Biomaterials - LEB


Biomedical Engineering

Curricular Unit (UC)


Mandatory  x
Scientific Area EB Category  

Course category: B - Basic; C - Core Engineering; E - Specialization; P - Complementary.

Year: 3rd Semester: 1st ECTS: 5 Total Hours: 130
Contact Hours T: 30 TP: 15 PL:15 S: OT:3
Professor in charge

 Pedro Miguel Martins Ferreira

T - Lectures; TP - Theory and practice; PL - Lab Work; S - Seminar; OT - Tutorial Guidance.

  • Learning outcomes of the curricular unit:

    This course provides students with an overview of the structure, function and properties of materials used in biomedical applications.

    After approval in the course, the student should have the ability to:

    1. Understand the basic principles of materials science (chemical bond, crystalline structure, phases).

    2. Classify any material for biomedical applications in the correspondent class (ceramics, metals, polymers).

    3. Relate the most relevant properties of materials with their nature and their biomedical applications.

    4. Understand the most important biologic host-biomaterial interactions.

    5. Select materials for specific biomedical applications.

  • Syllabus:
    1. Biomaterials in the human body: metals, ceramics and polymers. Structure and general properties. Mechanical properties. Resistance to corrosion. Metal alloys for biomedical applications. Biomedical applications of bioceramics. Ceramics for implants and bone regeneration. Classes of polymers and their biomedical applications. Inert and natural biopolymers. Bioactive polymers. Composites for biomedical applications.
    2. Biomaterials relevant properties for biological tissue replacement: types of tissues. Biological tissue properties. Biotribology.
    3. Biomaterial-biologic host interactions: molecular and cellular structures, toxicity, hipersensivity, biocompatibility and biomaterial degradation.
    4. Selection of materials for specific biomedical applications. Regulation aspects and rules.
    5. Examples for implants and artificial organs applications: Orthopedic, ophthalmic, vascular and dental applications. Facial and breast reconstruction. Comparative analysis of implants types
  • Demonstration of the syllabus coherence with the curricular unit's objectives.

    The concepts presented in topics 1 and 2 should provide to students the understanding of the behavior of various types of biomaterials, distinguish the characteristic properties of each type and its importance within the particular application, namely their use in biological tissue replacement. This approach aims the general knowledge of the partners properties, the biologic host and the biomaterial and prepare the approach for the following topics.

    Topic 3 aims the knowledge of the interactions between the biologic host and the biomaterial concerning the structural aspects and others such as toxicity, hipersensitivity and material biocompability and biodegradation. This knowledge will be used in topics 4 and 5, where the selection of materials for specific biomedical applications is presented with selected cases and within the regulation aspects and rules.

  • Teaching methodologies

    The teaching methodology is developed through lectures (45h) and their supporting elements (slides and "data-show" presentations), accompanied by the presentation of some application practical exercises in TP lectures (15h). Some of the classes are practical (15 h) where the study of some materials relevant properties for biomedical applications will be developed, as well as the presentation of some case studies. The power point presentations are made available to the students (Moodle platform) prior to the theoretical classes along with the case studies to be analyzed in the practical classes.

    For continuous evaluation, the theoretical component (CT, 70%) is evaluated by two partial tests (T1 and T2) with a minimum grade (T1,T2 >= 7.5) and the practical component (CP) by lab reports. The final grade (NF) is:

    NF = 0.7 CT + 0.3 CP;  CT=(T1 + T2) / 2 >= 9.5

    Final exam evaluation should be positive (EF >= 9.5). The final grade (NF) is:

    NF = 0.7 EF + 0.3 CP 

  • Demonstration of the coherence between the teaching methodologies and the learning outcomes

    The program learning objectives are presented in lectures. TP sessions are used to make some supplementary exercises. This methodology allows the student to develop the most important UC skills. The power point presentations are made available to the students (Moodle platform) prior to the theoretical classes along with the case studies to be analyzed in the practical classes. This procedure facilitates the student’s involvement during the topics presentation/ discussion. The laboratory projects will reinforce their understanding of the topics. Students will be supervised during their lab work, though promoting their autonomy.

    The evaluation will have two contributions, a theoretical one (exams/tests) and the evaluation of the project reports which involves their presentation to the colleagues and discussion. The existence of the continuous evaluation provides an opportunity for students with a good involvement at UC throughout the semester, to make its assessment.

  • Main Bibliography:

    1. Shi, D. (ed), “Introduction to biomaterials”, Tsinghua University Press, 2006.

    2. Ratner, B.D., Hoffman, A.S., Schoen, F.J., Lemons, J.E., “Biomaterials science: an introduction to materials in medicine”, 3rd Ed., Elsevier, 2012.

    3. Smith, W.F., Hashemi, J., “Fundamentos de Engenharia e Ciência dos Materiais”, 5ª ed, Mc Graw-Hill, 2012.

    4. Park, J., Lakes, R.S., “Biomaterials an Introduction”, 3rd ed., Springer, 2007.

    5. Wong, J.Y., Bronzino, J.D., Peterson, D.R.; “Biomaterials principles and practices”, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 2013.

    6. Shi, D. (ed), “Biomaterials and tissue engineering”, Springer-Verlag, 2004.