Bioengineering-device design is drawing the electronics, scientific and medical fields into collaborative research and development projects reminiscent of the Star Trek "tricorder." Spock's tricorder could be pointed at anything to analyze its composition, and Dr. McCoy's version — a handheld medical scanner — could instantly monitor vital signs and diagnose disease. These are precisely the applications bioengineers are aiming at today: smart sensors for security, point-of-care medical diagnosis and environmental monitoring. The discipline of bioengineering integrates the biological, physical and engineering sciences to create technology that advances the understanding of living nucleic acids, proteins, cells and tissues. Its emergence has resulted in a dizzying array of innovative new biologics, therapeutics, materials and processes. The frontier technology of BioMEMS — microfluidic chips made from biological microelectromechanical systems — will enable a new era of "labs on a chip."