Professor Saltzman reviews the concept of gene therapy, and gives some examples of where this is applied. Methods to help deliver DNA into cells using viruses and cationic lipids are discussed, as a way to overcome some challenges in gene therapy. Next, Professor Saltzman gives a brief introduction into bacterial and mammalian cell physiology. He describes the different tissues in the body, the cell development/differentiation process, the anchorage dependence of mammalian cells that allows them to form an organism, and the extracellular matrix.
The course covers basic concepts of biomedical engineering and their connection with the spectrum of human activity. It serves as an introduction to the fundamental science and engineering on which biomedical engineering is based. Case studies of drugs and medical products illustrate the product development-product testing cycle, patent protection, and FDA approval. It is designed for science and non-science majors.