Topics Overview | AIChE

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Topics Overview

The Society for Biological Engineering produces content accross the spectrum of the field of bio-engineering. Explore the following topics.


Bioenergy is a renewable energy made available from materials derived from biological sources, better known as biomass. Biomass can be any organic material which has stored energy and may include plant or animal matter, as well biodegradable wastes. These various sources create bioenergy in the form of electricity, heat, steam, and fuels.

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Biomaterials are any matter, surface, or construct that interacts with biological systems. It can be any material, natural or synthetic, that comprises whole or part of a living structure or a biomedical device which performs, augments, or replaces natural function. This science encompasses elements of medicine, biology, chemistry, tissue engineering and materials science. 

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Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineering is the application of engineering principles and design concepts to medicine and biology. It combines the design and problem solving skills of engineering with medical and biological sciences to improve healthcare diagnosis, monitoring, and therapy providing an overall enhancement to health care.

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Bionanotechnology studies nanoscale phenomena associated with biological molecules and to develop new technologies based on these materials. It takes advantage of natural or biomimetic systems and designs to create new materials and sensors for medical and security applications, hybrid bio-electronic devices, and even biologically inspired nanomachines.

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Biosensors are devices that use living organisms or biological molecules to detect the presence of chemicals. Biosensors combine the exquisite selectivity of biology with the processing power of modern microelectronics to offer powerful new analytical tools with major applications in medicine, environmental diagnostics, and the food and processing industries.

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Bioprocessing is the conversion of raw materials into products using biological processes, which include the production of recombinant protein therapeutics (biologics), the generation of renewable energy, among others.

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Food, Science, & Technology

Food Science & Technology draws from many disciplines such as biology, chemical engineering, and biochemistry in an attempt to better understand food processes and ultimately improve food products for the general public. Developing safe, nutritious foods is made possible by studying and applying the physical, microbiological, and chemical makeup of food

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Industrial Biotechnology

Industrial biotechnology is the application of biotechnology for industrial purposes including manufacturing, alternative energy, and bio-based materials. It includes the practice of using cells or components of cells to generate industrially useful products (e.g. to prevent pollution, conserve resources, and reduce costs).

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Metabolic Engineering

Metabolic Engineering is the practice of genetically optimizing metabolic and regulatory networks within cells to increase production and/or recovery of a certain substance from cells. This practice specifically seeks to mathematically model these networks, calculate a yield of useful products, pin point parts of the network that constrain the production of these products and then genetically engineer the cell to optimize production.

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Molecular, Tissue, & Cellular Engineering

Molecular, Cellular, and Tissue Engineering exploit multidisciplinary strategies derived from materials science, cell biology, biochemistry, biomechanics, and biophysics to recreate and analyze molecules, cells, and tissues. These interrelated fields hold great promise for replacing compromised or lost tissue and organ functions and offer invaluable strategies to the recreation of tissues that may be used as model systems for basic research or drug testing.

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Pharmaceutical Engineering

Pharmaceutical Engineering is involved in the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of materials necessary for converting raw materials into marketable pharmaceutical products. It is a broad field that is closely related to drug delivery, a method or process of administering a pharmaceutical compound to achieve a therapeutic effect. Drug delivery technologies modify drug release profile, absorption, distribution and elimination for the benefit of improving product efficacy and safety, as well as patient convenience and compliance. 

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Synthetic Biology

Synthetic Biology is the design and construction of new biological parts, devices, and systems. It is also the re-design of existing, natural biological systems for useful purposes as it encompasses a variety of different approaches, methodologies, and disciplines as it combines science and engineering.

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Stem Cell Engineering

Stem cell engineering helps to develop new therapeutic and diagnostic tools by manipulating the properties of stem cells.

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Protein Engineering

Protein engineering involved the manipulation of amino acid sequences through recombinant DNA in order to produce protein and enzymes with specific functions.

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