WPI’s Biomedical Engineering Department never stops on its search to uncover the next advance in therapies, devices, and products to help people live longer, healthier lives. Our department is leading diverse, cutting-edge research and product and thought innovation to develop new breakthroughs in this rapidly changing field.

We work on advances as diverse as wound-healing sutures, blood vessel engineering, vital sign monitoring for firefighters, and braces for joint stabilization. We seek to understand how physicians and patients will use devices, making these devices more user friendly and useful.

Our students and faculty collaborate on ambitious research projects to push the boundaries at the intersection of engineering, biology, and medicine, often making groundbreaking discoveries and industry-changing developments to move the field forward.

At WPI’s Bioengineering Institute, we identify emerging technologies and help launch them through development and commercialization. Students work on teams here to help advance new developments and connect theory and practice of the university.

Degrees & Certificates

Area of Study Bachelor Minor Certificate Master PhD
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Everyone has a favorite organ, says Jenna Balestrini ’09, PhD BME. Her mother, a nurse practitioner who treated burn patients, had a special interest in the skin. Her WPI mentor, Professor Kristen Billiar, is partial to the heart.

“I am definitely a lung person,” Balestrini declares. Despite her preference, she doesn’t play favorites in her work at Draper, where she heads the Cell Bioprocessing program, working on tools to create an amazing array of cures for all parts of the body.

In the News

WPI’s now-famous spinach leaf was named seventh in National Geographic’s Our 21 Most Popular Stories of 2017.” The annual roundup noted that, “In a feat of science that captivated the attention of a million readers, a spinach leaf’s genetic material was replaced with that of a human heart, with far-reaching implications for future heart surgeries.” 

National Geographic

The Boston Globe profiled research by biomedical engineering professor Songbai Ji in this article. Ji is developing animated brain maps that show how brain tissue deforms and stretches after impact, which could prove valuable in understanding concussions. “Ji hopes someday to show players and coaches what each hit has probably done to the brain - the minute it happens.

The Boston Globe logo

Research Awards

Glenn Gaudette, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, received a $2M award from The Kern Family Foundation to help WPI infuse its pioneering project-based curriculum with an entrepreneurial mindset.

Career Outlook

The biomedical engineering field is growing rapidly and includes careers in everything from academia and industry to laboratory research.