K. L. BILLIAR, HEAD; K. TROY, ASSOCIATE HEAD
PROFESSORS: K. Billiar, B. Faber, S. Ji, G. D. Pins, K. Troy
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR: D. Albrecht, J. Coburn
ASSISTANT PROFESSORS: D. Alatalo, Y. Ding, A. Lammert, S. Mensah, Z.A. Wei, C. Whittington, H. Zhang
ASSOCIATE TEACHING PROFESSORS: S. Ambady, A. Z. Reidinger
ASSISTANT TEACHING PROFESSORS: T. Afzal, J. Obayemi
PROFESSOR OF PRACTICE: R. L. Page
ASSOCIATED FACULTY: S. Olson (MA), H. Ault (TGS), C. Brown (ME), N. Burnham (PH), E. Clancy (ECE), T. Dominko (BB), L. Fichera (RBE), G. Fischer (RBE), M. Fofana (ME), U. Guler (ECE), Y. Liu (ME), R. Ludwig (ECE), L. Polizzotto (BME), S. Roberts (CHE), A. Sabuncu (ME), A. Salifu (ME), B. Savilonis (ME), S. Shivkumar (ME), E. Stewart (CHE), J. Sullivan (ME), D. Tang (MA), P. Weathers (BB), Q. Wen (PH), E. Young (CHE), Y. Zheng (ME)
EMERITUS PROFESSORS: Y. Mendelson, R. A. Peura
The Biomedical Engineering Department prepares students for rewarding careers in the health care industry or professional programs in biomedical research or medicine.
The educational objectives of the Biomedical Engineering Program, which embrace the WPI educational philosophy, are that our alumni 1) have successful careers, 2) apply sound science and engineering principles to impact the field of biomedical sciences in a socially and ethically responsible manner and, 3) will meet the changing needs of the profession through lifelong learning.
The Biomedical Engineering Program has established the following student outcomes in support of the educational objectives of our department. The general and specific program criteria meet the requirements for Biomedical Engineering accreditation by ABET (The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). Accordingly, students graduating from the Biomedical Engineering Program will demonstrate:
- An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems at the interface of engineering and biology by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
- An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
- An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
- An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
- An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
- An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data from living and non-living systems, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
- An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies
- An understanding of biology and physiology
- An ability to address the problems associated with the interaction between living and non-living materials and systems.
Biomedical engineering is the application of engineering principles to the solution of problems in biology and medicine for the enhancement of health care. Students choose this field in order:
- to be of service to people;
- to work with living systems; and
- to apply advanced technology to solve complex problems of medicine.
Biomedical engineers may be called upon to design instruments and devices, to integrate knowledge from many sources in order to develop new procedures, or to pursue research in order to acquire knowledge needed to solve problems. The major culminates in a Major Qualifying Project, which requires that each student apply his or her engineering background to a suitable biomedical problem, generally in association with the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, one of the local hospitals, or a medical device company.
Each student’s program will be developed individually with an advisor to follow the Biomedical Engineering program chart. WPI requirements applicable to all students must also be met. See page 7.
Biomedical engineering is characterized by the following types of activity in the field:
- Uncovering new knowledge in areas of biological science and medical practice by applying engineering methods;
- Applying engineering principles to identify unmet needs in the medical and biological fields and implement high impact innovative solutions;
- Designing and developing patient-related instrumentation, biosensors, prostheses, biocompatible materials, and diagnostic and therapeutic devices; and bioengineered tissues and organs;
- Analyzing, designing, and implementing improved health-care delivery systems and apparatus in order to improve patient care and reduce health-care costs in contexts ranging from individual doctors’ offices to advanced clinical diagnostic and therapeutic centers.
The modeling of biological systems is an example of applying engineering analytical techniques to better understand the dynamic function of biological systems. The body has a complex feedback control system with multiple subsystems that interact with each other. The application of modeling, computer simulation, and control theory provides insights into the function of these bodily processes.
Recently, there has been increased emphasis on the application of the biomedical engineering principles embodied in the third and fourth areas listed above. Examples of the third area include:
- designing and developing tissues and organs;
- development of implantable biomaterials;
- design of an implantable power source;
- design of transducers to monitor the heart’s performance;
- development of electronic circuitry to control the system;
- bench and field testing of devices in animals;
- application of new technology to rehabilitation engineering.
The fourth area involves closer contact with the patient and health-care delivery system. This area is commonly referred to as Clinical Engineering. The engineer in the clinical environment normally has responsibility for the medical instrumentation and equipment including:
- writing procurement specifications in consultation with medical and hospital staff;
- inspecting equipment for safe operation and conformance with specifications;
- training medical personnel in proper use of equipment;
- testing within hospital for electrical safety; and
- adaptation of instrumentation to specific applications.
Biomedical engineering projects are available in WPI’s Goddard Hall and Higgins Laboratories, the Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center at Gateway Park as well as at the affiliated institutions previously listed.
The second digit for Biomedical Engineering course numbers is coded as follows:
0 — Bioinstrumentation, Biosignals, Introduction
1 — Physiology
2 — Bioelectric, Bioimaging
3 — Design
4 — Communication
5 — Biomechanics, Biological Systems
6 — Biofluids
7 — Cellular and molecular
8 — Biomaterials
NOTE: Courses listed in previous catalogs with “BE” as the prefix and the same course number as below are considered to be the SAME COURSE.
Biomedical Engineering Major,Bachelor of Science
This course uses lectures, demonstrations, projects and scientific literature readings on the major branches of biomedical engineering. A series of guest lectures, including device demonstrations introduce students to the many branches of biomedical engineering. Course work for BME 1001 is based on small, creative projects focusing on primary literature, department research, global health, and biomedical engineering as a whole.
This course will introduce basic and essential programming skills in modern engineering program language, Matlab, to all BME students. The course will include basic programming syntax, control structures, data structures (vectors, matrices, structures, cell arrays), 2D images, 3D image volumes, string manipulations, File I/O, figure plotting/visualization, image display, and basic graphical user interface (GUI) design. NOTE: The course does not count for engineering credits, but will fulfill the computer programming requirement for BME students.
This beginning course provides important background for all science and engineering disciplines regarding the capabilities and limitations of materials relevant to the development of medical devices. Students are introduced to the fundamental theme of materials science — structureproperty-processing relationships in biomaterials, specifically metals, ceramics, and plastics. Aspects of material structure range from the atomic to microstructural and macroscopic scales. In turn, these structural features determine the properties of materials. In particular, this course investigates connections between structure and mechanical properties, and how working and thermal treatments may transform structure and thus alter material properties. This knowledge is then applied to material selection decisions for the design of medical devices and engineered tissues. Students who have previously received credit for ES 2001 or BME 2811 may not receive credit for BME 2001.
prior knowledge of college-level chemistry and physics.
This course is an introduction to the instrumentation methods used to measure, store and analyze the signals produced by biomedical phenomena. The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the basic design and implementation of techniques for measuring a broad scope of signal types for molecular, cellular and physiological research. Sensors used for acquiring electrical, magnetic, optical/spectral and chemical signals will be covered. Topics include the underlying physics and chemistry of biomedical signals, biosensor types and usage, amplification and signal conditioning, data acquisition methods, and sources of artifact and noise.
PH 1120/21, CH 1010 or equivalent.
To learn the fundamentals of basic signal processing methods as well as linear time series analyses framework for modeling and mining biological data. Tools of data analysis include statistics for determining significance of a result, Laplace and Z transforms, convolution, correlation, sampling theorem, Fourier transform, transfer function, coherence function and various filtering techniques. The goal of this course is to offer the students an opportunity to learn and model and simulate static and dynamic physiological systems using linear systems theory. First principles of chemistry and physics are used to quantitatively model physiological systems. Most of the models are based on linear systems theory. Simulations and estimation are performed using Matlab and already-developed software.
BME 2210, CS 1004 or equivalent.
This is an introductory course that addresses the analysis of basic mechanical and structural elements relevant to biomechanics. Topics include general concepts of stresses, strains, and material properties of biomaterials and biological materials including viscoelasticity. Also covered are stress concentrations, two-dimensional stress transformations, principal stresses, and Mohr’s circle. Applications are to uniaxially loaded bars, circular shafts under torsion, bending and shearing and deflection of beams. Both statically determinate and indeterminate problems are analyzed.
Differential (MA 1021) and integral (MA 1022) calculus, vector algebra (MA 1023), physics mechanics (PH 1110 or PH 1111), and statics (ES 2501). Students who have previously received credit for BME 2511 or ES 2502 may not receive credit for BME 2502.
This course is an introduction to fundamental material and energy balances related to the field of Biomedical Engineering. The fundamentals of bioprocess engineering calculations and data analysis, and bioengineering processes and process variables will be covered. Students will learn to identify a system, define boundary conditions, and characterize the system processes to generate appropriate material and energy balances using the principles of conservation of mass and energy. Fundamentals and applications in the human body and biomanufacturing are examined. Specific examples may include an organ, multiple organs or the entire body, bioprocess instrumentation, individual or groups of cells, cell culture bioreactors, tissue engineered scaffolds, and drug delivery systems.
Basic knowledge of differential and integral calculus (e.g. MA 1021 and MA 1022 or equivalent), human biology (e.g., BB 1025 or equivalent), and chemistry (e.g. CH 1010 and CHI020 or equivalent).
This laboratory-based course is designed to develop hands-on experimental skills relevant to the selection and application of various sensors used to acquire biomedical signals.
BME 2210, ECE 2010, ECE 2019 or equivalent. Students who have previously taken BME 3011 may not receive credit for this course.
This laboratory-based course is designed to develop hands-on experimental skills relevant to the design and application of analog instrumentation commonly used to acquire biomedical signals.
BME 2210, ECE 2010, ECE 2019 or equivalent. Students who have previously taken BME 3011 may not receive credit for this course.
This course is an introduction to the computational methods used to extract and analyze the signals produced by biomedical phenomena. The goal of this course is to familiarize the student with implementing the most common algorithmic approaches for data analysis used in biomedical engineering. Coursework will cover programming for topics such as peak detection, spectral analysis and the fast Fourier transform FFT method, auto-regression analysis, polynomial trend removal, and signal filtering methods.
A first course in MATLAB such as BME 2211, BME 1004 or equivalent.
This course provides students with an understanding of mammalian physiology and the engineering aspects of different physiological systems. The course will have both a lecture and laboratory portion. The laboratory portion will provide the students with the ability to analyze and interpret data from living systems, which is a required ABET program criteria for student majoring in Biomedical Engineering. The course will focus on a number of organ systems that may include cardiovascular, respiratory, and renal. Engineering principles that include biomechanical, bioelectrical, and biofluids will be applied to physiological systems.
A knowledge of Cell Biology (such as BB 2550), biomechanics and biotransport (such as BME 2502), and signal analysis (such as BME 2210) or equivalent.
This course provides students with an understanding of the structure, function and pathologies of physiological systems such as the cardiovascular, respiratory, and the renal system. The course will teach the mechanisms of organ function from an engineering standpoint that help students understand the principles and techniques employed in designing devices used to treat or correct pathological conditions in these organ systems. Students will gain a better understanding of the interface between physiology and device design used in medical devices such as stents, catheters, pacemakers, ECG machines, and other devices as applicable. Special emphasis will be given to group discussions where students will discuss disease pathologies and review the devices used to treat those conditions. Students will be encouraged to review the device design and suggest improvements for better patient outcomes. Other topics covered in the course include regenerative medicine, biomedical ethics and the concept of “Bioinspired design”. This course will not count towards the “Biomedical Engineering and Engineering” course requirement for Biomedical Engineering majors. Students who have received credit for BME3111 cannot receive credit for BME3112.
A knowledge of Human biology (such as BB 1025 or equivalent) and
Cell Biology (such as BB 2550 or equivalent).
Students are guided through the open-ended, real-world, design process starting with the project definition, specification development, management, team interactions and communication, failure and safety criteria, progress reporting, marketing concepts, documentation and technical presentation of the final project outcome. The course will include a significant writing component, will make use of computers, and hands-on design explorations. Students who have previously received credit for BME 2300 may not receive credit for BME 3300.
This laboratory course will help students increase their knowledge of the mechanics of the musculoskeletal system. Students will gain understanding of the course materials and technical skills through the combined hands-on application of state-of-the-art biomechanical testing equipment and computer simulation modules towards solving authentic problems involving balance, strength, and movement.
Statics (ES 2501) and dynamics (ES 2503). Students who have previously taken BME3504 may not receive credit for this course.
This laboratory-driven solid biomechanics course provides hands-on experience in characterizing the mechanical properties of biological tissues such as bone, tendons, ligaments, skin, and blood vessels and their synthetic analogs. Students gain an in-depth understanding of the course material by performing uniaxial tension and compression, bending, and torsion tests on hard and soft tissues using industry-standard testing equipment and completing mechanical and statistical analysis of the data. Some sections of this course may be offered as Writing Intensive (WI).
A solid knowledge of mechanics of materials (ES2502) and material science (ES 2001). Students who have previously taken BME3504 may not receive credit for this course.
This laboratory-driven solid biomechanics course provides hands-on experience in characterizing the mechanical properties of biological tissues such as bone, tendons, ligaments, skin, and blood vessels and their synthetic analogs, in the context of an authentic challenge. Students gain an in-depth understanding of the course material from personal observations, measurements, and analysis of biological tissues and synthetic replacement/fixation materials using industry-standard testing equipment. A challenge-based laboratory project will be assigned which will require the students to determine and execute effective test methods at their own pace in a team setting and communicate their findings effectively. Some sections of this course may be offered as Writing Intensive (WI).
Ability to independently perform tensile and bending tests using a uniaxial mechanical testing machine and to perform mechanical and statistical analysis of test data (BME3505). Students who have previously taken BME3504 may not receive credit for this course.
This laboratory-driven transport course provides hands-on experience in measuring heat, flow, and transport in biologically-relevant systems. Students gain an in-depth understanding of the course material from personal observations and measurements on model cardiovascular systems and connective tissues. Challenge-based laboratory projects will be assigned which will require the students to determine and execute effective test methods at their own pace in a team setting and communicate their findings effectively. Systems modeled may include blood vessels, stenotic vessels, and aneurysms. Connective tissues tested may include blood vessels and skin.
Basic Chemistry (CH 1010, CH 1020), Basic Physics (PH 1010), Material Science (ES 2001 or BME 2001), stress analysis (ES 2502 or BME 2502) and a knowledge of cell biology (BB 2550), or equivalent.
This course provides an overview of the modeling and analysis of fluid and mass transport processes related to the field of Biomedical Engineering and Bioprocess Engineering. Fundamentals and applications of hydrostatics, conservation of mass and momentum in modeling and analysis of biological fluid transport processes in the human body and bioprocess equipment are presented and discussed. It includes modeling and analysis of blood and biological fluid flow through blood vessels, capillary beds and bioprocess equipment. Modeling and analysis of diffusive and convective mass transport in biological conduits and membranes, selective permeability and nutrient/waste exchange in parenchymal tissues with transport barriers unique to biological systems such as intact and fenestrated endothelium. Basic concepts of pharmacokinetics such as plasma clearance, volume of distribution of drugs and other biological solutes in body tissues are also covered. Surface adsorption and membrane permeability concepts are covered in the context of biological soluted exchange in capillaries and bioprocess operations. Students may not receive credit for both BME 3610 and BME 36IX.
Basic knowledge of differential and integral calculus (e.g., MA 2051 or equivalent), fundamental knowledge of biological system function or cell function (e.g., BB 1035 or BB 2550 or equivalent), fundamentals of data analysis and process modeling such as some of the topics covered in BME 2211 or BME 2610 or ChE 2011, or equivalent.
This laboratory-driven course provides hands-on experience in the design, fabrication and characterization of biomaterials for medical applications. Students will use synthetic and natural polymer materials to fabricate a scaffold for applications such as tissue engineering, wound healing or controlled drug delivery. A challenge-based laboratory project will be assigned which will require the students to design a biomaterial scaffold that meets specific design criteria, and quantitatively assess the properties of this scaffold to evaluate how well the criteria were met. Design criteria may include mechanical strength, biocompatibility, porosity, degradation rate, or release kinetics. Students will complete the project at their own pace in a team setting and communicate their findings effectively.
Basic chemistry (CH 1010 and CH 1020) and a knowledge of material science (ES 2001) or equivalent.
This laboratory-driven course provides hands-on experience in the application of bioengineering to control cellular processes. Students will be challenged to design an intervention to manipulate a specific cellular process (adhesion, proliferation, migration, differentiation) and use modern cellular and molecular biology tools to assess and refine their approach. Laboratory exercises will provide an overview of cell culture technique, microscopy and molecular probes, quantification of cell proliferation and migration, and assessment of cellular differentiation in the context of the assigned projects. Students will complete the project at their own pace in a team setting and communicate their findings effectively.
Basic chemistry (CH 1010 and CH 1020) and a solid knowledge of cell biology (BB 2550) or equivalent.
Introduction to biomedical signal processing and analysis. Fundamental techniques to analyze and process signals that originate from biological sources: ECGs, EMGs, EEGs, blood pressure signals, etc. Course integrates physiological knowledge with the information useful for physiologic investigation and medical diagnosis and processing. Biomedical signal characterization, time domain analysis techniques (transfer functions, convolution, auto- and cross-correlation), frequency domain (Fourier analysis), continuous and discrete signals, deterministic and stochastic signal analysis methods. Analog and digital filtering. This course will be offered in 2022-23, and in alternating years thereafter.
ECE 2311, ECE 2312, or equivalent.
This course builds on the fundamental knowledge of instrumentation and sensors. Lectures cover the principles of designing, building and testing analog instruments to measure and process biomedical signals. The course is intended for students interested in the design and development of electronic bioinstrumentation. Emphasis is placed on developing the student’s ability to design a simple medical device to perform real-time physiological measurements.
BME 3012, BME 3013, ECE 2010 or ECE 2019.
This course provides an understanding of fundamental principles of various biomedical imaging modalities as well as computational image analysis. Topics include: light microscopy, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, computational image analysis, and review of computer vision theory and the relevant principles of physics. Course work uses examples from light microscopy, computed tomography, X-ray radiography, and magnetic resonance imaging. Familiarity with a high-level programming language is recommended. This course will be offered in 2022-23, and in alternating years thereafter.
This course guides students through the engineering design process during the first term of their MQP to aid them in fulfilling their capstone design requirement. The course focuses on developing a revised client statement based on the objectives, constraints, and functions of the design. Methods for concept generation, concept selection and development strategy will be covered. In addition, project planning tools, business plans, ethics, and design for manufacturability and sustainability will be covered. BME 4300 cannot be used to fulfill graduate degree requirements.
Principles of engineering design such as BME 3300 or equivalent. Course should be taken concurrently with the MQP. Students who have taken BME 430X may not get credit for BME 4300.
This course will focus on using computational modeling approaches, particularly, finite element models, to simulate, validate, and analyze the biomechanics involved in soft and hard tissue deformation and stress/strain analysis in quasi-static or impact conditions. First, students will be introduced to the process of setting specific analytical goals and establishing the need for a specific quantitative biomechanical model. Then, basic underlying principles of forward and inverse static/dynamics simulations are covered. Finally, multi-scale and multi-step models will be introduced. During the process, material models and property assignment will also be covered. Model building, testing, optimization and validation with experimental data will be discussed. An introduction to tools and techniques used in computational biomechanics will be provided.
Students may not receive credit for both BME 450X and BME 4503.
This course will be offered in 2022-23, and in alternating years thereafter.
Basic knowledge of solid mechanics (ES 2501, ES 2502, ES 2503, ME 3501 or equivalent), differential and integral calculus (i.e., MA 2051 or equivalent), MATLAB programming (BME 2211 Data Analysis).
This course emphasizes the applications of mechanics to describe the material properties of living tissues. It is concerned with the description and measurements of these properties as related to their physiological functions. Emphasis on the interrelationship between biomechanics and physiology in medicine, surgery, body injury and prostheses. Topics covered include: Review of basic mechanics, stress, strain, constitutive equations and the field equations, viscoelastic behavior, and models of material behavior. The measurement and characterization of properties of tendons, skin, muscles and bone. Biomechanics as related to body injury and the design of prosthetic devices.
Mechanics (ES 2501, ES 2502, ES 2503, ME 3501), Mathematics (MA 2051).
This course emphasizes the applications of fluid mechanics to biological problems. The course concentrates primarily on the human circulatory and respiratory systems. Topics covered include: blood flow in the heart, arteries, veins and microcirculation and air flow in the lungs and airways. Mass transfer across the walls of these systems is also presented. This course will be offered in 2022-23, and in alternating years thereafter.
Continuum Mechanics (ME 3501) and fluid mechanics equivalent to ES 3004.
This course examines the principles of molecular and cell biology applied to the design of engineered molecules, cells and tissues. Topics will include the basic structural, chemical and physical properties of biomolecules (proteins, lipids, DNA and RNA), application of biomolecules to monitor and alter cellular processes in vitro and in vivo, and design considerations for engineering cell and molecular therapeutics. Case studies will be used to examine specific applications of molecular and cellular bioengineering technologies to treat disease and promote tissue repair and regeneration. Students who earned credit for BME 37XX may not receive credit for BME 4701.
Cell biology (BB 2550). Additional coursework in molecular biology (BB 2950) and/or genetics (BB 2920) would be beneficial.
A course discusses various aspects pertaining to the selection, processing, testing (in vitro and in vivo) and performance of biomedical materials. The biocompatibility and surgical applicability of metallic, polymeric and ceramic implants and prosthetic devices are discussed. The physico-chemical interactions between the implant material and the physiological environment will be described. The use of biomaterials in maxillifacial, orthopedic, dental, ophthalmic and neuromuscular applications is presented.
BB 3130 or equivalent introduction to Human Anatomy, ES 2001 or equivalent Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering.
This course examines the principles of materials science and cell biology underlying the design of medical devices, artificial organs and scaffolds for tissue engineering. Molecular and cellular interactions with biomaterials are analyzed in terms of cellular processes such as matrix synthesis, degradation and contraction. Principles of wound healing and tissue remodeling are used to study biological responses to implanted materials and devices. Case studies will be analyzed to compare tissue responses to intact, bioresorbable and bioerodible biomaterials. Additionally, this course will examine criteria for restoring physiological function of tissue and organs and investigate strategies to design implants and prostheses based on control of biomaterial-tissue interactions.
BB 2550 or equivalent, ES 2001 or equivalent, PH 1110 or PH 1111.
The course examines fundamental composition, structure, property and performance relationships in classical and novel drug delivery systems as part of disease treatment strategies (i.e. cancer, organ damage). Physiological barriers to drug delivery and methods to overcome these barriers are analyze. The course will familiarize students with biomaterial-based drug delivery systems that have recently been developed. Topics include routes of drug administration, diffusion, Fick’s law, pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics, drug modifications, materials for drug delivery (implantable, transdermal, injectable), antibody therapeutics, cells as drugs and drug delivery vehicles, and novel drug formulations and delivery systems.
Fundamental knowledge of biomaterials (e.g. BME 2001 or equivalent), multivariable calculus (e.g. MA 1024 or equivalent) and biological system function or cell function (e.g., BB 1035 or BB 2550 or equivalent)