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define: Biomedical Engineering Dictionary (BMEDIC)

This list of words represents some of the terms related to Biomedical Engineering that I have come across during my research.

Definitions Sorted by Letter

[a] | [b] | [c] | [d] | [e] | [f] | [g] | [h] | [i] | [j] | [k] | [l] | [m] | [n] | [o] | [p] | [q] | [r] | [s] | [t] | [u] | [v] | [w] | [x] | [y] | [z]


Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse Imaging

An imaging technique that shoots short pulses of ultrasound at targeted tissues and then monitors the tissue response in the form of shear waves that can be measured, and displayed as elastography images. These measurements and images can be used to diagnose or monitor the possible presence of diseased or cancerous tissue, based on the measured stiffness properties of tissues such as breast or liver where areas of increased stiffness may indicate the presence of tumors, fibrosis, scar tissue, and other types of disease or damage. [source]


An anastomosis is a surgical connection between two structures. It usually means a connection that is created between tubular structures, such as blood vessels or loops of intestine. For example, when part of an intestine is surgically removed, the two remaining ends are sewn or stapled together (anastomosed). The procedure is known as an intestinal anastomosis. Examples of surgical anastomoses are: 1) Arteriovenous fistula (an opening created between an artery and vein) for dialysis. 2) Colostomy (an opening created between the bowel and the skin of the abdominal wall). 3) Intestinal, in which two ends of intestine are sewn together. 4) A connection between a graft and a blood vessel to create a bypass [source]


A diagnostic X-ray imaging procedure used to see how blood flows through the blood vessels and organs of the body. This is done by injecting special dyes, known as contrast agents, into the blood vessel and using x-ray techniques such as fluoroscopy to monitor blood flow. Examples include coronary angiography (heart), cerebral angiography (brain), and peripheral angiography (hands, arms, feet and legs). [source]


Aprotinin is a single chain polypeptide isolated from bovine lung with antifibrinolytic and anti-inflammatory activities. As a broad-spectrum serine protease inhibitor, aprotinin bovine competitively and reversibly inhibits the activity of a number of different esterases and proteases, including trypsin, chymotrypsin, kallikrein, plasmin, tissue plasminogen activator, and tissue and leukocytic proteinases, resulting in attenuation of the systemic inflammatory response (SIR), fibrinolysis, and thrombin generation. This agent also inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokine release and maintains glycoprotein homeostasis. [source]


The ability to be specifically recognized by the antibodies generated as a result of the immune response to the given substance. While all immunogenic substances are antigenic, not all antigenic substances are immunogenic. [source]




(1) Lab - A group of clinical specimens that are processed at the same time. (2) Pharmacology - A specific quantity of material or drug substance processed in one run or a series of runs, and thus expected to result in a homogenous end-product. [source]


The study of the chemical substances and processes that occur in plants, animals, and microorganisms and of the changes they undergo during development and life. It deals with the chemistry of life, and as such it draws on the techniques of analytical, organic, and physical chemistry, as well as those of physiologists concerned with the molecular basis of vital processes. All chemical changes within the organism—either the degradation of substances, generally to gain necessary energy, or the buildup of complex molecules necessary for life processes—are collectively called metabolism. These chemical changes depend on the action of organic catalysts known as enzymes, and enzymes, in turn, depend for their existence on the genetic apparatus of the cell. It is not surprising, therefore, that biochemistry enters into the investigation of chemical changes in disease, drug action, and other aspects of medicine, as well as in nutrition, genetics, and agriculture. [source]


A measure of how a biomaterial interacts in the body with the surrounding cells, tissues and other factors. A biomaterial is considered to have good biocompatibility if it does not generate a vigorous immune response, resists build-up of proteins and other substances on its surface that would hinder its function, and is resistant to infection. [source]

Biocompatibility is a general term describing the property of a material being compatible with living tissue. Biocompatible materials do not produce a toxic or immunological response when exposed to the body or bodily fluids. Biocompatible materials are central for use in medical implants and prosthetics to avoid rejection by the body tissue and to support harmonious biological functioning. [source]


Biodegradability is the ability of organic substances and materials to be broken down into simpler substances through the action of enzymes from microorganisms. If this process is complete, the initial organic substances are entirely converted into simple inorganic molecules such as water, carbon dioxide and methane. [source]


The application of concepts and methods of engineering, biology, medicine, physiology, physics, materials science, chemistry, mathematics and computer sciences to develop methods and technologies to solve health problems in humans. [source]


The branch of biology that is concerned with the acquisition, storage, display and analysis of biological information. Analysis of biological information includes statistical and computational methods to model biological processes. [source]


Any matter, surface, or construct that interacts with biological systems. Biomaterials can be derived from nature or synthesized in the laboratory using metallic components, polymers , ceramics, or composite materials. Medical devices made of biomaterials are often used to replace or augment a natural function. Examples include heart valves, hip replacements, and materials used regularly in dentistry and surgery. [source]

Biomaterials play an integral role in medicine today—restoring function and facilitating healing for people after injury or disease. Biomaterials may be natural or synthetic and are used in medical applications to support, enhance, or replace damaged tissue or a biological function. The first historical use of biomaterials dates to antiquity, when ancient Egyptians used sutures made from animal sinew. The modern field of biomaterials combines medicine, biology, physics, and chemistry, and more recent influences from tissue engineering and materials science. The field has grown significantly in the past decade due to discoveries in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and more. Metals, ceramics, plastic, glass, and even living cells and tissue all can be used in creating a biomaterial. They can be reengineered into molded or machined parts, coatings, fibers, films, foams, and fabrics for use in biomedical products and devices. These may include heart valves, hip joint replacements, dental implants, or contact lenses. They often are biodegradable, and some are bio-absorbable, meaning they are eliminated gradually from the body after fulfilling a function. [source]

Biomedical Imaging

The science and the branch of medicine concerned with the development and use of imaging devices and techniques to obtain internal anatomic images and to provide biochemical and physiological analysis of tissues and organs. [source]

Biomedical Engineering

The interdisciplinary science of Engineering, Life Sciences, and Medicine.


Using biological form and function seen in nature to inspire the design of solutions to engineering problems. [source]


A manufactured or engineered device that provides an environment that supports biological processes. Many bioreactors are used to grow cells or tissues for use in tissue engineering. [source]


A device that uses biological material, such as DNA, enzymes and antibodies, to detect specific biological, chemical, or physical processes and then transmits or reports this data. [source]

Blood-brain barrier

A highly selective, semi-impermeable boundary that divides the brain from the rest of the body. It allows the passage of vital molecules through specialized transport proteins and diffusion mechanisms. [source]


A form of radiation therapy in which one or more small radioactive sources is placed in or adjacent to an area requiring treatment. The dose rate and longevity of the radiation source is chosen to reflect the treatment plan and whether the radioactive material is left in place temporarily or permanently. A key feature of brachytherapy is that the radiation affects only a very localized area around the radiation source. Brachytherapy is commonly used to treat prostate, cervical and breast cancers. [source]

Brain-Computer Interface

A system that uses the brain’s electrical signals to allow individuals with limited mobility to learn to use their thoughts to move a computer cursor or other devices like a robotic arm or a wheelchair. [source]



Cell Reprogramming

Changing the function of a cell using chemical, protein or even mechanical force. Most commonly, a cell, like a skin cell, may be treated with protein factors that reprogram it to become a stem cell that can then be reprogrammed, with various protein or chemical factors, to function as a different type of cell such as a liver, heart or nerve cell. [source]

Chemical gradient

The amount of a chemical changes over a specified distance, generally increasing from a lower to higher amount. The gradual increase in the amount of a chemical drives many processes in our body that allow cell growth. [source]

Clinical Decision Support System

An interactive software-based system designed to assist physicians and other health professionals as well as patients with diagnostic and treatment decisions and reminders. The system compiles and analyzes medical information from raw data, health observations, and other medical information sources. [source]

Geranic acid

Choline geranate (also described as Choline And Geranic acid, or CAGE) has been developed as a novel biocompatible antiseptic material capable of penetrating skin and aiding the transdermal delivery of co-administered antibiotics. [source]

Computational Modeling

The use of mathematics, statistics, physics and computer science to study the mechanism and behavior of complex systems by computer simulation. A computational model contains numerous variables that characterize the system being studied. Simulation is done by adjusting these variables and observing how the changes affect the outcomes predicted by the model. [source]

Computed Tomography

A computerized X-ray imaging procedure in which a narrow beam of X-rays is aimed at a patient and quickly rotated around the body, producing signals that are processed by the machine’s computer to generate cross-sectional images—or “slices”—of the body. These slices are called tomographic images and contain more detailed information about the internal organs than conventional X-rays. [source]


(1) Chemical combination or linkage of chemical groups to organic molecules, often to produce a water-soluble form and allow more ready excretion. (2) The exchange of genetic material between paired single-cell organisms, such as bacteria. [source]

Contrast agent

A substance used to enhance the imaged appearance of structures, processes or fluids within the body in biomedical imaging. [source]

covalent bond

Covalent bond, in chemistry, the interatomic linkage that results from the sharing of an electron pair between two atoms. The binding arises from the electrostatic attraction of their nuclei for the same electrons. A covalent bond forms when the bonded atoms have a lower total energy than that of widely separated atoms. [source]


The COVID-19 RT-PCR test is a real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2. [source]


Crosslinking is the process of chemically joining two or more molecules by a covalent bond. The technique, often called bioconjugation when referring to its use with proteins and other biomolecules, is an essential component of many proteomics methods, including creation of detectable probes for western blotting and ELISA and strategies for investigating protein structure and interactions. Crosslinking reagents (or crosslinkers) are molecules that contain two or more reactive ends capable or chemically attaching to specific functional groups (primary amines, sulfhydryls, etc.) on proteins or other molecules. This article describes the chemistry and variety of crosslinkers that exist. [source]



Deep Brain Stimulation

A neurosurgical treatment utilizing a neurostimulator placed in the brain to deliver electrical signals to specific parts of the brain to help control unwanted movements such as in Parkinson’s disease or regulate the firing of neurons in the brain to help control the symptoms of disorders such as epilepsy or depression. [source]


(Science: biochemistry, chemistry) The reduction of a chemical Compound to one less complex, as by splitting off one or more groups. [source]


Dissolution is the process where a solute in gaseous, liquid, or solid phase dissolves in a solvent to form a solution. Solubility. Solubility is the maximum concentration of a solute that can dissolve in a solvent at a given temperature. At the maximum concentration of solute, the solution is said to be saturated. [source]

Drug Delivery Systems

Engineered technologies for the targeted delivery and/or controlled release of therapeutic agents. [source]




A medical imaging technique that measures the elasticity or stiffness of a tissue. The technique captures snapshots of shear waves, a special type of sound wave, as they move through the tissue. The stiffness of the tissue gives information about the possible presence of disease. For example tumors are harder than the surrounding normal tissue and disease livers are stiffer than healthy ones. [source]

Electroencephalography (EEG)

The recording of electrical activity along the scalp resulting from current flowing within the neurons of the brain. EEG can be used to diagnose epilepsy and other disorders associated with altered brain electrical activity. [source]

Electromagnetic Radiation

A kind of radiation including visible light, radio waves, gamma rays, and x-rays, in which electric and magnetic fields vary simultaneously. The different forms are differentiated by their wavelength and energy. For instance, visible light has relatively long wavelengths and less energy compared to x-rays or gamma rays with short wavelengths and high energy. [source]


Application of an external electrical field to increase the permeability of the cell membrane. It is usually used in molecular biology as a way of introducing some substance into a cell such as a drug, protein, or piece of DNA that can change the cell’s function. [source]


A thin illuminated flexible or rigid tube-like optical system used to examine the interior of a hollow organ or body cavity by direct insertion. Instruments can be attached for biopsy and surgery. Similar technology is used in a laparoscope. [source]

Engraftment (Engraft)

Engraftment is the process by which hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) make their way (homing) to free bone marrow (BM) niches where they can find optimal conditions to survive and proliferate. Once they have reached the BM microenvironment, HSC have to proliferate to generate all hematopoietic cell subsets. A fundamental goal for successful engraftment is that the transplanted HSC are capable of sustaining long-term effective hematopoiesis; production of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets; and their release to peripheral blood. Engraftment is the most important variable for a better overall survival after stem cell transplant. [source]


Biochemistry - Relating to or involving a substance produced by a living organism which acts as a catalyst to bring about a specific biochemical reaction. [source]

enzymatic degradation

Biochemical reaction in a living organism and the reduction of that chemical compound in to one that is less complex. See also:. [source]


in the manner of enzymes. [source]


Any of numerous compounds that are produced by living organisms and function as biochemical catalysts. Some enzymes are simple proteins, and others consist of a protein linked to one or more nonprotein groups. [source]


The external skeleton that supports and protects an animal’s body in contrast to the bones of an internal skeleton. Rehabilitation engineers have used this design in nature to develop exoskeletons that attach to the outside of the body and assist individuals with functions like arm and leg movement. [source]

Extracellular Matrix (ECM)

The ECM is a collection of extracellular molecules secreted by support cells that provides structural and biochemical support to the surrounding cells. [source]

Extracellular Vesicles (EVs)

Extracellular vesicles are nanosized, membrane-bound vesicles released from cells that can transport cargo — including DNA, RNA, and proteins — between cells as a form of intercellular communication. For example, EVs released from healthy cells can carry DNA, RNA or proteins that help to direct repair of damaged tissues. EVs released from tumor cells can carry DNA, RNA, and proteins that act to help the tumor to metastasize to other tissues. [source]



fibrin sealant

Background: Fibrin sealant is a two-component topical hemostat, sealant, and tissue adhesive consisting of fibrinogen and thrombin that has been used in the United States as a blood bank- or laboratory-derived product since the 1980s and has been commercially available since 1998. Methods/results: Initially, surgeons employed hospital-based materials because of the lack of availability of a commercially produced agent. At present, there are five U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved forms including products derived from pooled or autologous human plasma as well as bovine plasma. On-label indications include hemostasis, colonic sealing, and skin graft attachment. Recent clinical and experimental uses include tissue or mesh attachment, fistula closure, lymphatic sealing, adhesion prevention, drug delivery, and tissue engineering. [source]


The emission of light by a substance that has absorbed light or other electromagnetic radiation. The absorbed and emitted light are usually different wavelengths and therefore produce different colors. [source]


A fluorescent chemical compound that can re-emit light upon light excitation. Fluorophores are usually bonded to a molecule serving as a marker to stain tissues, cells, or materials in methods including fluorescent imaging and spectroscopy. [source]

focused ultrasound

A non-invasive therapeutic technique that directs ultrasonic waves to a specific location. [source]

focused ultrasound blood-brain barrier disruption

A non-invasive technology that uses high-frequency sound waves and microbubbles to reversibly open the blood-brain barrier. The ultrasound waves are emitted from a device called a transducer. [source]

Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)

A piece of equipment that uses infared spectroscopy to determine the type of material analyzed. FTIR stands for Fourier transform infrared, the preferred method of infrared spectroscopy. When IR radiation is passed through a sample, some radiation is absorbed by the sample and some passes through (is transmitted). The resulting signal at the detector is a spectrum representing a molecular ‘fingerprint’ of the sample. The usefulness of infrared spectroscopy arises because different chemical structures (molecules) produce different spectral fingerprints. [source]

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

An MRI-based technique for measuring brain activity. It works by detecting the changes in blood oxygenation and flow that occur in response to neural activity – when a brain area is more active it consumes more oxygen and to meet this increased demand blood flow increases to the active area. fMRI can be used to produce activation maps showing which parts of the brain are involved in a particular mental process. [source]



Gamma Ray

Electromagnetic radiation of the shortest wavelength and the highest energy. [source]


a clear substance obtained by boiling animal bones, skin, etc., and used to make some foods and other substances such as glue. [source]

glycosaminoglycans (GAGs)

GAGs are a main component of the ECM and are linked to the fibrous proteins in the ECM which include collagen, elastin, fibronectin, and laminin. [source]



Haptic Technology

A technology that provides the sense of touch to the user through forces, vibrations or motions. For medical procedures, haptic interfaces can improve minimally-invasive surgery by relaying the sense of pressure and touch through the instruments used by the surgeon. Haptic technology has been introduced into the design of prosthetics to provide sensory feedback to the user. [source]

hematopoietic stem cells (HSC)

Hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) or hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are cells present in blood and bone marrow. HPCs are capable of forming mature blood cells, such as red blood cells (the cells that carry oxygen), platelets (the cells that help stop bleeding) and white blood cells (the cells that fight infections). HPCs are used in the treatment of many malignant (e.g., leukemia, lymphoma) and non-malignant (e.g., sickle cell disease) diseases to replace or rebuild a patient’s hematopoietic system. This type of treatment is called a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. HPCs also have been used in clinical trials with U.S. FDA oversight for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, genetic diseases and other indications. [source]


(1) The stoppage of bleeding or hemorrhage. Also, the stoppage of blood flow through a blood vessel or organ of the body. Hemostasis is the arrest of bleeding, whether it be by normal vasoconstriction (the vessel walls closing temporarily), by an abnormal obstruction (such as a plaque) or by coagulation or surgical means (such as ligation). The term comes from the Greek roots heme, blood + stasis, halt = halt of the blood. [source] (2) Hemostasis is the mechanism that leads to cessation of bleeding from a blood vessel. It is a process that involves multiple interlinked steps. This cascade culminates into the formation of a “plug” that closes up the damaged site of the blood vessel controlling the bleeding. It begins with trauma to the lining of the blood vessel. Stages: The mechanism of hemostasis can divide into four stages. 1) Constriction of the blood vessel. 2) Formation of a temporary “platelet plug.” 3) Activation of the coagulation cascade. 4) Formation of “fibrin plug” or the final clot. Purpose: Hemostasis facilitates a series of enzymatic activations that lead to the formation of a clot with platelets and fibrin polymer. This clot seals the injured area, controls and prevents further bleeding while the tissue regeneration process takes place. Once the injury starts to heal, the plug slowly remodels, and it dissolves with the restoration of normal tissue at the site of the damage. [source]


A biomaterial made up of a network of polymer chains that are highly absorbent and as flexible as natural tissue. Hydrogels have a number of uses including as scaffolds for tissue engineering, as sustained release drug delivery systems, and as biosensors that are sensitive to specific molecules such as glucose. [source]


Hydrogels are hydrophilic, three-dimensional networks that are able to absorb large quantities of water or biological fluids, and thus have the potential to be used as prime candidates for biosensors, drug delivery vectors, and carriers or matrices for cells in tissue engineering. [source]

hydrophilic (water loving)

Materials with a special affinity for water — those it spreads across, maximizing contact. If the droplet spreads, wetting a large area of the surface, then the contact angle is less than 90 degrees and that surface is considered hydrophilic, or water-loving (from the Greek words for water, hydro, and love, philos). [source]

Hydrophobic (water fearing)

If the droplet forms a sphere that barely touches the surface — like drops of water on a hot griddle — the contact angle is more than 90 degrees, and the surface is hydrophobic, or water-fearing. [source]


Image-Guided Robotic Interventions

Medical procedures, primarily minimally invasive surgery, performed through a small incision or natural orifice using robotic tools operated remotely by a surgeon with visualization by devices such as cameras small enough to fit into a minimal incision. [source]


A biological staining technique in which the fluorescent signaling molecule is bound to an antibody to a protein of interest. When the “fluorescently tagged” antibody binds to its target protein the site or distribution of that protein can be visualized with the appropriate imaging devices. [source]


The ability of a substance to induce cellular and humoral immune response. While all immunogenic substances are antigenic, not all antigenic substances are immunogenic. [source]

Implantable Devices

Man-made medical devices implanted in the body to replace or augment biological functions. Such devices range from those that provide structural support, such as a hip replacement to those that contain electronics, such as pacemakers. Some implants are bioactive such as a drug-eluting stent used to open a blocked artery. [source]

In situ

In its original place. For example, in carcinoma in situ, abnormal cells are found only in the place where they first formed. They have not spread. [source]

In vitro (in the lab)

In the laboratory (outside the body). The opposite of in vivo (in the body). [source]

A laboratory experiment or process performed in a test tube, culture dish, or elsewhere outside a living animal. [source]

In vivo (in the body)

In the body. The opposite of in vitro (outside the body or in the laboratory). [source]

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC)

A stem cell that is formed by the introduction of stem-cell inducing factors into a differentiated cell of the body, typically a skin cell. [source]


(1) the process by which an electrical conductor becomes electrified when near a charged body, by which a magnetizable body becomes magnetized when in a magnetic field or in the magnetic flux set up by a magnetomotive force, or by which an electromotive force is produced in a circuit by varying the magnetic field linked with the circuit (2) the act of causing or bringing on or about. [source]

Ionizing Radiation

A type of electromagnetic radiation that can strip electrons from an atom or molecule – a process called ionization. Ionizing radiation has a relatively short wavelength on the electromagnetic spectrum. Examples of ionizing radiation include gamma rays, and X-rays. Lower energy ultraviolet, visible light, infrared, microwaves, and radio waves are considered non-ionizing radiation. [source]








A thin, lighted telescope-like viewing instrument that is inserted through a small incision or natural orifice to examine and operate on abdominal and pelvic structures. Similar technology is used in an endoscope. “Laparo” is derived from the Greek root for abdomen and pelvis; however devices similar to laparoscopes are used for other parts of the body such as thoroscopes for chest surgery. [source]

Laser Doppler Imaging

A technique used to measure the total local microcirculatory blood perfusion including the perfusion in capillaries, arterioles, venules and shunting vessels. The technique is based on the emission of a scanning beam of laser light and the Doppler shift that occurs when light particles hit moving blood cells. [source]



Magnetic Resonance Elastography (MRE)

A special MRI technique to capture snapshots of shear waves that move through the tissue and create “elastograms” or images that show tissue stiffness. MRE is used to non-invasively detect hardening of the liver caused by chronic liver disease. MRE also has the potential to diagnose diseases in other parts of the body. [source]

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

A non-invasive imaging technology used to investigate anatomy and function of the body in both health and disease without the use of damaging ionizing radiation. It is often used for disease detection, diagnosis, and treatment monitoring. It is based on sophisticated technology that excites and detects changes in protons found in the water that makes up living tissues. [source]

Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS)

A non-invasive analytic imaging technique used to study metabolic changes in diseases affecting the brain, including tumors, strokes, and seizures. The technique is also used to study the metabolism of other organs. MRS complements MRI as a non-invasive means for the characterization of tissue, by providing measure of the concentration of different chemical components within the tissue. [source]


An X-ray imaging method used to image the breast for the early detection of cancer and other breast diseases. It is used as both a diagnostic and screening tool. [source]


Refers to cells that develop into connective tissue, blood vessels, and lymphatic tissue. [source]

mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent stem cells found in bone marrow that are important for making and repairing skeletal tissues, such as cartilage, bone and the fat found in bone marrow. These are not to be confused with haematopoietic (blood) stem cells that are also found in bone marrow and make our blood. [source]

A term used to define non-blood adult stem cells from a variety of tissues. However, it is not clear whether mesenchymal stem cells from different tissues are the same. [source]


An abbreviation for mobile health, which is the practice of medicine and public health supported with mobile devices such as mobile phones for health services and information. [source]


Microscopic, preformed bubbles composed of varying materials that enable widespread applications. One application of microbubbles in medicine is as a contrast agent to help obtain clearer ultrasound images. [source]


A multidisciplinary field including engineering, physics, chemistry and biotechnology involving the design of systems for the precise control and manipulation of fluids on a small, sub-millimeter scale. Typically fluids are moved, mixed, separated or processed in various ways. [source]


Particles between 0.1 and 100 μm in size. A μm is a micrometer, which is one-millionth of a meter. Man-made microparticles include ceramics, glass, polymers and metals. In biological systems, microparticles are small membrane- bound vesicles derived from cells circulating in the bloodstream. Microparticles are generally 1000 times larger than nanoparticles. [source]


Using microscopes to view samples and objects that cannot be seen with the unaided eye. [source]

Minimally Invasive Surgery

A surgical procedure typically utilizing one or more small incisions through which laparoscopic surgical tools are inserted and manipulated by a surgeon. Minimally invasive surgery can reduce damage to surrounding healthy tissue, decrease the need for pain medication, and reduce patient recovery time. [source]

Molecular Imaging

A discipline that involves the visualization of molecular processes and cellular functions in living organisms. With the inclusion of a biomarker, which interacts chemically with tissues and structures of interest, many imaging techniques can be used for molecular imaging including ultrasound, x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging, optical imaging, positron emission tomography, and single photon emission computed tomography. [source]


The measurement of the form of living systems or their parts. In medicine, morphometry is often used to study changes in brain structure during development, aging and in response to disease. Researchers can measure anatomical features of the brain in terms of shape, mass and volume and derive various measures such as grey matter density and white matter connectivity using neuroimaging techniques and neuroinformatics. [source]

Multiphoton Microscopy

An imaging technique that uses two or three-photon excitation of a fluorophore in a specimen. Fluorescence occurs when two or more photons of excitation light are absorbed by the specimen at the same time. Because excitation occurs only where photons coincide, there is reduced phototoxicity and photobleaching and greater depth penetration. Because of the reduced toxicity, the method is ideal for imaging living specimens especially when deep imaging is required. [source]

Multiscale Modeling

Multiscale modeling uses mathematics and computation to quantitatively represent and simulate a system at more than one scale while functionally linking the mathematical models across these scales. Biological and behavioral scales include atomic, molecular, molecular complexes, sub-cellular, cellular, multi-cell systems, tissue, organ, multi-organ systems, organism/individual, group, organization, market, environment, and populations. [source]




Ultrafine particles between 1 and 100 nanometers in size. The size is similar to that of most biological molecules and structures. Nanoparticles can be engineered for a wide variety of biomedical uses including diagnostic devices, contrast agents, physical therapy applications, and drug delivery vehicles. A nanoparticle is approximately 1/10,000 the width of a human hair. Nanoparticles are generally 1000 times smaller than microparticles. [source]


The manipulation of matter with at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometers. Research areas include surface science, molecular biology, semiconductor physics, and microfabrication. Applications are diverse and include device physics, molecular self-assembly, and precisely manipulating atoms and molecules. [source]

Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS)

A spectroscopic method that uses the near-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum for pharmaceutical and medical diagnostics, typically measurements of blood sugar and blood oxygen levels. [source]


Includes the use of a number of techniques to image the structure and function of the brain, spinal cord, and associated structures. [source]


A broad discipline of neuroscience and biomedical engineering concerned with developing devices that can substitute a motor, sensory or cognitive function lost due to injury or disease. Examples encompass a wide range including cochlear implants, visual prosthetics, and brain-computer interfaces for conscious control of movement in paralyzed individuals. [source]

Nuclear Medicine

A medical specialty that uses radioactive tracers (radiopharmaceuticals) to assess bodily functions and to diagnose and treat disease. Diagnostic nuclear medicine relies heavily on imaging techniques that measure cellular function and physiology. [source]




A protein encoded by an oncogene which can cause the transformation of a cell into a tumor cell if introduced into it. [source]

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

A technique for obtaining sub-surface images such as diseased tissue just below the skin. For example, ophthalmologists use OCT to obtain detailed images from within the retina. Cardiologists also use it to help diagnose coronary artery disease. [source]

Optical Imaging

A technique for non-invasively looking inside the body, as is done with x-rays. Unlike x-rays, which use ionizing radiation, optical imaging uses visible light and the special properties of photons to obtain detailed images of organs and tissues as well as smaller structures including cells and molecules. [source]




The movement of fluid through blood vessels to a cell tissue or an organ, generally referring to blood. [source]


A particle of light or electromagnetic radiation. The energies of photons range from high-energy gamma rays and x-rays to low-energy radio waves. [source]

Piezoelectric Crystals

Crystals in the transducer of an ultrasound device that vibrate when an electric signal is applied, emitting high-frequency sound pressure waves. The crystals are the crucial component of an ultrasound device both producing and detecting the ultrasound waves used to image structures inside of the body. [source]


Testing and treating of patients at sites close to where they live. Rapid diagnostic tests are used to obtain immediate, on-site results. The success of the concept relies on portable, rapid diagnostic devices that provide results directly to the user, which allows health care workers in remote areas to test and treat patients at the time of the visit. [source]


A large molecule composed of many repeating subunits. Polymers range from familiar synthetic plastics such as polystyrene to natural biopolymers such as DNA. Polymers have unique physical properties, including strength, flexibility and elasticity. [source]

Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

PET scans use radiopharmaceuticals to create 3 dimensional images. The decay of the radiotracers used with PET scans produce small particles called positrons. When positrons react with electrons in the body they annihilate each other. This annihilation produces two photons that shoot off in opposite directions. The detectors in the PET scanner measure these photons and use this information to create images of internal organs. [source]

Progenitor Cells

Progenitor cells are cells that are similar to stem cells but instead of the ability to become any type of cell, they are already predisposed to develop into a particular type of cell. [source]


The design, fabrication, and fitting of artificial body parts. [source]






The emission of energy as electromagnetic waves or as moving subatomic particles, especially high-energy particles that cause ionization. [source]

Radiopharmaceuticals (radioactive tracers)

Radioactive tracers are made up of carrier molecules that are bonded tightly to a radioactive atom. The carrier molecule is designed to bind to the tissue being examined so that the radioactive atom can be scanned to produce an image from inside the body. [source]

Raman Spectroscopy

This technique relies on inelastic scattering of visible, near-infrared, or near-ultraviolet light that is delivered by a laser. The laser light interacts with molecular vibrations in the material being examined, and shifts in energy are measured that reveal information about the properties of the material. The technique has a wide variety of applications including identifying chemical compounds and characterizing the structure of materials and crystals. In medicine, Raman gas analyzers are used to monitor anesthetic gas mixtures during surgery. [source]

Rapid diagnostic test

Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are medical diagnostic tests that provide quick results and can be used in various settings. Results are typically indicated in an hour or less. Pregnancy testing is one example of an RDT, producing results within several minutes. RDTs have become a widely used method to detect a range of infections using blood, saliva, or urine samples. Examples of infections for which RDTs have been developed include malaria, strep throat, STDs, and HIV. Reliable and accurate COVID-19 RDTs are a goal of NIBIB’s Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Tech (RADx Tech) initiative. [source]

Regenerative Medicine

A broad field that includes tissue engineering but also incorporates research on self-healing – where the body uses its own systems, sometimes with the help of foreign biological material to rebuild tissues and organs. [source]

Regenerative medicine

Regenerative medicine is a broad field that includes tissue engineering but also incorporates research on self-healing – where the body uses its own systems, sometimes with help foreign biological material to recreate cells and rebuild tissues and organs. The terms “tissue engineering” and “regenerative medicine” have become largely interchangeable, as the field hopes to focus on cures instead of treatments for complex, often chronic, diseases. [source]

Rehabilitation Engineering

The use of engineering science and principles to develop technological solutions and devices to assist individuals with disabilities, and aid the recovery of physical and cognitive functions lost because of disease or injury. [source]


Resazurin (Sodium Salt). Cell proliferation and viability dye. Resazurin (7-hydroxy-10-oxidophenoxazin-10-ium-3-one, sodium) is a blue fluorogenic dye used as a redox indicator in cell viability and proliferation assays for bacteria, yeast or mammalian cells. [source]

Robotic Surgery

Surgery performed through very small incisions or natural orifices using thin finger-like robotic tools controlled remotely by the surgeon through a telemanipulator or computer interface. [source]




A structure of artificial or natural materials on which tissue is grown to mimic a biological process outside the body or to replace a disease or damaged tissue inside the body. [source]


In medicine and biotechnology, sensors are tools that detect specific biological, chemical, or physical processes and then transmit or report this data. Some sensors work outside the body while others are designed to be implanted within the body. Sensors help health care providers and patients monitor health conditions. Sensors are also used to monitor the safety of medicines, foods and other environmental substances we may encounter. [source]

Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT)

A nuclear medicine imaging technique using gamma rays. SPECT imaging instruments provide 3 dimensional images of the distribution of radioactive tracer molecules that have been introduced into the patient’s body. The 3D images are computer generated from a large number of images of the body recorded at different angles by cameras that rotate around the patient. [source]


Spatiotemporal, or spatial temporal, relates to space and time. Spatial refers to space and temporal refers to time. [source]


the branch of science concerned with the investigation and measurement of spectra produced when matter interacts with or emits electromagnetic radiation. [source]

Stem Cell

An undifferentiated cell of a multicellular organism that is capable of giving rise to more of the same cell type indefinitely, and has the ability to differentiate into many other types of cells that form the structures of the body. [source]

Stem Cells

Stem cells are the body’s raw materials — cells from which all other cells with specialized functions are generated. Under the right conditions in the body or a laboratory, stem cells divide to form more cells called daughter cells. These daughter cells either become new stem cells (self-renewal) or become specialized cells (differentiation) with a more specific function, such as blood cells, brain cells, heart muscle cells or bone cells. No other cell in the body has the natural ability to generate new cell types. [source]

Structural Biology

The study of the structure of large biomolecules like proteins and nucleic acids, how the structure relates to the function of the molecule, and how alterations in structure affect function. Various methods such as crystallography are used to gain information about the structure of a molecule. This information is often analyzed with bioinformatics techniques to obtain or solve the structure of the molecule. [source]

Structured Illumination Microscopy (SIM)

A form of super high resolution microscopy designed to capture extremely clear images of cells and molecules, even when they are moving quickly. The sophisticated technique uses a number of filters and other light processors to rapidly scan images, combine multiple images, and eliminate out of focus light in order to obtain super-resolution images of cells and subcellular structures in motion. [source]


A large circular facility/device that accelerates sub-atomic particles in a magnetic field in a circular path that generates electromagnetic radiation with a defined exit (beam line). One type of synchrotron (a synchrotron light source) converts a high-energy beam of electrons into high-energy x-rays that can be used in a number of applications including biomedical imaging. [source]




The use of communications technologies to provide and support health care at a distance. [source]


An international unit to describe the strength of a magnetic field. [source]


The relatively experimental science of combining therapy and diagnosis into a single procedure or molecule. Towards this end, bioengineers are building multi-functional nanoparticles that can be introduced into a patient, find the site of disease, diagnose the condition, and deliver the appropriate, personalized therapy. [source]


A blood clot within blood vessels that limits the flow of blood. Acute venous and arterial thromboses are the most common cause of death in developed countries. The mortality rate varies with the location and acuity of thrombosis. Myocardial infarctions and cerebrovascular accidents (CVAs) account for the highest proportion of thrombosis-associated deaths in the United States. This activity reviews the basic pathophysiology, provoking risk factors, and evaluation of venous and arterial thromboses and highlights the role of interprofessional team members in collaborating to provide well-coordinated care and enhance outcomes for affected patients. [source]

TISSEEL fibrin sealant

See fibrin sealant and [TISSEEL].

Tissue Engineering

An interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary field that aims at the development of biological substitutes that restore, maintain, or improve tissue function. [source]

Tissue engineering

Tissue engineering evolved from the field of biomaterials development and refers to the practice of combining scaffolds, cells, and biologically active molecules into functional tissues. The goal of tissue engineering is to assemble functional constructs that restore, maintain, or improve damaged tissues or whole organs. Artificial skin and cartilage are examples of engineered tissues that have been approved by the FDA; however, currently they have limited use in human patients. [source]

tissue regeneration

The ability or process in which biological tissues regrow. Regeneration means the re-growth of part of the affected or lost organs of the remaining tissue. Animals can regenerate some organs, such as the liver. Different species have significant capabilities to regenerate parts of the body or whole organism after injury, but a thorough understanding of the molecular basis of regeneration mechanisms will require detailed genomic resources. [source]




A form of acoustic energy, or sound, that has a frequency that is higher than the level of human hearing. As a medical diagnostic technique, high frequency sound waves are used to provide real-time medical imaging image inside the body without exposure to ionizing radiation. As a therapeutic technique, high frequency sound waves interact with tissues to destroy diseased tissue such as tumors, or to modify tissues, or target drugs to specific locations in the body. [source]




the quality of being subject to change, especially frequent, random, or short-term change. [source]

Vasculogenesis (Vasculogenic)

Vasculogenesis can be defined as the formation of primitive vascular structures during embryogenesis via the differentiation of endothelial precursor cells. [source]






A form of high energy electromagnetic radiation that can pass through most objects, including the body. X-rays travel through the body and strike an x-ray detector (such as radiographic film, or a digital x-ray detector) on the other side of the patient, forming an image that represents the “shadows” of objects inside the body. [source]






See also:


© Lukas W. DiBeneditto, dibeneditto.com