Teaching plan for the course unit



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General information


Course unit name: Simulation of Biomedical Engineering Systems for Testing, Analysis and Research

Course unit code: 364600

Academic year: 2021-2022

Coordinator: Manuel Carmona Flores

Department: Department of Electronic and Biomedical Engineering

Credits: 3

Single program: S



Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 75


Face-to-face and/or online activities



-  Lecture





-  Lecture with practical component





-  Laboratory session




Supervised project


Independent learning


(GMSH, Elmer and ParaView tools have to be studied individually.)





Learning the use of simulation tools is highly individual. Students should try to manage themselves as well as they can when using the simulation tools in this subject. These simulation tools are accompanied by documentation and examples that help in the learning process. Students are encouraged to make use of them.

Further recommendations

Be always critical with simulation results. These results must be approximately in accordance with what the student expected.



Competences to be gained during study



To be able to work independently (Personal).


To gain knowledge of basic and technological subjects required to learn new methods and technologies and ensure versatility and the ability to adapt to new situations (Personal).


To be able to take further studies and to develop a positive attitude in order to keep knowledge up-to-date in a process of lifelong learning. To have sufficient depth of knowledge to start postgraduate studies in the field of advanced biomedical engineering.

Learning objectives


Referring to knowledge

The main aim of this subject is to acquire knowledge of the general process of finite element analysis and design and to apply this knowledge to biomedical systems. This basic procedure enables students to use the method in different areas of the biomedical field.

To achieve this objective, students follow these steps:

• Generate physical models for further finite element simulations.
• Solve finite element models and perform a critical review of results.
• Apply the finite element method to biomedical problems.
• Obtain a basic knowledge of the theoretical foundations of finite element analysis.

The studied cases are defined for students to cope with some typical problems found in biomedical engineering. These include blood vessel problems, substance dissolution, tissue heating and electrochemistry. However, these cases represent only a small fraction of the potential applications of the finite element method.

Optionally, based on students’ bachelor’s degree final projects or their special interests, specific problems (with relation to FEM simulations) can be defined to be developed by each student during the course.



Teaching blocks


1. Introduction to the finite element method and examples

2. Generation of the physical model (physical structure)

*  GMSH will be used to generate geometries and meshes. The programming capabilities of this software will be used.

3. Definition of loads and boundaries

4. Obtaining a solution for finite element models

*  Elmer will be used to run the finite element simulations and to obtain the results.

5. Critical review of finite element results

*  ParaView will be used to visualise finite element results.

6. Application of the finite element methods to biomedical problems, using the Elmer finite element simulator and GMSH for geometry generation



Teaching methods and general organization


Beginning with a theoretical introduction to the finite element method, the subject applies this simulation methodology in the lab with some examples applied to the biomedical field. Some sessions are dedicated to learning the tools used in this subject to develop FEM simulations (GMSH for mesh generation, Elmer for FEM simulation and ParaView for graphical representation of results) and the rest of the sessions are dedicated to working on specific problems related to the biomedical field. Individually, students have to dedicate time to improving their abilities in the use of these tools.

Optionally, a specific problem for each student can be proposed to be developed individually during the course. This problem can be based on current bachelor’s degree final projects or any special interest of each student.

The language used by the teacher in this subject is English (100% in lectures). In personal communications with each student, the language may be chosen by the student. In any case, it is recommended to use English during the course, especially for those who need practice to improve.

As far as possible, gender perspective will be included in the development of the subjecte.

Modifications in case of access restrictions due to the health situation

All activities will be carried out online, using different tools for keeping a good communication and being able to review the codes and simulation results as fast as possible during lab sessions.



Official assessment of learning outcomes


This final grade is based on two activities:

• Reports on cases studied in the lab: 60%.
• Lab exam: 40%.

For each of these two activities, students receive a mark from 0 to 10. Students must achieve a minimum mark of 5 in each activity to pass the subject.

There is only one lab exam at the end of the course.

Repeat assessment

The only requirement for repeat assessment is to achieve a minimum mark of 5 on the reports of the cases studied in the lab.


Examination-based assessment

The final grade is based on two activities:

• Reports on the cases studied in the lab: 60%.
• Lab exam: 40%.

For each of these two activities, students receive a mark from 0 to 10. Students must achieve a minimum mark of 5 in each activity to pass.

There is only one lab exam at the end of the course.

Repeat assessment

The only requirement for repeat assessment is to achieve a minimum mark of 5 on the reports of the cases studied in the lab.



Reading and study resources

Consulteu la disponibilitat a CERCABIB

Web page


  Elmer software: code, documentation, examples, etc.


  GMSH software: code, documentation and examples.

ParaView webpage

ParaView webpage  Enllaç

Electronic text

M. Carmona, et al., "GMSH - Guide for mesh generation", last version. Available in Campus Virtual.

M. Carmona, et al., "Elmer - Guide to FEM simulations", last version. Available in Campus Virtual.

D. Moratal, "Finite Element Analysis: From biomedical applications to industrial developments", ISBN 978-953-51-0474-2, Intech Publisher, 2012.

Open access book: http://www.intechopen.com/books/finite-element-analysis-from-biomedical-applications-to-industrial-developments

A.T.K. Giorges, "Finite Element and Finite Difference Methods for Elliptic and Parabolic Differential Equations", ISBN 978-953-307-389-7, Intech Publisher, 2011.

Open access book: http://www.intechopen.com/books/numerical-analysis-theory-and-application/finite-element-and-finite-difference-methods-for-elliptic-and-parabolic-differential-equations

  A brief introduction to finite elements and finite difference methods.