Modern medicine has revolutionised humanity, increased our overall lifespans and made the quality of life much more enjoyable for many people who would have otherwise suffered in previous eras. As you may have noticed from our previous articles, Prime Engineering has a passion for all things innovation, and the advancements in healthcare have not only changed patient care but have made the work of healthcare professionals a much easier and more rewarding task.
Biomedical Engineering combines biology and medicine with engineering principles and mechanics in order to push the limits when it comes to advancing health care treatments and offering numerous breakthroughs. These are just 5 of the inventions that have changed the lives of millions of people around the globe:
Chemical engineers are the ones to thank for the past 50 years worth of pioneering breakthroughs with kidney dialysis. They represent a great example of how synergy results from chemical engineers joining forces with physicians and biomedical researchers. A kidney dialysis machine (often coined ‘artificial kidneys’), cleanse the blood of any impurities and are essentially mass-transfer devices. They remove elevated levels of salt, excess fluids and metabolic waste products. Since as early as the 1940’s when the first practical, artificial kidney was developed, the work began to develop and has continued to create much smaller, more effective and cheaper machines.
The Treatment of Diabetes:
Diabetes is the third most common disease in the world and to combat this chronic illness, many patients must test the glucose levels in their blood and frequently inject themselves with insulin. Before the discovery of insulin, no matter how well a patient with diabetes ate or drank, they wouldn’t survive more than 3 or 4 years. This was until an amazing combination of biomedical researchers, chemical engineers and physicians developed ways for patients to monitor their own glucose levels and administer insulin accordingly.
A cochlear implant is a surgically planted medical device that works in lieu of a damaged inner ear by bypassing the damaged hair cells of a cochlea to provide signals to the brain. It’s more effective than a hearing aid device and is a popular choice for people who haven’t found success elsewhere with their hearing issues. Given the fact that a cochlear implant can help to restore a person’s sense of hearing, it’s definitely up there as one of the most important inventions in biomedical engineering!
This has been referred to as the breakthrough of the century by many people within the field of science. Gene therapy is focused on addressing human disease by replacing the faulty genes, or alternatively it’s the practice of adding new genes that will cure disease or boost the body’s ability to fight disease. Genome editing is one crucial part of the therapy, known as CRISPR/Cas9, it has been developed based on research carried out on bacterial systems of immunity to viral infections. The system is much simpler, faster and cheaper than earlier methods and the ease of the design paired with the specificity and efficiency of the CRISPR/Cas9 system has revolutionised the field of genome editing. With further development, it truly has the potential to revolutionise medicine and change the lives of millions.
Over a century old and still just as important as ever, this Nobel prize winning machine was discovered in 1901 by a German physicist. The technology behind x-ray machines allows medical professionals to see broken bones, dental cavities and other things inside of the body that we obviously can’t see with our bare eyes. They are also used for radiation therapy in the fight against cancer, as the high levels of radiation kills some cancer cells and shrinks tumours. It’s a technology that has afforded countless people the medical help they need in order to survive!
These life changing inventions in healthcare inspire us all the time here at Prime Engineering. It’s creations like these that remind us of the overwhelmingly positive effects that engineering and science often have on the population. We pride ourselves in delivering the highest quality custom engineering solutions to our clients, if you have any mechanical engineering problems that you would like to solve, reach out today.