BME RESEARCH AREAS
Biomedical engineering has been a hot topic for research in the past few decades. Some recent cutting-edge research topics include the development of surgical robots for clearing heart arteries, development of artificial kidneys, improved medical imaging and nanotechnology for cancer diagnosis and treatment, and advanced algorithm development for disease diagnosis. The prospects of futuristic medical technology seem limitless. Within a few decades, the whole medical field can potentially be transformed by biomedical engineering. New and improved biomedical technology will be increasingly assisting doctors in making diagnostic decisions, and improve the overall quality of health-care.
Besides cutting edge research for developing futuristic technology, there are many BME research challenges for the developing world. Some studies report that 90% of the world’s medical research funding is spent to solve the problems that affect only 10% of the population in the developed countries. A vast area of research is simply not addressed by the top research labs in the developed world since the outcomes of such research, e.g. medical devices, are usually too expensive to be purchased and maintained in the developed countries. Thus, it is the responsibility of the local BME graduates to develop new technology at an affordable price for the developing countries, such as Bangladesh.
RESEARCH AT BME BUET
A unique aspect of the BME program is its research-focused curriculum. In the BME department, we aim to encourage and perform research work starting as early as the sophomore year (level 3). Our vision is to facilitate each faculty member of the department with a laboratory with world-class facilities. Undergraduate students of BME, who are interested, will have the opportunity to work with our faculty members to get involved in research work early on. This, in the long run, will greatly enhance their prospects for graduate studies. Currently, our faculty members are focused on research in the following major areas:
Cell & Tissue Engineering
Cell & Tissue Engineering involves in the development of functional grafts/tissues that have the ability to direct the cellular response favorably and restore the functionality of the host tissue. More generally, it is the ability to generate living tissue for replacement or therapeutic applications through materials development, biochemical manipulations, cell culture, and genetic engineering.
The lab will also evaluate the effects of the processing conditions, such as decellularization, sterilization and biomimetic coating on the properties of the biological grafts/tissues. Controlled and targeted drug delivery through the developed grafts and scaffolds will another important area of research of this lab. Developing artificial organs and prosthetic devices are direct applications of this area with significant impact to society.
Research in Biomechanics includes mechanics at the cellular, tissue, and joint level with various applications, possibly in orthopedics and musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems. Investigations in injury and orthopedic biomechanics addresses relevant biomechanical research problems of injury. In addition, experimental and computational techniques can be applied to develop and validate the behavior models of soft and hard tissue.
Biomedical Imaging involves techniques and processes of creating visual representations of the interior of a body, organs or tissues for clinical analysis and medical intervention. This is an important area of research which involves the technologies required for diagnostics. Thanks to the ceaseless efforts of biomedical engineers, a great variety of diagnostic instruments are available today that have made it possible to detect diseases more accurately, sometimes at their earlier stages when they are easily curable, and thus improved the overall quality of medical treatment. Our department head, Dr. Md. Kamrul Hasan, is already one of the pioneers in medical imaging research in Bangladesh.
Biomedical Signal Processing
This area of research aims to develop signal processing and machine learning algorithms on biosignals and images for prognosis, diagnosis, and detection of various medical conditions. This field of study is essentially the next step after biomedical instrumentation and imaging methods that are applied for medical data acquisition. Expertise in signal processing as a tool has a unique advantage since it can be applied to various types of data, including ECG, EMG, MRI, Ultrasound.
Mobile Health (mHealth) and Telemedicine
The area of mHealth focuses on the application of mobile devices (smartphone, tablet, etc.) to address various public health problems. One particular outcome of mHealth research can be through telemedicine, which aims to bring advanced healthcare services to the masses. These research areas involve heavily on electrical circuit and device design, prototyping, implementation of algorithms on microcontrollers and/or smart devices, and finally, signal processing and machine learning system design.
CLINICAL RESEARCH UNIT
Our future plan includes developing a Clinical Research Unit (CRU) within the department to conduct clinical research with patient data in order for improving disease diagnosis and develop new technologies. Focus will be on 1) cancer research, e.g. breast, prostate, skin, and liver, 2) targetted drug delivery for cancer treatment (pre-clinical), 3) clinical informatics, 4) gait and clinical movement research, and 5) mobile health and telemedicine. This research unit will help in enhancing the quality of diagnosis and treatment in Bangladesh, thus, reducing the trend of going abroad for such services. The CRU will provide state-of-the-art research-grade medical devices and services.