MTE2548 - Biomaterials 1 - 2019

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 Neil Cameron


Assoc Professor John Forsythe

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (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.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

2 practical class reports: 15%

3 written assignments: 25%

Mid-semester test: 10%

2-hour written examination: 50%

Students are required to achieve at least 45% in the total continuous assessment component and at least 45% in the final examination component and an overall mark of 50% to achieve a pass grade in the unit. Students failing to achieve this requirement will be given a maximum of 45% in the unit.

Workload requirements

Two 1 hour lectures, 1 hour applied class, 3 hours practical classes and 6 hours of private study per week.

See also Unit timetable information

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

Materials science