Department of Bioengineering

Professor: Yuling Yan (Department Chair)

Associate Professors: Prashanth Asuri, Unyoung (Ashley) Kim, Biao (Bill) Lu, Zhiwen (Jonathan) Zhang

Assistant Professor: Ismail Emre Araci

Lecturers: Maryam Mobed-Miremadi, Julia Scott

Bioengineering is the fastest-growing segment of engineering today and holds the promise of improving the lives of all people in very direct and diverse ways. Bioengineering focuses on the application of electrical, chemical, mechanical, and other engineering principles to understand, modify, or control biological systems, and educates students to solve problems at the interface of engineering and the life sciences.

The major in bioengineering is designed to prepare students for careers in the medical device and biotechnology industries, graduate study in bioengineering, or entry into medical school.

The bioengineering (or biomedical engineering) minor is primarily designed for those students who are interested in the field but are majoring in other disciplines, particularly, science majors, students completing prerequisites for medical school as part of their undergraduate degree, or engineering majors.

Requirements for the Major

In addition to fulfilling the Undergraduate Core Curriculum requirements for the bachelor of science degree, students majoring in bioengineering must complete a minimum of 191 units and the following requirements (together with associated labs):


  • ENGL 181


  • One course from BIOE 180, BIOL 171, ENGR 19, PHIL 7, PHIL 117 or TESP 157

Natural Science

Biomolecular track:

  • BIOL 1A, 1B; BIOE 22; CHEM 11, 12, 13, 31, 32; PHYS 31, 32, 33

Medical-device track:

  • BIOE 21, 22; CHEM 11, 12, 13, 31; PHYS 31, 32, 33

Pre-med track:

  • BIOL 1A, 1B, 1C; CHEM 11, 12, 13, 31, 32, 33; PHYS 31, 32, 33


  • MATH 11, 12, 13, 14; AMTH 106, BIOE 120 (or AMTH 108)


  • ENGR 1, ELEN 50, COEN 45 (or 44), BIOE 10

Biomolecular track:

  • ELEN 21 or MECH 10

  • BIOE 153, 162, 163, 172, 175, 176

Medical-device track:

  • ELEN 21, MECH 10

  • BIOE 153, 154, 155, 161, 162, 171, 174

Pre-med track:

  • ELEN 21 or MECH 10

  • BIOE 153, (154 or 155), 162, (161 or 163), 171, 172

Senior Design Project

  • BIOE 194, 195, 196

Technical Elective (TE) Requirements

Biomolecular track (16 units minimum):

  • Of the required minimum of 16 TE units, at least 8 units must be upper-division BIOE courses.

  • Recommended courses: BIOE 100^1^, 108, 115, 154, 155, 157, 161, 167, 168, 170, 171, 173, 174, 178, 179, 180, 185, 186, (188/189, 198, 199)^2^; BIOL 110, 113, 114, 122, 172, 174, 178, 179; CHEM 33, 111, 141, 142, 150, 151; PHYS 171

Medical-device track (15 units minimum):

  • Of the required minimum of 15 TE units, at least 8 units must be upper-division BIOE courses.

  • Recommended courses: BIOE 100^1^, 107, 108, 115, 157, 163, 167, 168, 170, 172, 173, 175, 176, 178, 179, 180, 185, 186, (188/189, 198, 199)^2^; AMTH 118; COEN 140; CSCI 183, 184; ELEN 115, 116, 130, 156, 160; MECH 143 (cross-listed as COEN 123 and ELEN 123), 151; PHYS 171

Pre-med track (10 units minimum):

  • Of the required minimum of 10 TE units, at least 4 units must be upper-division BIOE courses.

  • Recommended courses: BIOE 100^1^, 107, 108, 115, (154 or 155)^3^, 157, (161 or 163)^3^, 167, 168, 170, 173, 174, 175, 176, 178, 179, 180, 185, 186, (188/189, 198, 199)^2^; BIOL 110, 113, 114, 122, 172, 174, 178, 179; CHEM 111, 141, 142, 150, 151; PHYS 171


  1. BIOE 100 can only be taken up to three times.

  2. Maximum of 6 units combined for co-ops, internships, and supervised independent research. Non-BIOE units will not be credited.

  3. The course not selected as a required course may count as a TE.

Requirements for the Minor

Students must complete the following requirements (together with associated labs) for a minor in bioengineering:


  • One course from BIOE 180, BIOL 171, ENGR 19, PHIL 7, PHIL 117 or TESP 157

Natural Science

  • BIOL 1A, 1B, 1C (or BIOE 21, 22)

  • CHEM 11, 12, 13

  • PHYS 31, 32, 33 (or PHYS 11, 12, 13)


  • MATH 11, 12, 13, 14


  • BIOE 10

  • ELEN 50 or PHYS 70

  • COEN 45 or COEN 44

Two courses from the following: BIOE 153, 154, 155, 161, 163, 172, 174, 175, 176

Bioengineering Laboratories

The Anatomy & Physiology Laboratory provides a full range of activities to study human anatomy and organ function. Through computational modeling, organ dissection, and design projects, students will develop essential skills in conceiving and implementing engineering solutions to medical problems.

The Bioimaging/Image and Signal Analysis Laboratory carries out basic and translational research on voice. Current research in the laboratory includes the development of imaging modalities to study laryngeal dynamics and function, and novel approaches for image/biosignal-based analysis and assessment of voice pathologies. The lab also supports the development of new detection and analytical methods using optical probes for applications in high-contrast fluorescence imaging in cells and tissues.

The Biological Micro/Nanosystems Laboratory supports research and teaching activities in the broad areas of microfluidics/biosensing. Utilizing microfluidic technologies, spectroscopy, and microfabrication techniques, we develop innovative microfluidic platforms for applications in basic biology, diagnostics, and cellular engineering.

The Biomaterials Engineering Laboratory focuses on the use of hydrogels to develop in vitro platforms that explore the role of in vivo like microenvironmental cues on controlling protein structure and function and regulating cell fate. The lab also supports the design and characterization of biomaterial nanocomposites for applications in tissue engineering.

The Biomolecular Engineering Laboratory conducts "bioengineering towards therapy." The idea is to engineer novel materials (particularly proteins and peptides) and devices and apply them to study basic biological and medical questions that ultimately lead to drug discovery and disease diagnosis.

The Biophotonics & Bioimaging Laboratory supports research and teaching on portable imaging systems for wearable/implantable biosensors as well as on optical coherence tomography (OCT) probes for stereotactic neurosurgery. The time lapse fluorescence microscopy setup is used for measuring enzyme activity and single cell protein expression at the single molecular level.

The Biosignals Laboratory provides a full range of measurement and analysis capabilities including electrocardiography (ECG), electroencephalography (EEG), and electromyography (EMG) measurement system, vocal signal recording, and analysis software.

The Micro-devices & Microfluidics Laboratory focuses on the fabrication and testing of microfluidic devices for biomedical research and teaching. The soft-lithography room is equipped with necessary instruments (e.g., mixer, spinner, plasma cleaner) to build micro-devices using a wide variety of materials and processes. Multiple microfluidic test setups (i.e., computer controlled solenoid valves and microscopes) allow several tests to be run simultaneously.

The Tissue Engineering Laboratory supports research and teaching activities related to mammalian cell and tissue culture. Activities include but are not limited to 2D and 3D mammalian cell culture, investigation of the role of biophysical cues on cancer cell migration and response to drugs, and genetic manipulation of mammalian cells.

Lower-Division Courses: Bioengineering

10. Introduction to Bioengineering

An introduction to the central topics of bioengineering, including the application of engineering methods and science to problems in biology and medicine, and the integration of engineering and biology. Current issues and opportunities in the field will be discussed. Course may include lectures, class discussions, guest lectures, field trips, short lab exercises, and team projects. (4 units)

21. Introduction to Physiology

This course will cover five anatomical systems and how the structure of the human body relates to and defines its function in maintaining homeostasis. This course will introduce cytology, histology, and also focus on diseases related to the skeletal, nervous, sensory, muscular, endocrine, and reproductive systems. (4 units)

22. Introduction to Cell and Molecular Bioengineering

The aim of this course is to introduce students to fundamental concepts in cell and molecular biology. Topics covered in the course will include cellular structure and function, biological molecules, molecular mechanism of cellular function, cell proliferation and signaling. This course will also emphasize the importance of applications of genetic engineering in human health and diseases. Course will include lectures, peer reviewed papers, class discussion, short lab exercises, and team projects. Prerequisite: BIOE 21 or BIOL 1B. Co-requisite: BIOE 22L. (4 units)

22L. Introduction to Cell and Molecular Bioengineering Laboratory

Laboratory for BIOE 22. Co-requisite: BIOE 22. (1 unit)

Upper-Division Courses: Bioengineering

100. Bioengineering Research Seminar

A series of one-hour seminars will be presented by guest professors and researchers on their particular research topics in bioengineering or related fields. Students are required to attend four to five seminars and submit a one-page report summarizing the presentation for each seminar. May be repeated for credit up to three times. P/NP grading. Also listed as BIOE 200. (1 unit)

107. Medical Device Invention---From Ideas to Business Plan

This course will introduce students to various tools and processes that will improve their ability to identify and prioritize clinical needs, select the best medical device concepts that address those needs, and create a plan to implement inventions. Also listed as BIOE 207. (2 units)

108. Biomedical Devices: Role of Polymers

This course is designed to highlight the role that polymers play in the design and fabrication of various medical devices ranging from simple intravenous drip systems to complex cardiac defibrillator implants and transcatheter heart valves. Topics include polymer basics, biocompatibility, biodegradation, and other tangentially related topics such as regulatory body approvals and intellectual property. Also listed as BIOE 208. Prerequisites: BIOE 10 and CHEM 13. (2 units)

109. Translational Development for Emerging Biomedical Devices

This course exposes the student to ongoing case-based interventional cardiology diagnostic and therapeutic biomedical device and clinical translational problems, where real-world bioengineering innovative solutions are being envisioned and at times successfully being applied by startup teams of bioengineers and medical professionals. Bioengineering device design concepts and clinical translational development considerations are analyzed and case-based team project reports are assigned for final grading. Prerequisites: BIOE 10 and BIOE 21, BIOE 108 or BIOE 153 preferred. (4 units)

115L. Fundamentals of Cell Culture Laboratory

This lab will introduce the basic fundamentals and applications of mammalian cell culture techniques. Prerequisite: BIOE 22 or BIOL 1C. (1 unit)

120. Experimental Methods in Bioengineering

This course will cover the principles of data representation, analysis, and experimental designs in bioreactors, biomaterials, and medical devices. Topics include error analyses, modeling, normality testing, hypothesis testing. Special emphasis will be placed on the interpretation of data from high-throughput assays used in "omics"/tissue engineering. Prerequisite: MATH 14. (4 units)

153. Biomaterials Science

Basic principles of material properties, biomaterials categories, biomaterials engineering concepts and selected applications and practical aspects are taught in this class. This course is a foundation for an entry level medical device engineer or bioengineering advanced degree Prerequisite: CHEM 13. (4 units)

154. Introduction to Biomechanics

Engineering mechanics and applications in the analysis of human body movement, function, and injury. Review of issues related to designing devices for use in, or around, the human body including safety and biocompatibility. Prerequisites: BIOE 10, PHYS 33. (4 units)

155. Biological Transport Phenomena

The transport of mass, momentum, and energy are critical to the function of living systems and the design of medical devices. This course develops and applies scaling laws and the methods of continuum mechanics to biological transport phenomena over a range of length and time scales. Also listed as BIOE 215. Prerequisites: BIOE 10, PHYS 33, AMTH

  1. (4 units)

157. Introduction to Biofuel Engineering

This course will cover the basic principles used to classify and evaluate biofuels in terms of thermodynamic and economic efficiencies as well as environmental impact for resource recovery. Special emphases will be placed on emerging applications namely microbial fuel cell technology and photo-bioreactors. Also listed as BIOE 257/ENGR 257. Prerequisites: BIOE 21 (or BIOL 1B), CHEM 13, PHYS 33. (2 units)

161. Bioinstrumentation

Transducers and biosensors from traditional to nanotechnology; bioelectronics and measurement system design; interface between biological system and instrumentation; data analysis; clinical safety. Laboratory component will include traditional clinical measurements and design and test of a measurement system with appropriate transducers. Also listed as BIOE 211. Prerequisites: BIOE 10, BIOE 21 (or BIOL 1B), ELEN 50. Co-requisite: BIOE 161L. (4 units)

161L. Bioinstrumentation Laboratory

Laboratory for BIOE 161. Also listed as BIOE 211L. Co-requisite: BIOE

  1. (1 unit)

162. Signals and Systems for Bioengineers

Origin and characteristics of bioelectric, bio-optical, and bioacoustic signals generated from biological systems. Behavior and response of biological systems to stimulation. Acquisition and interpretation of signals. Signal processing methods include FFT spectral analysis and time-frequency analysis. Laboratory component will include modeling of signal generation and analysis of signals such as electrocardiogram (ECG), electromyogram (EMG), and vocal sound pressure waveforms. Also listed as BIOE 212. Prerequisites: BIOE 10, COEN 45, ELEN 50, AMTH 106. Co-requisite: BIOE 162L. (4 units)

162L. Signals and Systems for Bioengineers Laboratory

Laboratory for BIOE 162. Also listed as BIOE 212L. Co-requisite: BIOE

  1. (1 unit)

163. Bio-Device Engineering

This course will instruct students with the fundamental principles of bio-device design, fabrication and biocompatibility, and let students experiment with the state-of-the-art bio-devices. Students will gain the hands-on experience with these bio-instruments which are also used in the field. Emphasis is given to the cutting-edge applications in biomedical diagnostics and pharmaceutical drug discovery and development, particularly detection and monitoring interaction, and activity of biomolecules, such as enzymes, receptors, antibody, nucleic acids, and bioanalytes. Prerequisites: BIOE 22 (or BIOL 1C) and CHEM 31. Co-requisite: BIOE 163L. (4 units)

163L. Bio-Device Engineering Laboratory

Laboratory for BIOE 163. Co-requisite: BIOE 163. (1 unit)

167. Medical Imaging Systems

Overview of medical imaging systems including sensors and electrical interfaces for data acquisition; mathematical models of the relationship of structural and physiological information to senor measurements, resolution, and accuracy limits; and conversion process from electronic signals to image synthesis. Analysis of the specification and interaction of the functional units of imaging systems and the expected performance. Focus on MRI, CT, and ultrasound. Also listed as ELEN 167 and BIOE 267. Prerequisites: BIOE 162 or ELEN 110 or MECH 142. (4 units)

168. Biophotonics and Bioimaging

This course focuses on the interactions of light with biological matter and includes topics on the absorption of light by biomolecules, cells, and tissues, and the emission of light from these molecules via fluorescence and phosphorescence. The course will cover the application of biophotonics in cell biology, biotechnology, and biomedical imaging. Also listed as BIOE 268. Prerequisites: BIOE 22 (or BIOL 1C) and CHEM 31, PHYS 33. Co-requisite: BIOE 168L. (2 units)

168L. Biophotonics and Bioimaging Laboratory

The lab will provide the hands-on experience for basic imaging and microscopy techniques as well as advanced techniques such as fiber optics and optical coherence tomography. Some of the experiments that will be conducted are: measuring the focal length of lenses and imaging using a single lens and a lens system, determining the magnification of optical systems (e.g., of a microscope), interference in young's double slit and in Michelson configuration, diffraction, polarization and polarization rotation. Also listed as BIOE 268L. Co-requisite: BIOE 168. (1 unit)

171. Physiology and Anatomy for Engineers

Examines the structure and function of the human body and the mechanisms for maintaining homeostasis. The course will provide a molecular-level understanding of human anatomy and physiology in select organ systems. The course will include lectures, class discussions, case studies, computer simulations, field trips, lab exercises, and team projects. Prerequisite: BIOE 21 (or BIOL 1B). Co-requisite: BIOE 171L. (4 units)

171L. Physiology and Anatomy for Engineers Laboratory

Laboratory for BIOE 171. Co-requisite: BIOE 171. (1 unit)

172. Introduction to Tissue Engineering

Introduces the basic principles underlying the design and engineering of functional biological substitutes to restore tissue function. Cell sourcing, manipulation of cell fate, biomaterial properties and cell-material interactions, and specific biochemical and biophysical cues presented by the extracellular matrix will be discussed, as well as the current status and future possibilities in the development of biological substitutes for various tissue types. Prerequisite: BIOE 22 (or BIOL 1C). (4 units)

173. Advanced Topics in Tissue Engineering

Overview of the progress achieved in developing tools, technologies, and strategies for tissue engineering-based therapies for a variety of human diseases and disorders. Lectures will be complemented by a series of student-led discussion sessions and student team projects. Also listed as BIOE 273. Prerequisite: BIOE 172, or consent of the instructor. (2 units)

174. Microfabrication and Microfluidics for Bioengineering Applications

Microfluidics uses principles from a broad range of disciplines including fluid mechanics, material science and optics for miniaturization, and automation of biochemical applications. This course will introduce the basic physical and engineering concepts which have practical importance in microfluidics and will allow better understanding of molecule and cell manipulation in the micro-domain. The course aims to introduce students to the state-of-art applications of various microfluidic techniques (e.g., mLSI, droplet and paper-based), in biological and biomedical research through lectures and discussion of current literature. Also listed as BIOE 214. Prerequisites: BIOE 10, BIOE 21 (or BIOL 1B), PHYS 33. Co-requisite: BIOE 174L. (4 units)

174L. Microfabrication and Microfluidics for Bioengineering Applications Laboratory

Multilayer soft-lithography will be taught and integrated microfluidic chips will be built. Basic pressure driven microfluidic chip tests will be performed. A team design project that stresses interdisciplinary communication and problem solving is required in this course. Also listed as BIOE 214L. Co-requisite: BIOE 174. (1 unit)

175. Biomolecular and Cellular Engineering I

This course will focus on solving problems encountered in the design and manufacturing of biopharmaceutical products, including antibiotics, antibodies, protein drugs, and molecular biosensors, with particular emphasis on the principle and application of protein engineering and reprogramming cellular metabolic networks. Also listed as BIOE 225. Prerequisites: BIOE 22 (or BIOL 1C) and CHEM 31, or equivalent knowledge and by instructor's permission. BIOE 153 is recommended. Co-requisite: BIOE 175L. (4 units)

175L. Biomolecular and Cellular Engineering I Laboratory

Laboratory for BIOE 175. Also listed as BIOE 225L. Co-requisite: BIOE

  1. (1 unit)

176. Biomolecular and Cellular Engineering II

This course will focus on the principle of designing, manufacturing synthetic materials and their biomedical and pharmaceutical applications. Emphasis of this class will be given to chemically synthetic materials such as polymers, and inorganic and organic compounds. Also listed as BIOE 226. Prerequisites: BIOE 22 (or BIOL 1C) and CHEM 31, or equivalent knowledge and by instructor's permission. BIOE 171 and 175 are recommended. (4 units)

179. Introduction to Neural Engineering

This course provides a foundation in the neural principles underlying existing and upcoming neurotechnologies. The goal is to understand the design criteria necessary for engineering interventions in neural structure and function with application to neurological diseases, disorders, and injuries. Topics include brain imaging and stimulation, neural implants, nanotechnologies, stem cell and tissue engineering. This course includes lectures, literature critiques, and design projects. Also listed as BIOE 275. Prerequisites: BIOE 21 (or BIOL 1B). BIOE 171 recommended. (2 units)

180. Clinical Trials: Design, Analysis and Ethical Issues

This course will cover the principles behind the logistics of design and analysis of clinical trials from statistical and ethical perspectives. Topics include methods used for quantification of treatment effect(s) and associated bias interpretation, crossover designs used in randomized clinical trials, and clinical equipoise. Also listed as BIOE 380. Prerequisites: BIOE 10, BIOE 120 (or AMTH 108), or with consent of the instructor. (4 units)

185. Physiology and Disease Biology

This course will provide a molecular-level understanding of physiology and disease biology, an overview of gastrointestinal diseases, and an introduction to medical devices used in diagnosis and treatment, as well as challenges in this field. This course will include lectures, class discussions, case studies, and team projects. Also listed as BIOE 285. Prerequisite: BIOE 21 (or BIOL 1B). BIOE 171 recommended. (2 units)

186. Introduction to Biotechnology

This course is designed to introduce basic and practical biotechniques to students with minimum training and background in biomolecular engineering. The basic principles and concepts of modern biotechniques will be illustrated and highlighted by studying real cases in lectures. Also listed as BIOE 286. Prerequisite: BIOE 22 or BIOL 1C. (2 units)

188. Co-op Education

Integration of classroom study and practical experience in a planned program designed to give students practical work experience related to their academic field of study and career objectives. The course alternates (or parallels) periods of classroom study with periods of training in industry or government. Satisfactory completion of the work assignment includes preparation of a summary report on co-op activities. P/NP grading. Prerequisites: Junior status and cumulative GPA ≥ 2.75. (2 units)

189. Work Experience and Co-op Technical Report

Credit is given for a technical report on a specific activity, such as a design or research activity, after completing a co-op work assignment. Letter grades will be based on the content and quality of the report. May be taken more than once. Prerequisites: BIOE 188, junior status, cumulative GPA ≥ 2.75, and approval of department co-op advisor. (2 units)

194. Design Project I

Specification of an engineering project, selected with the mutual agreement of the student and the project advisor. Complete initial design with sufficient detail to estimate the effectiveness of the project. Initial draft of the project report. Prerequisite: Senior standing. (2 units)

195. Design Project II

Continued design and construction of the project, system, or device. Second draft of the project report. Prerequisite: BIOE 194. (2 units)

196. Design Project III

Continued design and construction of the project, system, or device. Final project report. Prerequisite: BIOE 195. (2 units)

198. Internship

Directed internship in local bioengineering and biotech companies or research in off-campus programs under the guidance of research scientists or faculty advisors. Required to submit a professional research report. Open to upper-division students. (Variable units)

199. Supervised Independent Research

By arrangement. Faculty advisor required. (1--4 units)

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