MTE2548 - Biomaterials 1 - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Nick Birbilis


Assoc Professor John Forsythe

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)


Classifications of biomaterials covering metallic, polymeric, ceramic and composite materials; typical structures and properties for biomedical applications. Definitions of biocompatibility and critical design criteria of biomedical devices. Introduction to basic human anatomy, cell and biomolecule structure and function, and cellular fate processes. Fundamentals of cell-biomaterial interactions and the response of living tissues to implanted biomaterials, including inflammatory responses and blood compatibility. Assessment of biocompatibility of biomaterials, sterilisation procedures and an introduction to ethical and regularity issues with biomedical devices.


At the successful completion of this unit you will be able to:

  1. Describe the four types of biomaterials; metallic, polymeric, ceramic and composite and discuss their use in typical devices and clinical applications.
  2. Describe the basic features of human anatomy, cell and biomolecule structure and function and their interactions with biomaterials.
  3. Discuss the potential applications of biomaterials in combating the most threatening human diseases and appreciate the biomaterial selection requirements.
  4. Appreciate the ethical responsibilities and regulatory processes involved in the process of developing biomaterials and translating medical devices.


2 practical class reports: 15%

3 written assignments: 25%

Mid-semester test: 10%

2-hour written examination: 50%

Workload requirements

2 x1 hour lectures, 1 x 1 hour tutorial and 3 hours practical classes.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study