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Overview

NCTU decided many years ago to develop its biomedical engineering program, based upon an existing solid foundation in electronics and close relations with the electronics industry. Recently, development has accelerated. A new interdisciplinary BioICT building (Xianqi building) is currently under construction. It is hoped that such will be another step forward in the domestic development of biomedical engineering. Since biomedical engineering relies on people with clinical backgrounds to describe clinical needs, and requires a combination of skills from all areas of science and engineering to develop useful biomedical products, combining skills from academia and industry is needed. Our institute accepts students from a variety of backgrounds. We combine the extensive resources available at the university in terms of engineering and science, in both teaching and research. A large of variety of courses are offered in order to encourage breadth of knowledge and to develop biomedical engineering leaders with interdisciplinary skills.
 
Students are individually recruited to the program. Administrative tasks are handled by the College of Electrical and Computer Engineering. In 2015, students enter as part of the following concentrations.
 
Biomedical informatics
Biomedical electronics and photonics
Biomedical applications
 
Biomedical informatics
 
Includes bioinformatics, biomedical information and image processing, and computer-aided drug discovery
 

By understanding the combination of sequence, structure, function, and systems, we seek to combine knowledge of the fundamentals of biology with applications in biotechnology. Such will develop core competencies for the biomedical and bioengineering industries. At the same time, we seek to discover mechanisms related to disease treatment related to the above. With regard to drug development, we seek to develop means for providing drug candidates with minimal side effects.
 
The optimization of drug compounds and the raising of the speed and quality of drug development would benefit the following fields.
 
A. Medicine
B. Mechanisms underlying cancer and other disease 
C. Personalized (genetically-based) medicine 
D. Drug development E. Biomarkers and vaccine development
 
In computational biology, we are looking at the following:
 
A. biomedical information survey and analysis 
B. prediction of homologous proteins 
C. relationships among sequence, structure, and function 
D. gene regulation 
E. forecasts of structures ab initio 
F. protein function and metabolic pathways G. etc.
 
These items are all very helpful in terms of using biomedical informatics to accelerate the development of the domestic biotechnology industry.
 
Biomedical information and image processing covers a broad range of areas. Our school is pursuing novel research with regard to large and complex databases of electrocardiograms, electroencephalograms, MRI scans, and other clinical images. At the same time, the retrieval, transmission, storage, and analysis are emphasized so that they can be efficiently used in clinical diagnosis and treatment. This area of research is geared toward home-based monitoring and integration of such with the cloud, and has greatly raised our profile. The potential for commercialization is substantial. Finally, image processing can be applied to complex cellular structures and complexes to accelerate development in the life sciences.
 
Biomedical electronics and photonics
 
Includes biomimetics, biomedical microelectronic systems, neural interfaces, and medical instrumentation.
 
Intelligent biomimetic systems and biomedical microelectronic system platforms are the foundation of all biomedical electronics. If we can establish a platform that meets strict certification requirements, we can drastically shorten the development time for biomedical electronic components and accelerate industrial development. Therefore, the curriculum and research team, is planning to develop skills needed to build an electronics platform. In addition, miniaturizing items onto a single chip with built-in wireless capabilities is also planned, along with goals for seeking certifications. At present, an epilepsy animal model has been selected. Development of a single implantable chip system and assessment of its functionality and safety are underway. In the future, system integration and miniaturization are planned so that it can be used in humans. Such systems would be able to cure numerous nervous system disorders that to date have defied treatment such as epilepsy, pain syndromes, severe depression, Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, etc. Finally, our school has already had great breakthroughs in the development of artificial retina chips. It is hoped that these chips could be directly implanted within the eye. By replacing the light-sensitive cells of the retina, sight could be restored to the blind.
Neural interfaces include connecting the human nervous system and electric or magnetic systems within and without the body. Examples include the electronic ear, deep-brain (electric) stimulation, spinal (electric) stimulation, transcranial (magnetic) stimulation, etc. Our school's research team has studied the interface between electrodes and nerves. The introduction of an electric current, was used to treat diseases of the the human nervous system by stimulating it. By introducing high-precision electric stimulation, the electronic ear has been verified to allow its user to differentiate among 300 pitches, which exceeds the previous record by a factor of 2.5. According to patients, we are the world leader in implantable personal medical electronic devices that replace a defect in the nervous system.
Medical equipment. Includes rehabilitation engineering. Medical equipment is one of the principal points of national development. It is necessary to combine the needs of the patient with our university's superior engineering skills and research capabilities. A combination of areas including structural design, mechanics, signals acquisition and analysis, image analysis, and systems controls is needed to develop such. Areas of application include neurosurgery, guided surgery, laparoscopic surgical equipment, rehabilitation robots, orthopedic surgery, dental implants, etc.
 
Biomedical Applications
 
Neural Engineering and Cognitive Neural Science - a converging discipline of cognitive neuroscience, biomedical science, information and electrical engineering technology. In this discipline, the main goal is to conduct basic and applied research in neuro-engineering and study the function of neurophysiology and neural network.
Bio-nanotechnology focuses on the development and study of nanotechnology in sensing and targeted molecular delivery system. With the application of biomarkers and biosensors, the nanotechnology has brought the employment of compatible and detectable new materials in nanoscale dimensions. Targeted nano-biosensors can detect particular molecules in human cells, and use these biomarkers to determine the occurrence of diseases. Targeted molecular delivery system can directly deliver medicine to contaminated cells, therefore improves the effectiveness of medicine and the control of contagious diseases and reduces the side effects of medicine at the same time.
Biosensor is a growing specialty of biomedical engineering applied to disease detection and diagnosis due to its high sensitivity. Biosensor has a major potential in biomedical technology. The integration and cooperation with Electronics Engineering, Micro Nano fabrication engineering, Life Science and Biotechnology in NCTU will cultivate diverse detection theories for the advancement of biomedical industry.
Translational Biomedical Engineering describes a new perspective of translating the research of basic medical sciences to the area of clinical diagnosis or treatment. In the early stage of the development, there are three specialties in BME institute: targeting molecule, rational drug design and animal experimentation.