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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_

BMET5962: Introduction to Mechanobiology

Mechanobiology has emerged as a new field of science that integrates biology and engineering and is now considered to have significant influence on the development of technologies for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. It is well known that tissues and cells are sensitive to their mechanical environment and changes to this environment can affect the physiological and pathophysiological processes. Understanding the mechanisms by which biological cells sense and respond to mechanical signals can lead to the development of novel treatments and therapies for a variety of diseases.


Academic unit Biomedical Engineering
Unit code BMET5962
Unit name Introduction to Mechanobiology
Session, year
Semester 2, 2021
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Remote
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

Assumed knowledge

6 credit points of 1000-level biology, 6 credit points of 1000-level chemistry and 6 credit points of 2000-level physiology or equivalent

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Yogambha Ramaswamy,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Open book) Type C final exam Final exam
Final exam
40% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO6 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO2 LO1
Small test Quiz 1
MCQ and short answer type (Canvas)
10% Week 07 20 min
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO2
Skills based evaluation Pre-prac assessment
10% Week 09 20 min
Outcomes assessed: LO6 LO1 LO2 LO5 LO4 LO3
Presentation group assignment Presentation
Group presentation on the assigned topic
20% Week 10 15 min
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO2
Small test Quiz 2
MCQ and short answer type (Canvas)
10% Week 12 20 min
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO2
Skills based evaluation Laboratory report
A final report on the laboratory activity
10% Week 13 3 weeks
Outcomes assessed: LO6 LO1 LO2 LO5 LO4 LO3
group assignment = group assignment ?
Type C final exam = Type C final exam ?

Presentation topics will be provided in the tutorials

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, and the resources available to all students.

The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Overview of the course and introduction to the emerging field of mechanobiology (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 02 Introduction to cellular polymeric networks (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 03 Cell signaling and mechanotransduction (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 04 Extracellular matrix mechanics (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6
Week 05 Overview of analytical methods in mechanobiology: part 1 (4 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 06 Overview of analytical methods in mechanobiology: part 2 (4 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 07 Role of biomaterials in mechanobiology (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 08 Microfluidic devices in mechanobiology (4 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 09 Mechanosensitive ion channels: part 1 (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 10 Mechanosensitive ion channels: part 2 (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 11 Cell migration and the influence of mechanics (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 12 Cancer Mechanobiology (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 13 Mechanobiology: current status, major advances and its future. Exam preparation (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6

Attendance and class requirements

Lectures /Tutorials – Online and/or face-to-face

Note: face-to-face lectures/tutorials are subject to change based on COVID situation.

Lab activities - Face-to-face lab activities are planned and each student will work independently.

Note: In case of Covid restrictions/lockdown we will have to switch to a group activity.  In the group activity,  all efforts will be made to arrange for one member of the group to attend the lab physically and others will follow it online. There are 4 labs and group members can take turns to attend each of the labs.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Reading resources related to each lecture will be provided during lectures. Any additional resources will be communicated and uploaded on canvas.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

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

  • LO1. Demonstrate effective oral communications skills, understand research questions, and critically analyze and interpret data
  • LO2. Obtain information using appropriate search strategies to gain in-depth knowledge and current advances in mechanobiology through peer-reviewed research resources
  • LO3. Understand the basic principles of mechanobiology and its importance in the field of biomedical engineering and regenerative medicine.
  • LO4. Apply and integrate engineering principles to biological processes. Utilizing biomedical devices to understand the principles of mechanobiology.
  • LO5. Understand the use of engineering technologies and analytical tools in the field of mechanobiology, applications and design of biomaterial platforms in the field of mechanobiology
  • LO6. Demonstrate the procedure for working safely, correctly, and effectively in a molecular biology laboratory. Learn and demonstrate a range of practical techniques in molecular biology, stem cell culture and differentiation, develop biomaterial platforms to understand the principles of mechanobiology. Demonstrate a collaborative experimental work, effective data acquisition, analysis, imaging, data recording and experimental report writing

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
No significant changes have been made since this unit was last offered

Information about the course will be available on canvas. Students can ask questions during the tutorial sessions.

Work, health and safety

Health and safety requirements must be met during the practical sessions and students will be briefed during the tutorial sessions.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.