SCIENCE EDUCATION > Engineering

Bioengineering

This collection covers core bioengineering concepts, which include production of biomaterials, histotypic and whole organ tissue cultures, bioprocessing techniques, and the complex system-level fields of bioMEMs and biosensing.

  • Bioengineering

    07:43
    Overview of Biomaterials

    Biomaterials are materials engineered to interact favorably with biological organisms or molecules. These materials can be derived from or produced by an organism, or can even be a synthesized polymer. Engineers use these novel materials in a wide range of applications, such as tissue engineering, biosensing and drug delivery.

    This video introduces common biologically derived materials, and provides examples of common techniques used to process them. Key challenges in the field are discussed, along with several applications of these methods.

  • Bioengineering

    07:24
    Collagen Hydrogels

    Collagen is another widely used biomaterial that has found popularity in commercial applications, such as photography. Collagen has more recently been used in tissue engineering applications, by creating hydrogels that provide structure to engineered tissue.

    This video introduces collagen as a biomaterial, demonstrates how it is harvested from porcine skin, and shows how the material is used to create a hydrogel for tissue engineering applications. Finally, several applications of the material and these techniques are shown.

  • Bioengineering

    07:57
    Electrospinning of Silk Biomaterials

    Silk fibers have been processed and used to create fabrics and threads for centuries. However, the solubilizing of silk fibers, thereby turning it into a versatile pre-polymer solution is a much newer technology. Solubilized silk can be processed in many different ways to create a biocompatible material with controllable mechanical properties.

    This video introduces the processing of silk from silk worm cocoons, and shows how the silk solution can be used to create a fiber mat via electrospinning. Several applications of this technique, such as its use as a structural material in engineered tissue scaffolds, are then introduced.

  • Bioengineering

    08:27
    Overview of BioMEM Devices

    Bio-microelectromechanical systems, also called BioMEMs, are microscale devices that enable the use of small sample and reagent volumes for diagnostic devices in vivo and in vitro. These devices perform various functions such as filtration, sensing, or synthesis on the microscale, enabling cost savings and improved sensitivity.

    This video introduces BioMEMs, touches on their use in the bioengineering field, and presents some prominent methods used in fabrication. Additionally, this video discusses some key challenges associated with miniaturization of devices, as well as some applications of the technology.

  • Bioengineering

    07:43
    Microfabrication via Photolithography

    The fabrication of BioMEMs devices is often done using a microfabrication technique called photolithography. This widely used method utilizes light to transfer a pattern onto a silicon wafer, and provides the basis for the fabrication of many types of BioMEMs devices.

    This video presents the photolithography technique, shows how the process is performed in the clean room, and introduces some applications of the process.

  • Bioengineering

    07:52
    Soft Lithography

    Many BioMEM's devices, such as microfluidic channels, are fabricated using the soft lithography technique. Here, a microscale pattern is replicated by curing an elastomeric polymer over the 3D structure. These polymeric structures are then used to create a wide range of devices, ranging from microfluidic channels for biosensing applications to microscale bioreactors for the visualization of micro-colonies.

    This video introduces photolithography and demonstrates the technique in the laboratory. Then, some applications of the technique and how the structures are used in the bioengineering field are examined.

  • Bioengineering

    07:41
    Overview of Bioprocess Engineering

    Bioprocessing is a method that uses living organisms to produce a desired target product. Often, bioprocessing refers to the use of bioreactors to produce protein products from genetically engineered organisms. This field is responsible for the large-scale manufacture of biotherapeutics; drugs that have become essential to improving the quality of life for many with complex diseases like cancer, autoimmune diseases and HIV/AIDS.

    This video will introduce the engineering approach to designing a targeted protein-production system. The prominent methods in the field, as well as some key challenges, and applications of the technology are also considered.
  • Bioengineering

    07:27
    Synthetic Biology

    This video presents synthetic biology and its role in bioengineering. Synthetic biology refers to the methods used to genetically modify organisms in order to make them capable of producing large quantities of a product. This product could be a protein that the cell already makes, or a new protein that has been encoded in a newly-inserted DNA sequence.

    Here, we discuss how an organism's genetic material is modified using transformation or transfection. Then, the process is shown in the laboratory, and the applications of the technique discussed.

  • Bioengineering

    09:39
    Batch and Continuous Bioreactors

    Bioreactors are used to grow organisms in large volumes, thereby enabling the production of mass quantities of the target product. These reactors can be batch reactors, which contain all of the components needed for cell growth, or continuous reactors, which have inlet and outlet ports allowing for the addition of fresh growth media and the removal of cell waste.

    This video presents batch and continuous reactors, and demonstrates the use of bioreactors to grow bacteria in the laboratory. Finally, this video considers how these reactors are used in the bioengineering field to produce products such as protein therapeutics or even beer.

  • Bioengineering

    06:39
    Overview of Biosensing

    Biosensors are devices that use a wide range of biological processes and physical properties in order to detect either a biological molecule, such as a protein or cell, or a non-biological molecule, such as a chemical component or contaminant. This interdisciplinary field utilizes electrical, optical, electrochemical, or even mechanical properties to detect the presence of the target molecule.

    This video introduces the field of biosensing, and reviews common types of biosensor technologies. This video also discusses key challenges in the field, and provides insight into how biosensors are used in the field.

  • Bioengineering

    07:38
    Electrochemical Biosensing

    Electrochemical biosensors detect the binding of a target molecule by sensing an oxidation-reduction event. These sensors paved the way for modern biosensing after the invention of the glucose biosensor. This video will introduce electrochemical biosensing, show the workings of the glucose biosensor, and discuss how electrochemical biosensors are used in cancer detection.

  • Bioengineering

    09:38
    Optical Biosensing

    Optical biosensors utilize light to detect the binding of a target molecule. These sensors can utilize a label molecule, which produces a measurable signal such as fluorescence. Or these sensors can be label-free, and use the changes in optical properties, such as refractive index, to sense for the binding of the target molecule. This video introduces both label and label-free optical biosensors, demonstrates their use in the laboratory, and shows some applications of the technology.

  • Bioengineering

    06:50
    Overview of Tissue Engineering

    Tissue engineering is an emerging field, which aims to create artificial tissue from biomaterials, specific cells and growth factors. These engineered tissue constructs have far-reaching benefits, with possibilities for organ replacement and tissue repair.

    This video introduces the field of tissue engineering and examines the components of engineered tissue. This video also outlines some prominent methods used to create the tissue scaffold, introduce a cell population and encourage growth and proliferation. Finally, some key challenges and important applications of the technology are demonstrated.

  • Bioengineering

    09:33
    Histotypic Tissue Culture

    Although two-dimensional tissue culture has been common for some time, cells behave more realistically in a three-dimensional culture, and more closely mimics native tissue. This video introduces histotypic tissue culture, where the growth and propagation of one cell line is done in an engineered three-dimensional matrix to reach high cell density. Here, we show the harvesting of cells from donor tissue, followed by cell culture on an engineered construct.

  • Bioengineering

    08:44
    Whole Organ Tissue Culture

    Whole organs can be cultured ex vivo using specialized bioreactors, with the goal of repairing or replacing entire organs. This method uses a donor organ that is stripped of all cells, leaving behind the three-dimensional structure, and is then repopulated with new cells. This video demonstrates the whole organ culture of lungs, and shows how a dynamic culture that mimics the mechanical stimulation in the body is needed to induce native tissue properties.

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