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MEC8023 : Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Oana Bretcanu
  • Lecturer: Dr Katarzyna Pirog, Dr Matthew German, Professor David Young, Dr Kenneth Rankin, Dr Mark Gidley, Professor Kenneth Dalgarno
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The module covers fundamental aspects of biomaterials science and tissue engineering, with an emphasis on orthopaedic biomaterials and 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 such as bone scaffolds, bone cements, dental implants, hip and knee implants, hernia meshes, heart valves, etc will be introduced. Tissue engineering concept and its applications in medical field will be explored.

Outline Of Syllabus

- Introduction to biomaterials: definitions, requirements and properties
- Biomaterials used in medicine: ceramics, polymers, metals, composites
- Applications of biomaterials in medicine (bone scaffolds, bone cements, cardiovascular devices, hip and knee implants, intervertebral discs, hernia meshes, dental implants)
- Tissue engineering concept (stem cells, bioreactors)
- Applications of tissue engineering (bone, cartilage, blood vessels, heart, kidney, skin)
- Sterilisation
- Medical imaging
- Additive manufacturing (definitions and applications)
- Orthopaedic surgery

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion152:0030:00Preparation of oral presentation file and Turnitin submission
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion10:150:15Oral presentation (10 min presentation, 5 min questions)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:451:45Preparation for Oral Presentation.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture222:0044:00Structured presentation of syllabus may include skills demonstration, formative feedback, etc
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion201:3030:00Recommended revision for assessment, assuming prior regular independent study throughout teaching.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture12:002:00Edupack materials database software demonstration
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study224:0088:00Recommended regular personal study throughout teaching period to follow up taught classes
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study31:003:00Practice 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.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

- Lectures convey the underlying engineering science and the approaches required to apply this to the discipline-specific problems identified
- Tutorials provide additional support to the students and further consolidate taught knowledge
- Private study supports the students’ self-study in reading around the lecture material and learning to solve the practical engineering problems identified during lectures.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination602A70End of module in class PC assignment on taught material
Oral Presentation152M30PowerPoint Presentation on specific topic (10 min presentation and 5 min questions) in the timetable week 19
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessments provide an appropriate way to assess both theoretical understanding and practical problem solving skills under time-constraint as required in industry. The students will be aware of the biomaterials definitions, processing and classification and medical products regulations, being able to apply a broad base of scientific principles which will underpin the healthcare applications of biomaterials and tissue engineering products.

Reading Lists