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MEC8051 : Biomedical Additive Manufacture and Biofabrication

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Priscila Melo
  • Lecturer: Professor Kenneth Dalgarno, Dr Piergiorgio Gentile, Dr Ana Ferreira-Duarte
  • 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 develop knowledge and understanding of the commercial use of additive manufacture and 3D printing for
biomedical applications.
•       To learn how to use biomedical CAD/CAM software to design person specific medical devices.
•       To develop knowledge and understanding of biomaterials, and specifically how to select and evaluate
biomaterials for a specific application.
•       To develop knowledge and understanding of bioprinting and biofabrication, and specifically the
techniques by which cells and other biological materials may be processed.
•       To develop knowledge of medical devices, therapeutic products and their regulation.
•       To develop knowledge and understanding of the additive manufacture processes and process chains which
can be used in biomedical applications, including those for biofabrication.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will be delivered in five main sections:

1.       Introduction to Additive Manufacture for Biomedical Applications. Introduction to the module, review of
current commercial applications (medical models; orthotics and prosthetics; dental aligners; in the ear
hearing aids; surgical guides; dental crowns and bridges; craniofacial plates) and potential future
applications (tissue engineering and regenerative medicine).
2.       Biomedical CAD/CAM. Training in the use of a commercial biomedical CAD/CAM software package.
Understanding of the different types of model used in biomedical CAD/CAM, and of the capabilities of the
different types of imaging technologies.
3.       Biomaterials. Introduction to biomaterials: definitions, examples, properties and requirements.
Applications of biomaterials in medicine (bone scaffolds, hip implants, craniofacial fixation systems).
Sterilisation and surface modification of biomaterials.
4.       Medical Devices, Therapeutic Products and Regulatory Processes. Classifications of device and
therapeutic product. Tissue engineering strategies. Medical device and therapeutic product regulation.
5.       Biofabrication and Bioprinting. Techniques for systematic processing of biological materials.
Cell/material co-processing. Potential applications.

Students will also undertake two significant pieces of coursework: a biomedical CAD/CAM case study, and a case study in medical product development or technology development which exploits the advantages of additive manufacturing. Moreover, through the laboratory demonstrations, students will have a real feel of how research concepts come to life and how some of the presented techniques and machines work (according to the laboratory inventory).

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion234:0092:00Coursework
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion14:004:00Student presentations (PiP)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture81:008:00PiP lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical28:0016:00PiP Biomedical CADCAM
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical14:004:00PiP Lab tour and demonstration
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading162:0032:00Coursework
Guided Independent StudySkills practice42:008:00Biomedical CAD/CAM
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery22:004:00Support and guidance for coursework exercises
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study132:0032:00Reviewing 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 study1M40Report and assessment of CAD models - max 2,000 words
Design/Creative proj1M10Presentation on Individual Research Project (up to 10 mins). Students present initial ideas for assessment and get some feedback.
Case study1M50Research Project - report on a case study in development or use of biomedical AM or biofabrication - max 2,000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The two pieces of coursework will allow the students to show that they have understood all the elements required in order to bring a biomedical product to market using AM, and that they have the technical skills in terms of CAD/CAM process to design and manufacture parts using relevant techniques. 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 likely future directions. 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 2 final report.

Reading Lists