CUHK takes lead with new biomed department

Local | Michelle Chan 21 Sep 2017

The Chinese University of Hong Kong has established the first biomedical engineering department in the SAR, with a view to nurturing professionals and opening up new areas of scientific research.

The department, in the engineering faculty, will begin independent enrollment for its undergraduate degree program next academic year, offering about 50 places.

The university has offered a biomedical engineering degree since 2010.

Courses will be jointly offered by the faculties of engineering and medicine, aiming to solve medical problems with interdisciplinary research, especially illnesses related to the aging population.

Department chairman Raymond Tong Kai-yu said biomedical engineering has developed rapidly over the past 20 years and the program was launched "at an appropriate time to cater to the urgent demands in society."

"In the past, it was hard for us to compete for research resources with other engineering departments. Now we are able to have more concentrated resources to enhance effectiveness in developing new technologies to meet the increasing medical needs," Tong said.

Stroke survivor Mrs Tam, who has been using the functional electrical stimulation cycling system for rehabilitation invented by the department, said the innovation had helped relieve swollen muscles and gain control over her lower body. It can be used indoors and outdoors for the rehabilitation exercise of stroke survivors and the elderly with deteriorating mobility. "My situation improved a lot and I will continue the rehabilitation training," Tam said.

The biomedical engineering program will cover four areas - medical facilities and biosensors, biomedical imaging and infomatics, biomaterials and regenerative medicine as well as nanomedicine.

Graduates from the program can engage in scientific research, work as biomedical engineers in hospitals, product design and manufacturing, as well as design and implement regulation of medical devices.

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