Department of Biomedical Engineering
NANCY ALLBRITTON, Chair
Paul Dayton, Associate Chair
Elizabeth Loboa, Associate Chair
Richard L. Goldberg, Director of Undergraduate Studies
Nancy Allbritton, Albert Banes, Paul Dayton, M. Gregory Forest, Edward Grant, Leaf Huang, Mike Jay, Weili Lin, Terry Magnuson, Russell Mumper, H. Troy Nagle, Roger Narayan, Harold Pillsbury, J. Michael Ramsey, Steven Soper.
Ted Bateman, Bob Dennis, Caterina Gallippi, Michael Gamcsik, Shawn Gomez, Albena Ivanisevic, David Lalush, Elizabeth Loboa, Jeffery Macdonald, Marian McCord, Peter Mente, Mark Tommerdahl, Glenn Walker.
Anne Marion Taylor, Zhen Gu, Gregory Sawicki.
The joint Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) is a department of both the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. The department oversees a joint graduate program at these institutions. However, the undergraduate biomedical engineering program at UNC is separate and distinct from the undergraduate program at NCSU.
Biomedical engineering is a profession that develops and applies engineering knowledge and experience to solve problems in biology and medicine and to enhance health care. Biomedical engineers are professionally trained to combine the rigors of medical and biological studies with the power of engineering analysis and design. People become biomedical engineers to be of service to others, to enjoy the excitement of understanding living systems, and to use state-of-the-art science and technology to solve the complex problems of medical care. The emphasis in biomedical engineering is on finding solutions by researching, testing, and applying medical, biological, chemical, electrical, and materials engineering approaches. Biomedical engineers are unique individuals who make contributions to health care that are both satisfying to themselves and beneficial to others.
Programs of Study
The degree offered is the bachelor of science with a major in applied science and a focus in biomedical engineering.
Majoring in Applied Science:
Bachelor of Science
B.S. Major in Applied Science: Biomedical Engineering Track (124 hours)
In this major, students learn to apply engineering principles to solve problems in medicine and biology problems. This is a field of great breadth that incorporates the fields of medical imaging, informatics, micro and nanosystems, prosthetics, medical devices, tissue engineering and genomics, drug delivery, and applications of signal processing and control.
The first two years of study have many courses in common with the B.S. programs in chemistry, physics, computer science, or mathematical sciences. The curriculum, as for all sciences, is vertically structured, with experience and knowledge from each course serving as a foundation for subsequent courses. Students’ attention to prerequisites is important. The specific requirements are listed below. Students are also encouraged to engage in research in a laboratory at UNC–Chapel Hill or elsewhere, or have an internship experience in industry.
• APPL 150 Introduction to Materials Science
• APPL 160 Statics
• APPL 210 BME Design and Manufacturing I
• APPL 310 BME Design and Manufacturing II
• APPL 341 Thermodynamics and Kinetics Applied to Solids
• APPL 410 Systems and Signals
• APPL 465 Biomedical Instrumentation I
• APPL 697 Senior Design Project I
• APPL 698 Senior Design Project II
• BIOL 202 and 252
• MATH 528
• PHYS 351 and 352
• Choose one statistics class from BIOS 600 or STOR 435 or STOR 455
• A choice of four biomedical specialty electives: Any BMME above 400, or PHYS 301, or ENVR 452/GEOL 560/MASC 560/PHYS 660
Students should take the following courses, preferably in their first two years:
• Choose one of COMP 110, 116, 401, or PHYS 331
• BIOL 101/101L
• CHEM 101/101L (physical and life sciences with laboratory Approaches requirement)
• CHEM 102/102L
• MATH 231 and 232 (quantitative reasoning Foundations and quantitative intensive Connections requirements)
• MATH 233 and 383
• PHYS 116 (physical and life sciences Approaches requirement)
• PHYS 117
Students must satisfy all Foundations, Approaches, and Connections requirements, as outlined elsewhere in this bulletin. Some General Education requirements should be met with specific courses as listed above.
Honors in Applied Sciences:
Students who successfully complete a research project and have a sufficiently outstanding academic record are eligible for graduation with honors or highest honors. The requirements of the curriculum for graduation with honors or highest honors are 1) overall grade point average of 3.2 or higher, 2) completion of a two-semester research project, with course credit given in APPL 691H and 692H, 3) presentation of the research to a committee of three faculty, both as an oral presentation and a written honors thesis, and 4) approval by that committee. For consideration for highest honors, the research project must be judged to be of publishable quality.
Students wishing to be considered for graduation with honors should apply to the director of undergraduate studies by September 15 for those who are graduating in May or August, or by January 15 for those who are graduating in December.
For the first two years, all majors have a primary academic advisor in Steele Building. Students are strongly encouraged to meet regularly with their advisor and review their Tar Heel Tracker each semester. If a student has questions that their advisor cannot answer, they can schedule an appointment with the department’s director of undergraduate studies.
In the spring of sophomore year, all majors will be assigned to a biomedical engineering faculty advisor. From this point onward, students are required to meet with their departmental advisor every semester in order to get cleared to register for classes.
Further information on courses, undergraduate research opportunities, the honors program, careers, and graduate schools may be obtained from the department’s Web site.
Special Opportunities in Biomedical Engineering
Student organizations include the BME club.
All students in biomedical engineering participate in a capstone design experience in which they develop a device or system that has biomedical applications. This project fulfills the General Education experiential education requirement.
Two cash awards are given annually for excellent scholarship and research. The Crawford Award is given in memory of the founding chair of applied sciences, and the Flexcell Award is given through a corporate donation from Flexcell International Corporation, a company started by biomedical engineering faculty member Albert Banes.
Students are strongly encouraged to undertake a research project at any time during their education, but particularly during their junior and/or senior years. Through the challenge of a research project, students come face to face with the leading edge of an area, gain expertise with state-of-the-art techniques and instrumentation, and experience a professional scientific career firsthand. A number of faculty members on campus (particularly those in the School of Medicine, School of Dentistry, School of Pharmacy, and in the Departments of Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, Computer Science, and Biomedical Engineering) conduct research projects related to biomedical engineering. On a regular basis, the director of undergraduate studies sends out emails to undergraduate biomedical engineering majors with information about specific research opportunities. The department Web site has more information on identifying opportunities for research. The UNC–Chapel Hill Office for Undergraduate Research is also an excellent resource for finding research opportunities.
The Department of Biomedical Engineering houses an undergraduate student design laboratory. It contains equipment for rapid manufacturing (three-dimensional printer and laser cutter) as well as electronics and microcontroller design and development. Students also use facilities in other departments that have laboratory-based courses.
Graduate School and Career Opportunities
Many students from this program have pursued further education in graduate school in biomedical engineering. Our alumni have attended many of the top-ranked biomedical engineering programs. In addition, some students have pursued graduate degrees in other disciplines in engineering, as well as related fields such as microbiology, sports physiology, public health, and business/engineering management among others. Students have also been accepted into clinical programs such as medical, dental, physical therapy, and pharmacy schools (in many cases, the student must take several additional courses to meet the requirements for clinical programs).
For those interested in going directly into a career, biomedical engineering is one of the fastest growing career opportunities. Graduates are employed by hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, medical device and testing companies, government agencies, universities, and medical schools.
Richard Goldberg, Director of Undergraduate Studies, CB# 7575,
149-B Macnider Hall, email@example.com. Web site: www.bme.unc.edu.
APPL courses will be administratively housed in the Department of Applied Physical Sciences for the 2013–2014 academic year, but most will be officially moved to the Department of Biomedical Engineering in fall 2014.
89 First-Year Seminar: Special Topics (3). Special topics course. Content will vary each semester.
150 Introduction to Materials Science (3). Prerequisite, CHEM 102; pre- or corequisites, MATH 383 and PHYS 117. The materials science of electronic, metallic, polymeric, ceramic, and composite materials and their processing are introduced. The electronic, optical, magnetic, and structural properties of materials are related to their uses.
160 Statics (3). Prerequisites, MATH 232 and PHYS 116. The resolution, distribution, and transfer of forces in rigid structural bodies.
210 BME Design and Manufacturing I (2). Students will learn to use design software: SolidWorks and support/analysis programs such as COSMOS. Basic techniques for directly measuring solid objects using digital calipers, gauges, and identification of standard components to reverse-engineer the dimensions of the object. Specific topics covered: generation of designed solid model, three-view drawings, dimensions, tolerances, etc.
310 BME Design and Manufacturing II (2). Prerequisite, APPL 210. Students learn basic tools and procedures of modern design practice traditional and modern rapid manufacturing technologies/techniques. Laboratory exercises and Web-based instructional content.
341 Thermodynamics and Kinetics Applied to Solids (3). Prerequisites, APPL 150, MATH 383, and PHYS 117. The elements of thermodynamics and phenomenological kinetics of diffusion appropriate to solids are examined. Topics include equations of state, heat capacity, polyphase equilibria, phase transitions, diffusion, and interfaces.
390 Special Topics in Materials Science (.5–12). Permission of the instructor. Advanced specialty topics in material science for undergraduates.
395 Research in Applied Sciences and Engineering for Undergraduates (1–4). Permission of the director of undergraduate studies. At least nine hours of independent work a week. May be repeated for elective credit. Work may be counted towards graduation with honors or highest honors by petition to the curriculum chair. Further details are available from the curriculum office.
396 Independent Study in Applied Sciences (1–3). Permission of the director of undergraduate studies. Independent study under a member of the applied sciences faculty.
410 Systems and Signals (4). Prerequisite, MATH 383. Analysis of linear systems by transform methods to networks, including stability analysis. Survey of numerical methods for network solutions.
420 Introduction to Polymer Chemistry (CHEM 420) (3). See CHEM 420 for description.
421 Synthesis of Polymers (CHEM 421, MTSC 421) (3). See CHEM 421 for description.
422 Physical Chemistry of Polymers (CHEM 422, MTSC 422) (3). See CHEM 422 for description.
423 Intermediate Polymer Chemistry (CHEM 423, MTSC 423) (3). See CHEM 423 for description.
425 Bioelectricity (3). Prerequisites, BIOL 252 and PHYS 351. Quantitative analysis of excitable membrane signals, origin of electrical membrane potentials, propagation, subthreshold stimuli, extracellular fields, membrane biophysics, and electrophysiology of the heart. Design and development of an electrocardiogram analysis system.
430 Digital Signal Processing I (3). Prerequisite, COMP 110 or 116. This is an introduction to methods of automatic computation of specific relevance to biomedical problems. Sampling theory, analog-to-digital conversion, and digital filtering will be explored in depth.
450 Linear Control Theory (3). Prerequisite, MATH 528. Linear control system analysis and design are presented. Frequency and time domain characteristics and stability are studied.
465 Biomedical Instrumentation (4). Prerequisite, PHYS 351. Topics include basic electronic circuit design, analysis of medical instrumentation circuits, physiologic transducers (pressure, flow, bioelectric, temperate, and displacement). This course includes a laboratory where the student builds biomedical devices.
470 Fundamentals of Materials Science (CHEM 470) (3). See CHEM 470 for description.
472 Chemistry and Physics of Electronic Materials Processing (CHEM 472, MTSC 472, PHYS 472) (3). See PHYS 472 for description.
473 Chemistry and Physics of Surfaces (CHEM 473, MTSC 473) (3). See CHEM 473 for description.
480 Microcontroller Applications I (3). Prerequisites, COMP 110 or 116, and PHYS 351. Introduction to digital computers for online, real-time processing and control of signals and systems. Programming analog and digital input and output devices is stressed. Case studies are used for software design strategies in real-time systems.
490 Special Topics (3). Topics vary from semester to semester.
491L Materials Laboratory I (PHYS 491L) (2). See PHYS 491L for description.
492L Materials Laboratory II (PHYS 492L) (2). See PHYS 492L for description.
510 Biomaterials (BMME 510) (3). Prerequisite, BIOL 101 or BMME 589. Chemical, physical engineering, and biocompatibility aspects of materials, devices, or systems for implantation in or interfacing with the body cells or tissues. Food and Drug Administration and legal aspects.
520L Polymer Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 520L) (2). See CHEM 520L for description.
691H Honors Thesis (3). Research honors course. Prior approval needed from the chair or associate chair of the program for topic selection and faculty research mentor. Minimum GPA requirement, written report, and abstract requirements as set forth by the honors program.
692H Honors Thesis (3). Research honors thesis continuation with required GPA, research topic selection with approved faculty mentor. Written abstract and report per honors program guidelines submitted by specific deadlines.
697 Senior Design Project I (2). Prerequisite, APPL 310. Conceptual prelude and preparation to APPL 698, in which the theoretical and practical knowledge acquired during the undergraduate tenure is applied to develop a solution to a real-world problem.
698 Senior Design Project II (4). Prerequisite, APPL 697. Implementation phase of the senior design experience. Students apply the theoretical and practical knowledge they have acquired in their previous seven semesters to the design and implementation of a solution to a real-world problem.
490 Special Topics in Biomedical Engineering (3–9). A study in the special fields under the direction of the faculty. Offered as needed for presenting material not normally available in regular BME department.
505 Biomechanics (3). Prerequisites, MATH 383 and PHYS 116. Fundamental principles of solid and fluid mechanics applied to biological systems. Human gait analysis, joint replacement, testing techniques for biological structures, and viscoelastic models are presented. Papers from current biomechanics literature will be discussed.
510 Biomaterials (3). Prerequisite, BIOL 101 or BMME 589. Chemical, physical engineering, and biocompatibility aspects of materials, devices, or systems for implantation in or interfering with the body cells or tissues. Food and Drug Administration and legal aspects. Undergraduate students should enroll in APPL 510.
515 Introduction to Systems Biology (3). Prerequisite, MATH 383 or 528. Cells, tissues, organs, and organisms have been shaped through evolutionary processes to perform their functions in robust, reliable manners. This course investigates design principles and structure-function relationships of biomolecular networks. Emphasis will be placed on gene- and protein-circuits and their role in controlling cellular behavior and phenotype.
520 Fundamentals of Materials Engineering (3). The structure, defects, thermodynamics, kinetics, and properties (mechanical, electrical, thermal, and magnetic) of matter (metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites) will be considered.
530 Digital Signal Processing I (3). Prerequisite, COMP 110 or 116. This is an introduction to methods of automatic computation of specific relevance to biomedical problems. Sampling theory, analog-to-digital conversion, digital filtering will be explored in depth. Undergraduate students should enroll in APPL 430.
550 Medical Imaging: Ultrasonic, Optical, and Magnetic Resonance Systems (3). Prerequisites, BIOS 550 and 430, and PHYS 128. Physical and mathematical foundations of ultrasonic, optical, and magnetic resonance imaging systems in application to medical diagnostics. Each imaging modality is examined, highlighting critical system characteristics: underlying physics of the imaging system, including mechanisms of data generation and acquisition; image creation; and relevant image processing methods, such as noise reduction.
551 Medical Device Design I (3). Student multidisciplinary teams work with local medical professionals to define specific medical device concepts for implementation.
552 Medical Device Design II (3). Device prototypes designed in the first course in series. Good manufacturing practices; process validation; FDA quality system regulations; design verification and validation; regulatory approval planning; and intellectual property protection.
560 Medical Imaging: X-Ray, CT, and Nuclear Medicine Systems (3). Prerequisites, APPL 410, BIOS 550, and PHYS 128. Overview of medical imaging systems using ionizing radiation. Interaction of radiation with matter. Radiation production and detection. Radiography systems and applications. Tomography. PET and SPECT systems and applications.
565 Biomedical Instrumentation I (4). Prerequisite, PHYS 351. Topics include basic electronic circuit design, analysis of medical instrumentation circuits, physiologic transducers (pressure, flow, bioelectric, temperate, and displacement). This course includes a laboratory where the student builds biomedical devices. Undergraduate students should enroll in APPL 465.
580 Microcontroller Applications I (3). Introduction to digital computers for real-time processing and control of signals and systems. Programming input and output devices using C and assembly language is stressed. Case studies are used to present software design strategies for real-time laboratory systems. Undergraduate students should enroll in APPL 480.
581 Microcontroller Applications II (3). Prerequisites, BMME 465, and APPL 480 or BMME 580. Problems of interfacing computers with biomedical and systems are studied. Students collaborate to develop a new biomedical instrument. Projects have included process control, data acquisition, disk systems interfaces, and DMW interfaces between interconnected computers.