Undergraduate Teaching 2017-18

Engineering Tripos Part IIA, 3G5: Biomaterials, 2015-16

Engineering Tripos Part IIA, 3G5: Biomaterials, 2015-16

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Module Leader

Dr Markaki


Dr M Birch, Dr A Markaki, Dr R Daly and Dr S Huang

Lab Leader

Dr M Oyen

Timing and Structure

Michaelmas term. 16 lectures.


The aims of the course are to:

  • Develop an understanding of the materials issues associated with implanting man-made materials in the human body for medical purposes. Specific case studies will be considered in addition to the general framework.


As specific objectives, by the end of the course students should be able to:

  • Identify the mechanism by which medical devices and implants come to market.
  • Know about the classes of and materials used in medicine.
  • Understand the requirements for materials used in the body and assess potential for implant-body interactions.
  • Perform quantitative evaluations of drug delivery.
  • Identify appropriate tissue engineering approaches for different tissues and organs.


Introductory Concepts (1L)

• General application overview, history and development;
• Classes of materials used in medicine Medical device definition and classification.

Cardiovascular Stents (2L)

• Balloon expandable & self expanding stents;
• Materials in stents;
• Stent mechanics and design.

Total Joint Replacement (2L)

• Types of implant fixation;
• Materials in hip implants;
• Surface engineering;
In vivo loading of hip joint.

Polymers in medical implants (2L)

• Polymer molecular structures and properties;

• Hydrolysis and resorbable polymers.

Sector analysis and regulatory affairs (1L)

• Market analysis;
• Legal framework for implanted materials (ethics, clinical trials, regulation).

Manufacturing and processing of medical implants (1L)

• Sterilization; biocompatibility achievable by manufacturing;
• Selected manufacturing challenges and future trends.

Immune response to engineering implants (2L)

• Effects of implant on the body: Inflammation and wound healing;
• Innate and adaptive immunity; immune disorders;
• Aseptic loosening of total joint replacements;
• Introduction to immune disease addressed by chemical implants: Diabetes.

Nanoparticles and drug delivery (1L)

• Nanoparticles and molecular targeting;
• Drug delivery systems (diffusion-driven, osmotically-controlled, microencapsulation);
• Hydrogels.

Tissue engineering and organ-on-chip (2L)

• Tissue engineering basics (scaffolds, cell seeding, bioreactors);
• Microfluidic devices and miniature bioreactors.

Translating Bioengineering Technology (2L)

• The journey of an engineered tissue construct from the lab to the patient.


Hands-on exercise on biomineral formation and characterization, and an optional FTR is available


Biomedical Engineering: Bridging Medicine and Technology by W. Mark Saltzman

Examination Guidelines

Please refer to Form & conduct of the examinations.


The UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC) describes the requirements that have to be met in order to become a Chartered Engineer, and gives examples of ways of doing this.

UK-SPEC is published by the Engineering Council on behalf of the UK engineering profession. The standard has been developed, and is regularly updated, by panels representing professional engineering institutions, employers and engineering educators. Of particular relevance here is the 'Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes' (AHEP) document which sets out the standard for degree accreditation.

The Output Standards Matrices indicate where each of the Output Criteria as specified in the AHEP 3rd edition document is addressed within the Engineering and Manufacturing Engineering Triposes.

Last modified: 06/09/2015 13:56