3R56. Introduction to Bioengineering. - YC Fung (Univ of California, San Diego CA). World Sci Publ, Singapore. 2001. 292 pp. Softcover. ISBN 981-02-4398-7. $28.00.

Reviewed by RL Huston (Dept of Mech, Indust, and Nucl Eng, Univ of Cincinnati, PO Box 210072, Cincinnati OH 45221-0072).

This is a tutorial intended for beginning students who are considering careers in bioengineering. The objective is to provide readers with a view of contemporary studies in bioengineering and to thereby create an inventive/design motivation for further studies. As a course text, however, this book is quite different from traditional textbooks: It is written by 12 authors (mostly from the University of California at San Diego) and divided into 11 chapters on a variety of topics. In each chapter, the author (or authors) provide a relatively informal or conversational perspective on the chapter topic which is then followed by a contemporary archival research paper (or papers). The pedagogic is to give the readers a broad introduction followed by detailed in-depth analyses. A series of assignments and special projects are also provided.

The text spans approximately 285 pages. The chapter topics and authors are:Roles of flow mechanics in vascular cell biology in health and disease, by Shu Chien; Perspectives of biomechanics, by Yuan Cheng Fung; Implantable glucose censor: An example of bioengineering design, by David A Gough; Design and development of artificial blood, by Marcos Intalietta; Analysis of coronary circulation: A bioengineering approach, by Ghassan S Kassab; What lies beyond bioinformatics, by Bernhard Palsson; Tissue engineering of articular cartilage, by Robert L Sah; Cell activation in the circulation, by Geert W Schmid-Schonbein; Molecular basis of cell membrane mechanics, by Lanping Amy Sung; Biomechanics of injury and healing, by Pin Tong and Yuan Cheng Fung; and Pulsatile blood flow in the lung studied as an engineering system, by Michael RT Yen and Wei Huang.

The editor has successfully kept the contributions relatively uniform in style and in level of content. The subject areas, however, are less well distributed, but instead they tend to emphasize fluid mechanics and microbiomechanics as opposed to solid mechanics (skeletal biomechanics) and dynamics (kinesiology). Interestingly the authors admit this imbalance, but they nevertheless seek to meet the stated tutorial objectives. They appear to be successful. Indeed, in this reviewer’s experience, the approach taken here seems to be very effective in both introducing students to the subject and for motivating further study in a field which encompasses all of applied mechanics and much more.

This reviewer finds Introduction to Bioengineering to be a new and refreshing text on this increasingly evolving subject. Critically, it would be easy to identify some chapters as being more interesting and more attuned to the objectives than others. But this would not make the book any less attractive. The only serious criticism is that the book has no index, glossary, or bibliography.

Adoption consideration by introductory bioengineering course instructors is strongly recommended.