Microscopes are included in the field of bioinstrumentation.
Bioinstrumentation is a field of study that focuses on creating devices that measure physiological levels, such as blood pressure or brain waves, as well as devices that can help keep the patient alive. Examples of bioinstruments include electrical sensors, respirators, and ultrasound equipment. Typically, those working in the field have degrees in biomedical engineering, optics, or biology.
Laser-assisted surgery is included in bioinstrumentation.
Medicine has always relied on the most advanced technologies of the time. These technologies can range from simple heart monitors to artificial organs. The need for better and more accurate devices has seen the growth of the study of bioinstrumentation, with colleges and universities now offering postgraduate degrees in the field. In the United States, the National Institute of Health also has a laboratory dedicated to the development of biosensors and bioinstruments.
Insulin pumps used by diabetics are a type of bioinstrument.
One of the largest subfields of bioinstrumentation is biomedical optics. This field includes the development of ways to perform non-invasive surgery that do not require the patient to be cut with surgical instruments. For example, the development of laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis eye surgery (LASIK) is one of the most commonly known advances in laser microsurgery. LASIK allows doctors to correct a wide range of eye problems, including myopia and astigmatism. Biomedical optics also encompasses the creation of more advanced imaging machines, such as computed axial tomography (CAT) scanning devices and microscopes.
Bioinstrumentation creates machines to help improve physiological systems such as hearing aids.
Another main field of bioinstrumentation is the creation of sensors. These devices are designed to look at different aspects of physiology, such as temperature, blood flow velocity, and electrical activity in the brain. One specific sensor is an electromyography, which measures electrical activity in the muscles. If the electrical feedback from an electromyography sensor deviates from normal levels, it could indicate medical problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome, myopathy, or muscular dystrophy.
Bioinstruments can also be used to measure specific biomarkers in the body. Blood sensors can identify levels of carbon dioxide, electrolytes, and glucose, among other chemicals. They can also be used to measure the hydrogen potentiation (pH) of the blood, alerting doctors if the blood becomes too alkaline or too acidic, which can cause adverse complications, particularly in the bones. There are other instruments that can be used for genetic testing.
Other forms of bioinstruments include pumps used to deliver drugs such as insulin or anesthesia. The list also includes defibrillators, ultrasound technology, and respirators. Bioinstrumentation also creates machines to help improve physiological systems such as pacemakers and hearing aids.