MTE4596 - Biomaterials 2 - 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


Dr Jess Frith

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


Must have passed 96 credit points


MTE4539, MTE5596


Biocompatibility is explored and is related to the foreign body response. The importance of the interfacial properties of biomaterials is covered and includes factors affecting cellular response and protein adsorption. Polymers and ceramics used in medicine are reviewed with examples including the total hip joint replacement (TFJR), heart valves, catheters and vascular grafts and hydrogels used in ophthalomology. Drug delivery devices are reviewed and include degradation mechanisms and kinetics. Biomaterials with biological recognition and smart biomaterials will be studied. Biosensors and examples in bionanotechnology will be investigated. Tissue engineering and scaffold manufacture is covered and the use of stem cells for regenerative medicine reviewed.


  • Have a basic understanding of the processes involved in the foreign body response and biocompatibility
  • Appreciate some factors that affect protein adsorption
  • Understand the different classes of polymeric biomaterials used in the body.
  • Be familiar with some of the degradation processes of polymers
  • Describe some methods of drug delivery
  • Describe the action and use of smart materials
  • Be familiar with ceramic materials used in body and some aspects of thermal spraying
  • Understand some techniques used in tissue engineering including some methods of scaffold manufacture
  • Understand some techniques commonly used to characterise biomaterial surfaces.
  • Be able to review a journal article and provide a detailed assessment.
  • Have an ability to communicate within a team, and submit a group assignment.


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.

Examination (2 hours): 50% + Mid-semester test (1 hour): 20% + Individual assignment: 10% + Group assignment: 10% + Laboratory work:10%

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

2 hours lectures, 1 hour applied class and 8 hours of private study per week, and 6 hours laboratory classes per semester

See also Unit timetable information

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

Materials science