Biomaterials course provides a theoretical and practical understanding of the physical and mechanical properties of biomaterials. The course aims to bring an understanding of the fundamental relationships between the mechanical properties of a range of biomaterials and the biomedical applications of those materials. It looks at several applications of materials and the principles that have led to the choice of biomaterials for those applications. The use and properties of each type of material will be discussed in the light of current clinical applications (implants, surgical tools, catheters, biological implants).


The core topics featured include:


Lecture 1: Packing of atoms in solids, crystal structures, polycrystalline materials, Young’s modulus, concepts of stress/strain, Yield and tensile strength, deformation behaviour and failure criteria.


Lecture 2: Dislocations, strengthening mechanisms, fast fracture and toughness, fatigue failure, creep


Lecture 3: Ceramics 1


Lecture 4: Ceramics 2


Lecture 5: Polymers 1


Lecture 6: Polymers 2


Lecture 7: Biological tissues 1


Mid‐semester break


Lecture 8: Biological tissues 2


Lecture 9: Metals 1


Lecture 10: Metals 2


Lecture 11: Composites


Lecture 12: Group project presentations


The core components of the course are designed for an audience of both graduate and undergraduates in related fields (dentistry, medical science, health science, physics, bioengineering, materials science and engineering, etc.).


Each week there will be a 3 hour period comprising a lecture and small group exercises, group discussions and other methods to facilitate students’ learning. Lectures will examine the properties of biomaterials and provide students with the basic knowledge to solve tutorial problems as well as complete the assignments. Feedback on assessments and tutorial work will be regularly provided.


This course requires students to understand the lecture material and then apply the knowledge to biomaterial applications. It is important to understand the fundamental concepts. Class participation through attendance at lectures, in class exercises and group work is expected and will allow for alternative methods of absorbing the relevant information.


Duration: 3-4 Days

Upon completion of the course, the course students will be able to:


  • Identify and describe the key philosophies that underpin research and appreciate their implications for research.
  • Outline the comparative strengths and weaknesses of the main research methods.
  • Prepare a research proposal using appropriate research methods in order to meet a specified research question.
  • Evaluate, analyze and interpret data.
  • Identify appropriate statistical procedures to perform basic analysis of quantitative or qualitative data.
  • Present a summary of information in a report format.

Course Materials: Resources that will further enhance students’ grasp of the course will be made available. These include: access to required textbooks; course manual to facilitate understanding of texts; access information via course webpage; internet access to relevant publications and additional reading lists (optional). Students seeking additional resources can do so by accessing Pubmed for published literature.


Course Length: One Semester (4.5 Months)


Total Hours: 90 academic hours



The assessment for the course has been designed to measure students’ achievement of the learning outcomes. Assessment will be via a series of tutorials, assignments, group project and presentation and the final exam. The criteria to be applied in assessing students’ work include: evidence of critical understanding of the concepts developed in the course; ability to apply these concepts to a range of biomaterial problems; clarity of description, explanation and attention to the focus of the assessment task; capacity to structure an assessment task logically and limit it to the length required; degree to which the material submitted for assessment addresses the specified requirements. To pass this course, students must achieve a composite mark of at least 60%.

Option #1: Instructor-led Blended Learning

Option #2: Instructor-facilitated Online