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MEC8059 : Biomaterials

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Oana Bretcanu
  • Lecturer: Dr Matthew German, Dr Adam Wollman, Dr Kenneth Rankin
  • 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


The module covers fundamental aspects of biomaterials science with an emphasis on biomaterials for bone tissue engineering. The module focuses on the biomaterials used in medical devices for orthopaedic applications, their properties and methods of fabrication. Typical examples will be given for the application of biomaterials in the medical field. Their benefits and limitations will be discussed and appraised.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module will introduce major classes of biomedical implant materials including metals, ceramics and polymers. Properties, advantages and limitations of commercial medical devices and biomaterials such as bioglasses, bone cements, hip and knee implants, dental materials, etc will be evaluated. Relevant case studies will be used as examples for selection of biomaterials used today in orthopaedic surgery.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion442:30110:00Recommended revision for assessments, assuming prior regular independent study throughout teaching.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture12:002:00Introduction to the module
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:00End of module in class online PC assessment covering whole syllabus
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion10:300:30Oral presentation and answers to questions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture12:002:00Module summary and final discussions
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion10:300:30Practice for oral presentation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00Lectures covering the whole syllabus
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching12:002:00Tutorial - Edupack materials database software demonstration
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study203:0060:00Recommended regular personal study throughout teaching period to follow up taught classes
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study21:002:00Practice on materials database software
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures cover fundamental knowledge and help students to apply what they learnt to specific case studies. Edupack tutorial provides additional support to consolidate biomaterials selection based on the design requirements.

Independent study supports the students’ self-study in reading around the lecture material and learning to solve the practical engineering problems identified during lectures.

Assessment preparation and completion will allow students to fully prepare for both their formative and summative assessments.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Digital Examination601A70End of module in class Inspera digital assessment covering whole syllabus
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation1M30PowerPoint individual presentation on specific topic (10 min presentation followed by questions)
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Digital Examination1MCanvas Practice Quiz for the digital exam.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The Inspera digital exam will assess theoretical understanding of all aspects of the module. The students should be able to apply a broad range of knowledge to the healthcare applications of biomaterials.

The oral presentation will assess communication skills on a specific topic, at a technical level suitable to the audience. The students should be able to select and critically evaluate technical literature, to effectively present their specific topic.

The formative assessment will help students to prepare for their summative examination, by reinforcing key concepts related to taught material covered during lectures.

Reading Lists