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During 2021 we will continue to support students who need to study remotely due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and travel restrictions. Make sure you check the location code when selecting a unit outline or choosing your units of study in Sydney Student. Find out more about what these codes mean. Both remote and on-campus locations have the same learning activities and assessments, however teaching staff may vary. More information about face-to-face teaching and assessment arrangements for each unit will be provided on Canvas.

Unit of study_

BMET4961: Biomechanics and Biomaterials

This course is divided into two parts: biomechanics and biomaterials: Biomechanics is the study of the body from the point of view of it being an engineering structure. There are many aspects to this since the human body contains soft tissues, hard tissues (skeletal system), and articulating joints. We will begin with a general introduction to biomechanics, modelling the human body from the macroscopic level to the microscopic level. We will then study soft tissue mechanics, with respect to both non-linear and viscoelastic descriptions, with a significant focus on the mathematical methods used in relation to the mechanics of the system. We will then look at specific aspects of biomechanics: muscle mechanics, joint mechanics, kinematics and dynamics of human gait (gait analysis), biomechanics of cells, physiological fluid flow, biomechanics of injury, functional and mechanical response of tissues to mechanical loading. Biomaterials This course will involve the study of biomaterials from two perspectives: firstly, the response of the body towards the biomaterial - an immune response and foreign body reaction; secondly, the response of the biomaterial to the body - corrosion, biodegradation, and mechanical failure. Our study will begin with the response of the body towards the biomaterial. We will begin by looking at the immune system itself and then move on to look at the normal inflammatory response. We will then study in detail the foreign body reaction caused by biomaterials. The final part of this section is the study of protein adsorption onto biomaterials, with a strong focus on the Vroman effect. Then we will move onto the response of the biomaterial to the body. We will begin by a review of biomaterials, their applications, and compositions, and mechanical properties. We will then look at key problems such as corrosion, stress shielding, static fatigue, and mechanical failure. Finally, we will take a practical look at the materials themselves. Beginning with metals, then polymers (thermoplastic, thermosetting, and biodegradable), and finally ceramics (bioinert, biodegradable, and bioactive).

Code BMET4961
Academic unit Biomedical Engineering
Credit points 6
(ENGG1960 OR AMME1802 OR ENGG1802 OR PHYS1001) AND (AMME2302 OR AMME1362) AND (MECH2901 OR BMET2901)

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Discuss the current state and recent developments in the field of biomaterials.
  • LO2. Understand the mechanical behaviour of biological tissues and the types of models used to describe this behaviour
  • LO3. Understand all the factors involved in the selection of a biomaterial for tissue replacement, including mechanical, biocompatibility, material property and fixation factors
  • LO4. Perform calculations and apply static and dynamic mechanical analyses, to the human body to describe motion.
  • LO5. Formulate new designs for devices to address unmet needs in the biomedical sector
  • LO6. Devise solutions taking mechanical, biological, chemical and physical properties fo the materials into account, as well as the financial and technical feasibility, and surgical considerations into account when designing solutions
  • LO7. Evaluate and assess the current challenges in biomedical systems
  • LO8. Propose novel changes/solutions related to both biomaterials and biomechanics to address current unmet clinical needs or to address limitations of current solutions
  • LO9. Appreciate and recognize the interdisciplinary nature of the field of biomedical engineering, whereby concepts from a wide range of areas including materials science, human biology, mechanics, chemistry and physics are brought together
  • LO10. Employ techniques for effective oral and written communication of the concepts and knowledge underlining the background science and engineering applications of biomedical devices
  • LO11. Identify, obtain, and analyze information using appropriate search strategies to gain in-depth knowledge and current advances in biomaterials and biomechanics
  • LO12. Employ techniques in communicating with colleagues in a professional manner in a group technical assessment setting.
  • LO13. Employ project techniques and activities such as assigning tasks, managing time, and scheduling taksks

Unit outlines

Unit outlines will be available 2 weeks before the first day of teaching for the relevant session.