A collision of biology and technology, bioengineering will drive the future of healthcare and improve the understanding of our world down to the smallest level. Biomolecular engineering will allow researchers to understand and manipulate the nature of DNA, RNA, proteins and other small molecules. Bioelectronic engineering and bioimaging focuses on medical devices and sensors to heal and improve lives, and biomechanical engineering will take students to the cutting edge of science through the design and implementation of microfluidic and nanotechnical devices.
Bioengineering is a very broad field and we suggest a focused approach that is consistent with the principles and foundational areas mentioned above. Promising areas that can be built on IU Bloomington's existing strengths include: biomolecular engineering, which includes nucleic acid and protein engineering as well as synthetic biology and aims to provide engineering tools involved with DNA, RNA, proteins and small molecules; bioelectronic engineering, which includes bioimaging and sensor devices used in biomedicine and healthcare, and focuses on the interface between biological systems that produce biochemical and optical signals and electronic systems which deal with electrical signals; biomechanical engineering, especially involving biomechanical devices and systems, such as the design and implementation of microfluidic and nanotechnical devices; and biotechnology with specific applications in toxicity and environmental science. These areas build upon the base of a large, successful bioinformatics program at IU Bloomington in the School of Informatics and Computing and the biology department, as well as research in biochemistry, chemistry, environmental science, optometry, public health, speech and hearing sciences, and physics, and research at IUPUI in biomedical engineering and the School of Medicine.