Teaching plan for the course unit



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General information


Course unit name: Materials and Biomaterials Engineering

Course unit code: 363752

Academic year: 2021-2022

Coordinator: Elena Martinez Fraiz

Department: Department of Electronic and Biomedical Engineering

Credits: 9

Single program: S



Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 225


Face-to-face and/or online activities



-  Lecture

Face-to-face and online




-  Problem-solving class





-  Practical exercises





-  Laboratory session





(Two groups with two lecturers each.)

Independent learning




Competences to be gained during study



To be able to analyse, assess and take technological decisions in accordance with the criteria of cost, quality, safety, social impact, sustainability, time and respect for the ethical principles of the profession (Instrumental).


To be able to resolve problems with initiative and creativity and to take technological decisions in accordance with criteria of cost, quality, safety, sustainability, time and respect for the profession's ethical principles (Instrumental).


To be able to analyse and summarize (Instrumental).


To be able to work independently (Personal).


To be able to work in a team or a multidisciplinary group (Personal).


To be able to work in a multilingual environment and communicate and transmit knowledge, procedures, results, abilities and skills (oral and written) in a native and a foreign language (Instrumental).


To be able to define specifications for the safety, quality and reliability of biomaterials and implantable systems. To describe tests and trials in accordance with legal regulations and to establish protocols for the implementation of such systems and for judging the results of the measurements that are obtained.


To be able to conceive, design and produce implants and systems for tissue engineering equipment.


To gain knowledge of biomedical concepts and language.


To gain an understanding of the interaction of engineering with other areas of knowledge (medicine, biology, biotechnology, pharmacy, veterinary science) and to be able to collaborate effectively in multidisciplinary teams, with a knowledge of the principles of complementary technologies.


To use systems for the search and retrieval of biomedical information and procedures for clinical data. To be able to understand and critically interpret scientific texts and their sources.


En la mesura que sigui possible s’incorporarà la perspectiva de gènere en el desenvolupament de l’assignatura.  



Learning objectives


Referring to knowledge

— Identify the different types of biomaterials and be able to select those appropriate for different biomedical applications.

— Analyse the behaviour and performance of materials used in medicine.

— Understand the principles of biocompatibility of materials used in medicine.

— Learn and apply the different techniques for evaluating biomaterials.

— Acquire an understanding of the biological principles involved in the interactions of materials with the receiving organism.



Teaching blocks


1. Introduction to materials science and engineering


Types of materials

Recent discoveries and evolution of materials

2. Crystalline and amorphous structures in materials


Crystalline structures


Amorphous materials

3. Solidification and crystalline imperfections


Solidification of metals

Solidification of single crystals (monocrystals)

Crystalline imperfections

4. Diffusion in solids


Atomic diffusion in solids

Effect of temperature on diffusion in solids

5. Mechanical properties of metals


Stress and strain in metals

Plastic deformation in single crystal metals

Hardness and hardness testing

Fracture of metals

Fatigue of metals

Creep and stress rupture of metals

6. Phase diagrams


Phase diagrams of pure substances

Gibbs phase rule

Cooling curves

Binary isomorphous alloy systems

Ternary phase diagrams

Thermal treatments

7. Engineering alloys


Production of iron and steel

Stainless steels

Titanium alloys and other biomedical alloys

8. Polymeric materials


Polymerisation reactions

Processing of plastic materials: thermoplastic and thermoset materials

Mechanical properties of polymers

Deformation and strengthening of plastic materials

Types of polymers and advanced polymers

9. Ceramics and composite materials


Simple ceramic crystal and silicate structures

Mechanical and thermal properties of ceramics

Processing and applications of ceramics

Composite materials

10. Introduction to biomaterials

Biomaterial definition

Historic perspective

Regulatory issues


Types of biomaterials and main applications

11. Surface treatment of biomaterials

Definition of surface

Relevant surface properties of biomaterials

Surface characterisation techniques

Protein adsorption

Surface treatments: physical, chemical and biological modifications

12. Hemocompatibility

Hemostasis process

Definition of hemocompatibility

Solutions to improve biomaterial hemocompatibility

13. Cell-biomaterial interactions

Cell adhesion, migration and differentiation

Extracellular matrix: structure, composition and functions

Cell-matrix and cell-biomaterial interactions

14. Infections and sterilisation methods

Infectious agents

Infections associated to biomaterials and medical devices

Formation and prevention of biofilms

Disinfection and sterilisation methods

15. Host response to biomaterials

Inflammatory processes

Relationship between inflammation and biomaterials

Foreign body reaction and fibrous encapsulation

Pathologies associated to biomaterials

16. Corrosion, wear and degradation phenomena in biomaterials

Corrossion processes in biomaterials

Wear processes in biomaterials

Degradation processes in biomaterials

17. Applications of biomaterials


Orthopedic applications

Cardiovascular applications

Dental applications

Dermic applications

Ophthalmological applications

Other applications



Teaching methods and general organization


• Theoretical lectures

• Class exercises

• Laboratory exercises

• Laboratory demonstrations

• This subject is taught entirely in English 



Official assessment of learning outcomes


— Reports on class exercises/problems.

— Report on laboratory sessions. Attendance to all face-to-face laboratory sessions or equivalent online activities is a mandatory requirement to access the final exam and/or repeat assessment.

— Comprehensive exam in January.


— Problems: 20%.

— Practical work: 20%.

— Final exam: 60% (35% materials, 25% biomaterials).

A minimum grade of 3.5 out of 10 is required in the final exam to apply the continuous assessment criteria. If this requirement is not met, only the grade achieved in the final exam (out of 10 points) will be considered as the final grade for the subject. 

Repeat assessment

Repeat assessment takes the form of an examination with the same content and weigh as the final exam. All students who fail continuous assessment are entitled to repeat assessment. No minimum or maximum grade is required to be entitled to take this examination. A minimum grade of 3.5 out of 10 is required in the repeat assessment exam is required to apply the continuous assessment criteria.



Reading and study resources

Consulteu la disponibilitat a CERCABIB


•Smith W. F., Hashemi J., Foundations of Materials Science and Engineering (4th Edition).McGraw-Hill Higher Education, Boston (2006).

•Callister W.D., Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction (8th Edition). John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Utah (2007).


•Ratner B. D., Hoffman A. S., Schoen F. J., Lemons J. E., Biomaterials Science: An introduction to materials in medicine (2nd Edition). Academic Press, San Diego (2004).

•Joon Park, R. S. Lakes, Biomaterials: An Introduction (3rd Edition), New York and London (2010).

•Sujata K. Bhatia, Biomaterials for Clinical Applications, New York and London (2010).

•Jeffrey O. Hollinger, An Introduction to Biomaterials (2nd Edition), Taylor and Francis Group Editorial (2012).