Biomedical Engineering

Degree Types: MS, PhD

The Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program centers on engineering methods for studying biological and physiological processes and the application of concepts to medical problems.

Research areas include Biomaterials and Regenerative Engineering, Imaging and Biophotonics, and Neural Engineering. Graduate study in biomedical engineering is conducted in the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, The Feinberg School of Medicine, and The Shirley Ryan Ability Lab.

The MS-only program is designed to produce graduates who are qualified to fill positions in research and development or pursue further education. Graduates may expect to seek employment on the research staffs of engineering schools, medical schools, hospitals, industrial firms, and government laboratories.

We have three different Master's programs all of which lead to an MS (switching between these programs, once started, requires approval of the Director of the MS Program):

  1. Master's degree without thesis
  2. Master's degree with thesis
  3. A combined BS/MS program with or without Master's thesis

Completion of the Master's degree program may take as little as three quarters, if done without a thesis. With a thesis, a typical time for completion would be two years.

The PhD program provides a solid foundation in engineering and life sciences. It is designed to produce graduates who can lead research and development programs at the highest levels in industry, academia, and national laboratories.

Additional resources:

Biomedical Engineering Courses

BMD_ENG 301-0 Quantitative Systems Physiology (1 Unit)  

Functional/structural aspects of mammalian nervous system. Neural biophysics. Laboratory exercises.

Prerequisite: PHYSICS 135-2; junior standing recommended.

BMD_ENG 302-0 Quantitative Systems Physiology (1 Unit)  

Rigorous overview of cardiovascular and respiratory anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology. Case studies and a design team project.

Prerequisite: MATH 228-1; junior standing recommended.

BMD_ENG 303-0 Quantitative Systems Physiology (1 Unit)  

Cellular mechanisms of and quantitative systems' approach to human renal, digestive, endocrine, and metabolic physiology.

Prerequisite: junior standing recommended.

BMD_ENG 311-0 Computational Genomics (1 Unit)  

The course introduces state-of-the-art genomic sequencing technologies and computational modeling of high-throughput sequencing datasets. Through the course, students will learn how to apply these experimental and computational genomics technologies to study gene expression regulation underlying various biological processes, such as oncogenesis. Students will also apply computational and statistical skills, using linux and R/Matlab/Python.

BMD_ENG 314-0 Models in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (1 Unit)  

Mathematical modeling of biochemical and molecular biological problems, such as allosteric enzymes, bacterial transduction, X-ray diffraction, study of DNA.

Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215-0; BIOL_SCI 219-0; junior standing recommended.

BMD_ENG 315-0 Application of Genetic Engineering to Immunochemistry (1 Unit)  

Recent developments in genetic engineering as applied to the rapidly developing field of immunochemistry for antibodies and related proteins.

Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215-0; BIOL_SCI 219-0.

BMD_ENG 316-0 Engineering Design of Therapeutic Antibodies (1 Unit)  

In-depth study of the development of therapeutic antibodies through protein engineering-the process of selectively modifying the activities of existing proteins and enzymes to improve their function.

Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215-0; BIOL_SCI 219-0.

BMD_ENG 317-0 Biochemical Sensors (1 Unit)  

Theory, design, and applications of chemical sensors used in medical diagnosis and patient monitoring. Electrochemical and optical sensors.

Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215-0; BIOL_SCI 219-0; CHEM 210-1; PHYSICS 135-2; PHYSICS 135-3.

BMD_ENG 323-0 Visual Engineering Science (1 Unit)  

Mammalian visual system. Physiological optics. Visual image representation and interpretation. Visual adaptation. Motion. Color vision.

Prerequisite: PHYSICS 135-2.

BMD_ENG 325-0 Introduction to Medical Imaging (1 Unit)  

Diagnostic X-rays; X-ray film and radiographic image; computed tomography; ultrasound.

Prerequisite: PHYSICS 135-3 or equivalent.

BMD_ENG 327-0 Magnetic Resonance Imaging (1 Unit)  

Nuclear magnetic resonance; two-dimensional Fourier transform, spinecho and gradientecho imaging; gradient and RF hardware.

Prerequisite: PHYSICS 135-3.

BMD_ENG 333-0 Modern Optical Microscopy & Imaging (1 Unit)  

Rigorous introduction to principles, current trends, emerging technologies, and biomedical applications of modern optical microscopy.

Prerequisites: PHYSICS 135-2; MATH 220-1; MATH 220-2; GEN_ENG 205-4.

BMD_ENG 343-0 Biomaterials and Medical Devices (1 Unit)  

Structure-property relationships for biomaterials. Metal, ceramic, and polymeric implant materials and their implant applications. Interactions of materials with the body. Taught with MAT_SCI 370-0; may not receive credit for both courses.

Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215-0; BIOL_SCI 219-0; MAT_SCI 201-0 or MAT_SCI 301-0; senior standing.

BMD_ENG 344-0 Biological Performance of Materials (1 Unit)  

Structure-property relationships of materials, physical chemistry of surfaces and interfaces, materials-tissue interactions, applications to the selection and design of materials for medical implants and devices.

Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215-0; BIOL_SCI 219-0; MAT_SCI 201-0.

BMD_ENG 346-0 Tissue Engineering (1 Unit)  

In vivo molecular, cellular, and organ engineering, with emphasis on the foundations, techniques, experiments, and clinical applications of tissue engineering.

Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215-0; BIOL_SCI 219-0.

BMD_ENG 347-0 Foundations of Regenerative Engineering (1 Unit)  

Embryonic development, stem cell engineering, somatic regeneration, genome and transcriptome modifications, cell and tissue-level regenerative engineering.

Prerequisite: BIOL_SCI 215-0 or BIOL_SCI 219-0.

BMD_ENG 348-0 Applications of Regenerative Engineering (1 Unit)  

Mechanisms of human disease, development and application of molecular, cellular, and tissue-level regenerative engineering strategies to selected human disorders, including neurodegenerative disorders, stroke, cystic fibrosis, cirrhosis, diabetes, muscular degenerative disorders, and skin injury.

Prerequisite: BIOL_SCI 215-0 or BIOL_SCI 219-0.

BMD_ENG 353-0 Bioelectronics (1 Unit)  

Development and design of sensors, stimulators, and their medical devices for biointegrated electronics. Materials design and fabrication of passive and active components for sensitive, multimodal, and robust wearable and implantable devices.

BMD_ENG 354-0 Bioelectronics Lab (0.34 Unit)  

Laboratories focused on the practical implementation,instrumentation, and fabrication of wearables and skinsensing. Applications range from vital sign monitoring torehabilitation.

BMD_ENG 365-0 Control of Human Limbs and Their Artificial Replacements (1 Unit)  

Human movement, biomechanics, skeletal and muscular anatomy, comparative anatomy, muscle physiology, and locomotion. Engineering design of artificial limbs.

Prerequisite: senior standing with engineering or physical science background.

BMD_ENG 366-0 Biomechanics of Movement (1 Unit)  

Engineering mechanics applied to analyze human movement, including models of muscle and tendon, kinematics of joints, and dynamics of multi-joint movement. Applications in sports, rehabilitation, and orthopedics.

Prerequisite: BMD_ENG 271-0.

BMD_ENG 371-0 Mechanics of Biological Tissue (1 Unit)  

Stress and strain for small and large deformations. Nonlinear elastic, viscoelastic, pseudo-elastic, and biphasic models.

Prerequisites: BMD_ENG 271-0; GEN_ENG 205-3; GEN_ENG 205-4.

BMD_ENG 377-0 Intermediate Fluid Mechanics (1 Unit)  

Fundamental concepts of fluid dynamics. Kinematics, mass and momentum balances, constitutive relations. Navier-Stokes equations and methods of solution. Sealing techniques.

Prerequisite: BMD_ENG 270-0 or consent of instructor.

BMD_ENG 380-0 Medical Devices, Disease & Global Health (1 Unit)  

Health systems and technologies to address health problems of the world's underserved populations, with special emphasis on developing countries.

BMD_ENG 388-SA Health Systems Engineering (1 Unit)  

Introduction to health systems in the context of disease burden with special emphasis in developing countries. We examine healthcare systems, financing, data and analytics. The course focuses primarily on health-related issues confronting South Africa and the associated social and economic impact.

Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

BMD_ENG 389-SA Health Technology Management (1 Unit)  

This course provides an introduction to formal concepts and methodologies used in support of health technology planning, assessment and adoption - and related decision making - as part of cost-effective healthcare delivery. Open to participants in the Global Health Technologies Program only.

BMD_ENG 390-3 Biomedical Engineering Design (1 Unit)  

Continuation of a design project; independent study. May not be repeated for credit.

Prerequisites: BMD_ENG 390-1 or BMD_ENG 390-2; consent of instructor.

BMD_ENG 391-SA HealthCare Techology Innovation and Design (1 Unit)  

Principles and practice of medical device design for the developing world. Evaluation of user needs in the environment of under-resourced segments of South African health care system. Validation and verification of engineering design solutions. Open to participants in the Global Health Technologies Program only.

BMD_ENG 396-0 Special Topics (0.5 Unit)  

Special Topics in Biomedical Engineering, Laboratory emphasis.

BMD_ENG 398-0 Special Topics in Biomedical Engineering (0.34 Unit)  

Special Topics in Biomedical Engineering, Laboratory emphasis.

BMD_ENG 401-0 Advanced Systems Physiology (1 Unit)  

Physiology of the central and peripheral nervous systems. Biophysics of the nerve cell from an engineering perspective. General overview and in-depth study of original work.

BMD_ENG 402-0 Advanced Systems Physiology (1 Unit)  

Physiology of the heart, circulatory system, lungs, and respiration from an engineering perspective. General overview and in-depth study of original work.

BMD_ENG 403-0 Advanced Systems Physiology (1 Unit)  

Physiology of the renal, digestive, and endocrine systems. Membrane transport, epithelia, and second messenger systems from an engineering perspective. General overview and in-depth study of original work.

BMD_ENG 407-0 Experimental Design and Measurement (1 Unit)  

Introductory quantitative skills required to conduct experimental research and analyze resulting data. Principles of measurement, modeling of experimental data, and statistical design of experiments.

BMD_ENG 425-0 fMRI (Functional Imaging) (1 Unit)  

Cutting-edge functional imaging techniques and their applications in research and clinical practice. MRI is the predominantly discussed modality,but also includes other modalities.

BMD_ENG 427-0 Advanced MR Imaging (1 Unit)  

The use and design of MR pulse sequences; emphasis on image contrast mechanisms and some of the more widely used MR acquisition strategies.

Prerequisite: BMD_ENG 327-0.

BMD_ENG 429-0 Advanced Physical and Applied Optics (1 Unit)  

Theory and applications of the state-of-the-art physical optics. Topics include wave optics, Gaussian optics, Fourier optics, light propagation in continuous and turbid media, light scattering, statistical optics, and fiber optics.

BMD_ENG 444-0 Organic Nanomaterials (1 Unit)  

The materials science and chemistry of soft nanomaterials for myriad applications including nanomedicine. Preparative and synthetic approaches to organized, assembled, discrete nanomaterials will be described. Course will include an in depth discussion of advanced characterization techniques and strategies for this class of material.

BMD_ENG 445-0 Principles of Immunoengineering (1 Unit)  

This course covers therapeutically relevant recent advancements in immunology and resulting applications in the field of immunoengineering. Biomaterials and in particular nanomaterials are presented as a tool for modifying immune responses. Applications for cancer immunotherapy, vaccine development and the treatment of autoimmune disorders will be discussed.

BMD_ENG 446-0 Biomaterials in Synthetic Biology (1 Unit)  

A course that focuses on the emerging principles in synthetic biology that have the capability to expand the functionality of biomaterials: what properties of biomaterials 'matter', emerging techniques to control the biological-material interface, and ways of inscribing the vital functions found in biological systems into synthetic materials.

BMD_ENG 447-0 Drug Delivery (1 Unit)  

The class familiarizes students with transport of drugs in engineered drug delivery systems and through biological tissues and then applies these concepts to real world drug delivery systems.

BMD_ENG 448-0 Cardiovascular Protective Engineering (1 Unit)  

Natural protective mechanisms developed through evolution, protective engineering strategies against cardiovascular injuries and disorders, including atherosclerosis, arterial aneurysms, heart attack, cardiomyopathies, heart failure, and congenital disorders.

BMD_ENG 452-0 Transport Through Connective Tissue (1 Unit)  

Use of porous media theory to examine principles governing fluid flow and mass transfer in extracellular matrices and the application of these principles to tissue engineering.

BMD_ENG 462-0 Neural Engineering: Sensory Acquisition through Movement (1 Unit)  

The class involves a neuroethological approach to the nervous system, comparing how information is encoded and processed across sensory modalities, and examining the relation between sensing and movement.

BMD_ENG 463-0 Neuropathophysiology (1 Unit)  

A quantitative approach to the study and treatment of neurological diseases, including stroke, SCI and visual deficits. Incorporates neuropathophysiology, computer modeling and systems analysis.

BMD_ENG 465-0 Biomechanical Modeling & Simulation of Human Movement (1 Unit)  

This course is designed to familiarize the student with the development and use of biomechanical models to simulate motion.

BMD_ENG 467-0 Biomedical Robotics (1 Unit)  

A perspective on robotics technologies applied to, and inspired by, themes of biomedical research and practice.

BMD_ENG 468-0 Computational Neuromechanics and Neuroethology (1 Unit)  

Understanding the embodied nervous system through analysis of evolution, behavior, sensory ecology, and the computational principles / algorithms that the nervous system needs to solve for execution of natural behaviors.

BMD_ENG 469-0 Neural Control and Mechanics of Movement (1 Unit)  

Muscle mechanics and relevant spinal cord neurophysiology as the basis for understanding neural control of movement.

BMD_ENG 475-0 Cardiovascular Biology & Engineering (1 Unit)  

Molecular basis of cardiovascular development, performance, and pathogenesis; engineering analysis of cardiovascular functions; and fundamentals of cardiovascular engineering and regeneration.

BMD_ENG 478-0 Transport Fundamentals (1 Unit)  

Fundamental and biomedical applications of diffusive and convective heat and mass transfer with problems appropriate for graduate students.

BMD_ENG 495-0 Special Advanced Topics in Biomedical Engineering (1 Unit)  

Current topics of interest for graduate students. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.

BMD_ENG 499-0 Projects (1-3 Units)  

Permission of instructor and department required. May be repeated for credit.

BMD_ENG 512-0 Graduate Research Seminar in Biomedical Engineering (0 Unit)  

A series of seminars covering current research interests in biomedical engineering. Attendance by first-year Biomedical Engineering graduate students required.

BMD_ENG 590-0 Research (1-4 Units)  

Independent investigation of selected problems pertaining to thesis or dissertation. May be repeated for credit.