Biological engineering, better known as bioengineering, is a field that applies engineering principles in creating technologies and innovations involving biology or living organisms. In the Philippines, Mapúa University is the first and only higher education institution that offers a Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering program. 

If you had a checkup at a hospital, used electricity, eaten a meal, completed a gym workout, or worn a fitness tracker, chances are you used a bioengineered device or service.

The impact of biological engineering in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, sustainability, and energy is so extensive that it has become a booming career field. A report by international market research firm The Business Research Company stated that the bioengineering technology market worldwide will grow by a 13 percent to $521.98 billion by 2028 from $282.19 billion last year. 

Biological engineering is most visibly used in healthcare, including developing prosthetic limbs, robotic surgery and rehabilitation, tissue engineering, transdermal patches, wearable health monitors, medical treatments, and drugs for global diseases like cancer. Its contributions can also be traced in agriculture, environment, and energy. 

Dr. Lemmuel Tayo, dean of Mapúa’s School of Chemical, Biological, and Materials Engineering and Sciences said that there is a growing demand in the field of designing medical equipment, molecular biology tools, and biological processes for the large-scale production of biologicals. Designer drugs are expected to become a trend in personalized medicine.

“Mapúa’s BS Biological Engineering program continues to lead innovation in the field of biotechnology. With its groundbreaking research and collaborative efforts, it remains committed to providing students with the skills necessary to tackle complex challenges facing society today,” he said. “As we look towards the future, we anticipate even more exciting discoveries and advancements within our dynamic community of scholars and professionals.”

Bioengineers also design processes that break down stubborn pollutants, convert low-value bioresources like wood and grass into higher-value materials, and other sustainable solutions that conserve water, soil, and other natural resources. In fact, they develop alternative energy sources like biofuels from algae and food crops in energy production. 

Mapúa introduced the biological engineering program in 2008 as a multidisciplinary pre-medicine program. The program is accredited by the ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission, an international non-governmental agency that verifies programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology.

“Mapúa aims to address the nation’s needs for innovative solutions in various fields, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, agriculture, food production, waste management, and environmental remediation. With no other Philippine universities offering undergraduate degrees in biological engineering, Mapúa stands alone in meeting the growing global demand for skilled biological engineers,” said Dr. Tayo

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