The West of Ireland is fast becoming a centre of excellence for biomedical engineering. This field combines engineering expertise with medical needs for the enhancement of health care. It is a branch of engineering in which knowledge and skills are developed and applied to define and solve problems in biology and medicine.
Biomedical engineers work with living systems, and apply advanced technology to the complex problems of medical care. Biomedical engineers may be called upon to design instruments and devices, to bring together knowledge from many sources to develop new procedures, or to carry out research to acquire knowledge needed to solve new problems.
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) occurs when cholesterol
fats are deposited in the coronary arteries, narrowing or blocking them,
thereby reducing the heart's blood supply. This build up is called artherosclerotic
plaque. There can be single or multiple blockages and they can vary in
severity and location. For decades physicians have attempted to increase
the diminished blood supply to the heart following coronary artery blockage.
Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) surgery is a common method used
to treat CAD and has proven to be safe and effective over time. A more
recent and non-invasive technique for treating CAD is Coronary Angioplasty,
or Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA). Coronary Angioplasty
is a procedure that opens blocked coronary arteries, most commonly by
inflating a tiny balloon in the coronary artery. However, there are several
types of angioplasty and the type of procedure chosen depends on the characteristics
of the individual's artery and the extent of the damage caused.
The technology encountered by these engineers includes Injection and Insert Moulding, Extrusion, Balloon-forming, Chemical Coating, Wire-knitting, EDM, Electro-plating, Electro-polishing, Grinding, Surface Treatment, Laser Welding, Laser Cutting.
Many of the biomedical companies have located a Research and Development Centre alongside their Manufacturing Facility. In these centres, engineers work very closely with world leading physicians on the development of innovative and technology driven products and processes.
These engineers are constantly working with world
class development tools, experimental techniques, rapid prototyping, CAD,
CAM and Finite Element Analysis techniques.