Biomedical Engineering Degree: Master
Biomedical Engineering is a rapidly emerging discipline that applies engineering tools and methods to medical diagnostics and treatment. The students pursuing our program can specialize in a broad range of subdisciplines, including implants and regenerative technologies, image acquisition and therapies, computer assisted surgeries, or on diagnostic and therapeutic technologies. Such interdisciplinary education on medical devices for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, positions our students in a privileged position develop a career in a thriving academic and industrial environment.
This Joint Degree Master in Biomedical Engineering is offered by the School of Life Sciences of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) and the Medical Faculty of the University of Basel. The program takes place on site at the School of Life Sciences in Muttenz and at the University Campuses in Allschwil and Basel.
The contents of the first semester of this program strongly depends on the students’ individual background. Thus, students with a medical background undergo a deep dive into basic engineering courses. Inversely, students with an engineering/natural science backgrounds are exposed to the fundamentals of human medicine. In parallel to this tailored education, early fundamentals of biomedical engineering are introduced.
The second semester of this program deepens the general biomedical engineering skills and knowledge up to the master’s level and sets a focus to one of two study tracks: either Medical System Engineering or Biomaterial Science and Engineering. This is accompanied by a wide range of elective modules of biomedical engineering.
During the third semester, the tracks progress towards our specialization foci, including Computer Assisted Surgery, Image Acquisition and Analysis, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologies, and Implants and Regenerative Technologies. All specializations are complemented with a wide range of elective courses. The third semester culminates with hands-on training in the form of a semester thesis, lab sessions and practical training. As a result, our students acquire the required skillset to move forward towards the Master’s Thesis in the last semester.
Thus, the fourth semester is devoted to the Master’s Thesis, whereby the students work independently on a scientific project of their choice, supervised by our Professors. The Thesis culminates with a public defense.
Students graduating within this program will obtain a joint degree as «Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering».
Focal area of teaching and research
Students can choose during their studies between two tracks (2nd Semester) and four specializations (3rd Semester):
Track I - Medical System Engineering: This track puts the focus on medical devices using electronics and digitalization, covering topics from the area of signal acquisition and processing, control theory, and includes general aspects of modelling and simulation in biomedical engineering. The track pushes the knowledge toward applications in diagnostics, therapeutics, computer-assisted surgeries, and imaging systems. This track sets the stage for 3rd semester specializations in computer assisted surgery, image acquisition and analysis, or diagnostic and therapeutic technologies.
Track II – Biomaterials Science and Engineering: This track puts the focus on medical devices and technologies involving mechanical or biological materials for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. The track provides knowledge and skills in material sciences, fabrication technologies in particular with biological materials, all supplemented with relevant aspects in tissue regeneration technologies. This track maps out the 3rd semester specializations in implants, regenerative technology and diagnostic and therapeutic technology.
Specialization A: Computer Assisted Surgery: Students, in the module Computer-Assisted Surgery, gain a comprehensive understanding of the fundamentals to develop new and existing methods for surgeons and medical staff in the complex environment of operating rooms in hospitals such as the principles of surgical navigation and robotic systems, computer-assisted surgery planning, modelling, simulation and execution by smart tools, robots and visualization systems. Course topics include:
- Computer-assisted surgery
- Medical Robotics
- MR Imaging
- Deep Learning
Specialization B: Image Acquisition and Analysis: This module will discuss advanced imaging techniques like magnetic resonance, ultrasound, X-ray, computer tomography, infrared photography, ...), applied in dental offices, hospitals and forensic institutes. Students will gain insights into the development and application of medical imaging techniques and image analysis and using AI (artificial intelligence) to improve therapy monitoring (ie radiotherapy), for personalized adaptive therapy or for automated approaches in image acquisition and analysis in hospitals or forensics. Courses topics include:
- Digital Dentistry
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- Forensic Imaging Methods
Specialization C: Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologies: This specialization deepens electronic and digital medical devices for specific clinical applications such as neural and deep brain stimulation, brain computer interfaces, hearing diagnostics (audiology), hearing rehabilitation (e.g cochlear implants and hearing aids), and biomechanical tracking systems for functional anatomy and gait analysis. Students learn about diagnostics, bioelectrical and other natural signal sources, digital signal analysis, and therapeutic stimulations. Courses topics include:
- Biomedical Acoustics
- Clinical Biomechanics
Specialization D: Implants and Regenerative Technologies: This module focuses on the design and manufacturing of medical implants and surgical tools, considering their bulk and surface properties as well as on the characterization of tissues. It covers the broad range of design, additive and conventional manufacturing and characterization starting at macroscopic scale to reflect the device properties, down to the atomic level, to identify the associations between the nanostructure and function. Regenerative medicine will foster and stimulate interdisciplinary scientific discoveries and the development of advanced therapeutic strategies. Topics include: biomaterial-based control of stem cell function, engineering technologies for tissue and smart implant manufacturing like additive manufacturing and bioprinting, and translational challenges towards industrial exploitation, regulatory requirements and clinical implementation. Courses topics include:
- Regenerative Surgery
- Materials Science and Biomaterials
- Characterizing Materials in Medicine (biocompatibility, micro- and nanostructuring)
- Biointerface Engineering
- Implant Design and Manufacturing
Each specialization is accompanied by a certain number of elective courses, either within the same field of specializations or from any other fields, depending on students individual interests.
The Master of Science degree is a postgraduate degree that requires a successfully completed Bachelor’s program. The Specialized Master’s degree program Biomedical Engineering awards 120 credit points of the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) and is a so called “mono-course” consisting of only one core subject.
|Master of Science (120 KP)|
Combination of subjects
There is no possibility to combine this Master with other Master programs.
The Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering is an excellent preparation for a scientific career (doctoral program) in Biomedical Engineering, for example at the Medical Faculty of the University of Basel, or for other professions in the growing medical technology industry. Graduates are able to support medical experts in a clinical environment and in health care institutions.