of the operations by offering precise and intuitive control interfaces to operators. Applications of these new technologies include rehabilitation, medical training and robot-assisted microsurgeries. Furthermore, several aspects of biomimetics will be discussed during the course.  Biomimetics uses nature as an example to build robots that can swim like a fish, fly like a bird or insect, and walk on rough terrain as many quadrupeds.

    Surface Science and Engineering: This course provides an introduction to surface properties of materials and an overview of electron microscopy, surface analysis techniques, adhesion and adhesive bonding technology.  The course emphasizes conceptual understanding as well as practical industrial-related applications of the material. Topics covered include surface properties of materials, surface wettability and surface tension, surface modification treatments, microscopy and surface analysis techniques, adhesion, adhesive bonding and related industrial applications, bond failure investigations and failure analysis.

    Crossing Boundaries

    Bioengineering naturally evolved from partnerships between engineering and medicine. Today, our faculty and students continually reach across traditional boundaries in education and research. The interdisciplinary scope of our research spans six overarching themes: biomaterials; additive and bio-manufacturing, bio-heat and mass transfer; biomechanics and motion-tracking; bio-robotics and biomimetics; rehabilitation engineering and virtual reality.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Advanced knowledge and skills appropriate to biomedical engineering. Analyze data and apply critical thinking skills to identify bio-medical problems, manage risk, or propose data-driven recommendations or solutions.
  2. Knowledge or application of ethical standards within biomedical engineering. Demonstrate appropriate leadership skills while recognizing and assessing moral and ethical components and complexity of challenges faced by the medical and engineering community
  3. Professional communication proficiencies and disseminated information appropriate for biomedical engineering. Display competence with oral, written and graphical communications, appropriate for professional clinical and engineering environments.
  4. Contributions, such as service, to the biomedical engineering profession and/or community.