Brianna Persauds’ 750-Word Expanded Definition of Bioengineering

TO: Professor. Jason Ellis

FROM: Brianna Persaud 

DATE: October 20, 2020 

SUBJECT: Expanded Definition of Bioengineering 

Introduction [Heading Level 2]

    The purpose of this document is to elucidate what bioengineering is. I will be discussing this term through multiple different sections. It will include several definitions of bioengineering, followed by several contextual discussions and end off with providing a working definition of the term.

 Definition [Heading Level 2]

  “Bioengineering, as a field of research and applications, brings to bear not only engineering on medicine and biological organisms, but also a knowledge of biology on engineering designs. This helps assess the meaning of engineering as the extender of biology and ultimately helps engineering develop a clearer sense of its own nature and address the ethical issues involved in its modification of nature and the creation  of machines, that is artifacts. (Bugliarello, Mitcham, et al, 2005)”. In other words, bioengineering is a very important and upcoming field of study that bridges the gap to several different areas of science that are heavily related to one another. These areas of science, including medicine, biological organisms and engineering all coincide with another to form what is known as bioengineering. Bioengineering helps us to understand how engineering can extend the limitations of biological studies while at the same time enhancing biological studies through tackling issues within nature and ethics through biological engineering. “Eventually the interventions on the human body fulfilled other needs through diagnostic and curative tools and processes, from the application of bioengineering to bioastronautics starting in the 1960s (Konecci 1968) to X-ray visualization through computed tomography (CT), ultrasound scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to hearing aids, surgical robots, autoanalyzers, DNA-sequencing machines, tissue engineering, and the application of engineering knowledge to the understanding of biological (Bejan 2000) and therapeutic processes.(Bugliarello, Mitcham, et al, 2005)” Furthermore, bioengineering opened the door to several operations that both were never thought of or were ever able to be conducting prior to its creation. Bioengineering has been able to completely alter countless lives in numerous beneficial ways through the creation of devices such as hearing aids, which allows people with poor hearing to be able to hear at a better rate, X-ray visualization which allows doctors to determine any breaks or misplacements in your body’s skeleton and tissue engineering that improves the surgical ability to replace or repair muscle tissues. In addition to all of these creations, bioengineering has also opened the door to MRI’s, surgical robots, ultrasound scans, autoanalyzers and many other methods that assist doctors in identifying the exact problem their patient is facing whether it be in the emergency room or at a regular check up. “Bioengineering is to design or construct using biological principles. Later chiefly: to produce or modify (a substance, organism, etc.) using the techniques of bioengineering, esp. genetic engineering.(Oxford University Press)”. Additionally, bioengineering is the pioneer to genetic engineering and altercation. “ All of these definitions are alike with one another because they all explain the overall understanding of what bioengineering ultimately is. For example, The first definition allows the reader to understand how bioengineering ultimately tackles issues in both nature and ethics while also being cut from the same cloth as medicine and biological organisms. The second definition allows you to have an interpretation of what bioengineering is and how several different aspects of science tie together as one in order to create what is known as bioengineering. However, one person may use this specific definition to illustrate how broad bioengineering can be and how it ushered in different procedures into the medical industry. The third definition gives a synopsis of what bioengineering is ultimately used to create and construct various principles in biology. 

Context [Heading Level 2]

  “In fact, bioengineering is a truly interdisciplinary field, drawing on the techniques and knowledge of all branches of science and engineering. (Maquire, Novik, et al, p11, 2010) To add to this, bioengineering is the combination of both biology and engineering to benefit various aspects of life. “Chapter 9 on “ Tissue Engineering ” by Bernd Denecke, Michael Wöltje, Sabine Neuss and Willi Jahnen-Dechent discusses the approach to tissue engineering by combining cells and biomaterials into functional tissues. (Artmann, G.M, Chien, et al, p11, 2008)” Tissue engineering is a huge staple amongst the bioengineering industry. This procedure allows for surgery to be conducted in order to combine cells from other organisms or a different area of the body in order to repair or replace tissues that are damaged. “Nanotechnology is another field in which bioengineering is used to develop innovative medical procedures and products. Nanotechnology is the production of technology and materials at an extremely tiny level. (Burillo-Kirch, Christine, Cornell, et al, p84, 2016)” The engineering aspect of bioengineering has allowed access to nanotechnology being incorporated into the medical field. This allows doctors to complete procedures that allow them to enter the human body through small crevices and analyze what can’t be seen by the normal human eye. Nano technology is also used through medical nanorobotics, eye surgery, painful injections being substituted for eye drops, and many more possibilities. 

Working Definition [Heading Level 2]

   Taking away from the definitions and quotes utilized throughout my writing, in my own words bioengineering is a life changing aspect of the medical field that is derived from a combination of biology and engineering. Bioengineering has created and further developed ideas of the medical industry in an effort to establish new ways to better the lives of living organisms and the environment we live in. Due to bioengineering, we have established new procedures such as eye surgery, tissue engineering, ultrasound scans, etc. While at the same time innovating new material such as X-ray vision, nanorobotics, hearing aids, etc. Bioengineering is relevant to my career because engineering is involved in a variety of aspects that design new advancements in every aspect of life everyday. WIthout bioengineering, the medical field would not be able to move forward anywhere in the near future. 

Reference [Heading Level 2]

Artmann, G., & Chien, S. (2008). Bioengineering in Cell and Tissue Research. In Bioengineering in Cell and Tissue Research (1. Aufl.). Springer-Verlag. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-75409-1

Burillo-Kirch, C., & Cornell, A. (2016). Bioengineering: Discover How Nature Inspires Human Designs with 25 Projects. In Bioengineering. Nomad Press.

Bugliarello, George. “Bioengineering Ethics.” Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics, edited by Carl Mitcham, vol. 1, Macmillan Reference USA, 2005, pp. 190-193. Gale eBooks, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/CX3434900093/GVRL?u=cuny_nytc&sid=GVRL&xid=cd964595

Accessed 6 Oct. 2020.

In Law, J., & Martin, E. (Eds.), Concise Medical Dictionary. : Oxford University Press. Retrieved 6 Oct. 2020, from https://www-oxfordreference-com.citytech.ezproxy.cuny.edu/view/10.1093/acref/9780198836612.001.0001/acref-9780198836612-e-1093.  

Lachner, E., & Zumbusch, A. (2015). Bioengineering. In Bioengineering. Rosen Publishing Group 

Maguire, T., & Novik, E. (2010). Methods in Bioengineering: Alternative Technologies to Animal Testing. In Methods in Bioengineering. Artech House.

OED Online. (September 2020) “bioengineering. v.” Oxford University Press.

https://www-oed-com.citytech.ezproxy.cuny.edu/view/Entry/273299?rskey=omdpBX&result=

Accessed October 06, 2020.

 

Summary of Watkins and Mensah et al.’s “Peer Support and STEM Success for One African American Female Engineer”

TO: Professor J Ellis 

FROM: Brianna Persaud 

DATE: 9/19/2020

SUBJECT: 500- Word Summary  

This is a 500- word summary of the “Peer Support and STEM Success for One African American Female Engineer” by Shari Earnest Watkins and Felicia Moore Mansah, of The Journal of Negro Education. 

African Americans face hardships that other races typically don’t have to when pursuing a career related to STEM. “A handful of researchers have investigated the experiences of African American PhD Scientists and have found race to be an influential factor for persistence in their STEM careers (Brown et al., 2013; Pearson.” In the article that was assigned to my class and I, there were several studies conducted to identify these obstacles that African-Amercians, particularly African-Amercian women face. These studies were conducted by Dr. Jenkins in an effort to fight for the betterment of her race and equal opportunity. Dr. Jenkins studied as an undergraduate at an HBCU and pursued a Master’s degree immediately afterwards at graduate school. 

According to Dr. Jenkins, studying as an undergraduate was one of the best experiences of her life. Her coming to this conclusion was influenced by establishing peer relationships within her HBCU. Dr. Jenkins believes that peer relationships ultimately have the most influence on African-American women studying under STEM programs. Dr. Jenkins also goes on to state that establishing peer relationships (with same race peers in particular) assisted in building confidence, passion and companionship. She also credits much of her success to her peers that she established relationships with during her time as an undergraduate due to how close she became with them. Along with her peers, she dedicated a lot of time to studying as well. While Dr. Jenkins emphasizes the importance of establishing peer relationships in college as an African American, she also discusses how racism and race  affects those of her descent  that are particularly not in the same environment as she was during her undergraduate studies. Studies along with Dr. Jenkins Graduate school experience indicates that racism plays a significant role in determining whether African American students succeed in pursuing their degree under the STEM umbrella. Oher students that aren’t placed in that same environment as her are automatically at a disadvantage due to lack of fair treatment and equal opportunities.

As Dr. Jenkins began to talk about her experience as a graduate student, she talks about the unexpected struggle she began to face while not being in the same environment as she was as an undergraduate. Dr. Jenkins was no longer surrounded by the same peers she was before, making it incredibly hard on herself to stay motivated and to achieve the same status she once had academically as well. In her new environment, Dr. Jenkins felt isolated due to her new peers not being willing to assist her while also excluding her from a lot of experiences. Dr. Jenkins even states that during her graduate studies, her peers were very ‘cliquish’ and tended to stay within their own race. If it wasn’t for her same race peers outside of her university, ‘superstar jaheed’ in particular, she believes that she wouldn’t have been able to achieve her Masters degree.  All in all, as an African American student, racism is very prevalent in education, so comradery can alleviate that hardship while also guiding you to achieving your STEM degree. 

Reference: 

       Watkins SE, Mensah FM. Peer Support and STEM Success for One African American     Female Engineer. Journal of Negro Education. 2019;88(2):181-193. doi:10.7709/jnegroeducation.88.2.0181