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MEC8059 : Biomaterials

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Oana Bretcanu
  • Lecturer: Dr Mark Gidley, Dr Kenneth Rankin, Dr Matthew German
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The module covers fundamental aspects of biomaterials science with an emphasis on
biomaterials for bone tissue engineering. The relationship between materials, design and medical
device properties will be discussed using typical clinical applications. Properties, advantages and
limitations of commercial medical devices and biomaterials such as bioglasses, bone cements,
hip and knee implants, dental materials, etc will be introduced.

Outline Of Syllabus

-Introduction to biomaterials: definitions, classification, properties and applications
-Bone and cartilage structure
-Biomaterials used in medicine: glasses, ceramics, polymers, metal alloys and composites
-Applications of biomaterials in medicine (bone cements, hip and knee implants, hernia meshes,
glass-ceramic coatings, etc)
-Edupack, materials database software
-Dental materials (delivered by a lecturer from the Dental School)
-Orthopaedic surgery (delivered by an NHS orthopaedic surgeon)
-Introduction to microbiology (delivered by a clinical lecturer from the Dental School)

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture12:002:00Module summary and final discussions (last teaching week) (PiP)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion10:300:30Practice for oral presentation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00Lectures covering the whole syllabus (PiP)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion352:0070:00Recommended revision for assessments, assuming prior regular independent study throughout teaching.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching12:002:00Tutorial - Edupack materials database software demonstration (PiP)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study205:00100:00Recommended regular personal study throughout teaching period to follow up taught classes
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study21:002:00Practice on materials database software
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time11:001:00End of module in class online PC assessment covering whole syllabus (PiP)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time10:300:30Oral presentation and answers to questions (PiP)
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 the properties of biomaterials.

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

Alternative online sessions will be offered to students if in-person sessions are not possible (due to unforeseen circumstances such as a pandemic). In that case:

• A mixture of asynchronous and synchronous delivery will be used for the PiP lectures
• Weekly ‘drop-in’ synchronous sessions will be introduced
• Edupack tutorial will be delivered in person or synchronously, depending on the circumstances

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation101M30PowerPoint Presentation on specific topic (10 min presentation followed by questions)
PC Examination601A70End of module in class PC assessment covering whole syllabus
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
PC Examination1MShort online Canvas quiz to practice the PC Exam format
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessments provide an appropriate way to assess both theoretical understanding and practical problem solving
skills. The students should be able to apply a broad range of knowledge to the healthcare applications of
If in-person PC and Oral examinations are not possible due to unforeseen universal circumstances (such as a
pandemic), the following will happen:

- Oral presentation will take place synchronously
- PC examination will be changed to a suitable asynchronous assignment, such as a report

Reading Lists