What is Life Science Engineering?

Life science engineering concerns the application of engineering principles and practices to living organisms and is used in areas such as stem cell engineering, biochips and biosensors, and molecular biocomputing.

The living organism is a complex engineering system — it consumes fuel and raw materials (oxygen, food and water), exchanges heat with its surroundings, pumps fluids and carries on numerous chemical reactions and separation processes. It also has a complex sensory system with internal chemical signaling and control mechanisms, information storage and retrieval systems, and diverse movement and chemical/mechanical work capabilities.

Life science engineering areas

Biological systems engineering

Biological systems engineering generally describes the quantitative analysis of the interactions of various subunits within a particular biological system. Typically, the term “systems biology” describes the complex interactions of subcellular components that work in concert to accomplish broad cellular tasks. As these events are both temporally and spatially dependent, an engineering systems approach based on dynamic pathway modeling is key to understanding overall cellular behavior. The complex nature of intracellular interactions requires a number of different technologies, such as microarrays, computers and computations, high throughput, and automation, to name a few.

Biomolecular engineering

Biomolecular engineering involves the purposeful manipulation of cells and the biological molecules they contain and produce in order to solve a particular problem or accomplish a particular task. It requires an understanding of how such cells go about the differentiation process in the making of an organism. Biomolecular engineering works on a wide range of situations, from diseases and disorders to large-scale production of drugs and biochemical compounds.

Cellular engineering

Cellular engineering includes many evolving fields such as protein engineering, genetic engineering, DNA microarray fabrication, tissue engineering, stem cell engineering and biosensors.