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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Biomechanics of Tissue Engineering
Module Code MM517
School School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Tanya Levingstone
Semester 2: Tanya Levingstone
Autumn: Tanya Levingstone
Module TeachersTanya Levingstone
David B. MacManus
Antony Kho
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 7.5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat examination
Reassessment will require re-submission of course work and a written examination.

Module Aims: ● To provide the students with an understanding of advanced topics in the field of biomedical engineering through a year-long comprehensive tissue engineering project. ● To provide students with the necessary skills and tools to solve basic and applied biomechanics and tissue engineering problems. ● To familiarise students with computational biomechanics and wet lab techniques. ● To develop the necessary skills to effectively communicate advanced biomechanics and tissue engineering concepts. ● To introduce students to the concept of multiscale biomechanics from tissues to cells.

Learning Outcomes

1. Describe the relationship between structure, function, and mechanical properties of normal and diseased/injured biological tissues;
2. Solve continuum mechanics problems applied to biological tissues
3. Design experimental protocols and apparatus to measure the mechanical properties of biological tissues
4. Solve computational problems in biomechanics
5. Describe the hierarchical relationship between tissue and cell mechanics
6. Discuss the requirements for tissue engineering and artificial organ biomaterials in terms of mechanical, chemical and physical properties, micro-architecture, and their role in cell signalling
7. Explain the underpinning principles and method of interpretation for materials characterisation techniques pertinent to tissue engineering and artificial organ biomaterials; FTIR, DSC, DMTA, AFM and others
8. Explain the principles supporting cell culture experiments used to investigate biomaterials interactions; protein adsorption, proliferation, FACS, histology, confocal microscopy and others
9. State and explain the principal equations governing mass transport in biological systems; (i) the Starling Equation, (ii) Fick’s Law, (iii) Stokes Einstein Equation, (iv) Henry’s Law, and (v) Hills Equation
10. Derive equations which model the effect of steric exclusion, hydrodynamic drag and reflection on transport through semipermeable media (such as tissues, hydrogels or porous scaffolds)
11. Explain, at a level understandable by a non-technical person, and model the principles of operation of a bioartificial organ, haemodialysis machine and extracorporeal blood oxygenator
12. Formulate and solve analytical equations to describe 1D and 2D transport processes in biological tissues, artificial organs or tissue engineering scaffolds
13. Perform a technical assessment of the design of an artificial or bioartificial organ or tissue engineering scaffold and summarise the assessment in a well organised written report and oral presentation

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture15No Description
Laboratory12No Description
Fieldwork100Group Assignment
Independent Study60.5No Description
Total Workload: 187.5

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

Indicative Content
● Biomaterials characterisation; ● Biological characterisation; ● Tissue engineering; ● Biofabrication; ● Continuum mechanics & constitutive modelling; ● Finite elasticity; ● Experimental methods and design; ● Computational biomechanics; ● Examples in biomechanics of soft biological tissue ● Biomechanics and mechanobiology of cells;

Teaching & Learning Strategies/Assessment Methodology:
The module is assessed entirely by exam (50%) and continuous assessment (50%). It involves a series of support lectures covering topics such as continuum mechanics of biological matter, experimental design, finite element analysis, tissue engineering, bioprinting, and wet lab techniques. These lectures are designed to provide students with the necessary theory and understanding to successfully complete the continuous assessment project. The project will take place over both semester 1 and 2. During semester 1, students will be introduced to tissue engineering theory and complete the tissue engineer portion of the CA. This will involve a literature review to be completed by Week 5, and a presentation in Week 10. In semester 2, the students’ projects will continue. Now, the students will be introduced to the theory and tools required to complete the biomechanics portion of their projects. Students will have to design experiments to characterise the biomechanical properties of their tissue engineering constructs from semester 1. This will involve selecting an appropriate mechanical test, constitutive model, data analysis, and finite element analysis. Students will have to give a presentation in Week 6 and submit a final report in Week 12.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment50% Examination Weight50%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Group assignmentGroup project relating to biomechanics of tissue engineered scaffolds50%n/a
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

  • Y. C. Fung: 1993, Biomechanics: Mechanical Properties of Living Tissues, Springer, 978-1-4757-22
  • Maas S.: 2019, FEBio Theory Manual, University of Utah,
  • Ronald Fournier: 1999, Basic Transport Phenomena in Biomedical Engineering, CRC Press, 1591690269
  • Buddy D. Ratner: 2004, Biomaterials Science, Academic Press, 0-12-582463-7
  • Y.C. Fung: 1998, Biomechanics: Motion, Flow, Stress and Growth, Chapters 8 & 9, Springer, 0-387-97124-6
  • George A. Truskey, Fan Yuan, David F. Katz: 2004, Transport Phenomena in Biological Systems, Prentice Hall, 0-13-042204-5
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
BMEDIMMEng in Biomedical Engineering
MMMEMEng in Mechanical and Manufacturing Eng

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