DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU

Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Biomaterials & Processing Technology
Module Code MM413
School School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Inam Ul Ahad
Semester 2: Inam Ul Ahad
Autumn: Inam Ul Ahad
Module TeachersGarrett McGuinness
Inam Ul Ahad
Tanya Levingstone
Nicholas Dunne
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

1. To familiarise the students with materials used to replace part of a living system, or to exist in intimate contact with living tissue, and for minimally invasive surgical applications. 2. Students will understand biomaterial requirements, limitations and recent developments.

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify the characteristics and properties of the natural materials from which living systems are made.
2. Describe and explain the biological processes associated with the implantation of biomaterials in the body.
3. Identify, describe and explain models for the viscoelastic and/or rubber-like behaviour of artificial and natural biomaterials, and describe experiments to test these properties.
4. Identify, describe and explain relevant materials processing technologies, including polymer processing (e.g. extrusion), metal processing (e.g. casting) and coating technologies (e.g. PVD, CVD, Thermal Spray).
5. Analyse and solve linear viscoelastic problems (Maxwell, Kelvin models, Boltzmann superposition principle), soft tissue mechanics problems (simple finite elasticity models, prescribed deformations), fluid mechanics problems (polymer extrusion), and residual stress calculations (thermal spray coating processes)
6. Compile a well organised independent desk study on a biomaterial, including(i) writing a literature survey (ii) identification of key mechanical and physical properties required for a selected application, and (iii) biological evaluation of the biomaterial according to a relevant standard

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Laboratory12Laboratory or practical sessions
Independent Study77Study, problem solving and literature review
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Introduction to biomaterials

Properties of natural materials constituents.
In vivo versus In vitro properties. Bone. Tissue.

Polymers, Biopolymers.
Viscoelasticity. Resorbable and bioerodible polymers. Sterilisation issues.

Classification and basic structure. Preparation. Swelling behaviour. Determination of Structural Properties. Applications.

Metals used in the biomedical industry. Evolution of a metallic prosthesis. Casting, Mechanical forming, Heat treatment, Finishing, Mechanical properties associated with metallic components.

Ceramics / Composites.
Reactive ceramics. Composites used in the biomedical industry. Fabrication of composites. Mechanical properties. Casting materials. Applications.

Thin Films, Grafts and Coatings
Processes. Mechanics.

General principles.
Methods for modifying the surfaces of materials. The nature of the plasma environment. Laser methods.

Host response
Local host response. Systemic and host response.

Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Concept, Principles, Bioreactors, Experimental Characterisation Methods

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment30% Examination Weight70%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
ProjectIndividual project relating to a specific biomaterial or class of biomaterials30%Week 12
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • B.D. Ratner, A.D. Hoffman, F.J. Schoen, J.E. Lemons: 2004, Biomaterials science: an introduction to materials in medicine, 2nd, Elsevier Academic Press, 0-12-582463-7
  • William D. Callister, Jr: 2003, Materials science and engineering, 6th, J. Wiley, New York, 978-0-471-13576-0
  • Joon B. Park and Roderic S. Lakes: 1992, Biomaterials, Plenum Press, New York, 0306439921
  • Adil Al Mayah: 2018, Biomechanics of Soft tissues: Principles and Applications, CRC Press, 135-1-135-813
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
BMEDB.Eng. in Biomedical Engineering
BMEDIB.Eng. in Biomedical Engineering
BMEDTBSc in Biomedical Technology
ECSAStudy Abroad (Engineering & Computing)
ECSAOStudy Abroad (Engineering & Computing)
PBMBSc Physics with Biomedical Sciences
Date of Last Revision18-NOV-09

My DCU | Loop | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement