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MEC8051 : Biomedical Additive Manufacture and Biofabrication

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Priscila Melo
  • Lecturer: Dr Piergiorgio Gentile, Dr Ana Ferreira-Duarte, Professor Kenneth Dalgarno
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


To be able to describe and apply concepts on (M1):

• Additive manufacturing and biofabrication technologies.
• Bioprinting processes, specifically the techniques by which cells and other biological materials are processed together.
• Biomaterials and relevant functionalization techniques, specifically how to select and evaluate biomaterials for a given application.
• Medical devices, therapeutic products and the ethics and regulations associated with them.
• Employ the abovementioned knowledge, to develop a new medical device, including its commercialization route, applying sustainability principles (M2, M4, M5, M6, M7, M16, M17).
• To evaluate the potential and limitations of the idealized medical device, comparing it with the current solutions (commercial or in pre-clinical stage)
• To design and create a prototype of a medical device
• To operate and apply biomedical CAD/CAM software to process medical images (M1, M3, M17).

Outline Of Syllabus

The module covers subjects like Additive Manufacturing and Bioprinting for Biomedical Applications, Biomaterials and Surface modifications, Medical Devices, Therapeutic Products and Regulatory Processes, Biofabrication and Bioprinting. The module will also cover product life-cycle and sustainability within the biomedical field.

On the practical side, students will learn about Biomedical CAD/CAM and be trained in the use of a commercial biomedical CAD/CAM software package (MIMICS by Materialise).

The module also accounts for an introductory lecture where module contents and expected outcomes are presented and explained. This also covers assessment, and important dates, and reveals the structure of the teaching.

The subjects will be delivered as lectures and computer labs, and the learning assessed in three forms:

• An individual computer-based biomedical CAD/CAM exercise.
• A group case study in medical product development or technology development which exploits the advantages of additive manufacturing or other biofabrication techniques.
• A group presentation on their case study.

Students will have an induction to the Makerspace to enable them to perform their projects and produce the prototype required for the case study. This induction will be complemented by visits to some Bioengineering labs in the Stephenson Building to get a real feel of how research concepts come to life and how some of the presented techniques and machines work.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion191:0091:00Coursework and Biomedical CAD/CAM exercise
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion14:004:00Case Study Presentations.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00Lectures
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading163:0048:00Coursework
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical42:008:00Biomedical CADCAM
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical12:002:00Lab tour and demonstration
Guided Independent StudySkills practice32:006:00Independent study on Biomedical CADCAM.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00Support and guidance for coursework exercises.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study130:0030:00Reviewing course materials and reading around the subject matter
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The teaching sessions are intended to give the students the foundations with which to pursue their coursework exercises, in which they will apply what they have learnt to specific case studies and/or product development exercises. The practical sessions will introduce the students to the biomedical CAD/CAM software, and to the AM and biofabrication techniques, so that they can use these skills in their coursework exercises.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Case study1M50Group Research Project report on a case study in the development of a biomedical device/service – report approx. 4,000 max words per group
Design/Creative proj1M20Group Research Project presentation on a case study in the development of a biomedical device/service
Computer assessment1M30Individual computer-based assessment on the use of BIOCAD for treating medical images - max 2,000 words per student
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The computer-based BIOCAD exercises will assess students’ ability to select and apply appropriate computational and analytical techniques (e.g., segmentation) to treat medical images. The taught software is highly available in clinic and routinely used to produce different types of tools and models in hospital. Moreover, CAD/CAM is a key step in the design and manufacturing process of medical devices, especially when using Additive manufacturing and Bioprinting.

The case study group coursework will allow the students to show that they have understood all the concepts taught during the lectures and can apply them to bring a biomedical product concept to market. Coursework is preferred as it provides a mechanism for the students to show that they are able to integrate the separate elements together to demonstrate an understanding of the current state of the art and critically analyse the outcomes.

The Presentation on Product Development is designed as an exercise for students to complete in order to gain feedback on their progress, which they then take forward in developing their Case Study report.

Reading Lists