A Forward Move: Interfacing Biotechnology and Physical Therapy In and Out of the Classroom

Phys Ther. 2019 May 1;99(5):519-525. doi: 10.1093/ptj/pzz008.


Ongoing advances and discoveries in biotechnology will require physical therapists to stay informed and contribute to their development and implementation. The extent of our profession's involvement in how physical therapists engage biotechnology is determined by us. In this Perspective article, we advocate the need for our profession to educate clinicians alongside scientists, technologists, and engineers and empower them to collectively think more as codevelopers and less as "siloed" builders and consumers of biotechnology. In particular, we highlight the value of augmenting the physical therapy curricula to provide students with new levels of knowledge about the converging fields of engineering and physical therapy. We present successful examples of how such a concept can occur within physical therapist professional education programs and propose strategies to overcome perceived challenges that may stymie this possibility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bioengineering
  • Biotechnology / education*
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Curriculum
  • Humans
  • Inventions
  • Physical Therapists
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*