MSc Biomaterials

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Clinical Applications Biomaterials

Course unit fact file
Unit code MATS65301
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Department of Materials
Available as a free choice unit? No


On successful completion of this Unit the student should:

  • Understand the requirements of a biomaterial used for medical applications.
  • Understand the general classifications of biomaterials for medical applications.
  • Understand the importance of materials in medicine.
  • Have an overview of the biomaterial-based medical devices currently used in clinical practice.
  • Have an overview of body anatomy and the material-like properties of the native tissue constructs
  • Be able to relate material properties to specific biomedical applications.
  • Understand the advance therapeutics and the concept of tissue engineering.


  • General classification of a biomaterial for medical applications.
  • Requirements of a biomaterial used for medical applications and biocompatibility.
  • Examples of specific tissues/organs and clinically used biomaterials including musculoskeletal system, skin, oral cavity, lower urinary tract, cardiovascular system, eye and nervous system.



The programme unit aims to:

  • Illustrate the links between medical problems, biological scenarios, chemical issues and mechanical performance.
  • Provide the students with knowledge of the general classification of the biomaterials for medical applications.
  • Provide the students with an understanding of the requirements of biomaterials for medical applications.
  • Provide the students with general understanding of the specific body constructs such as skin, cardiovascular system, eye, musculoskeletal system and lower urinary tract, their anatomical structure and material-like properties of the native tissues
  • Provide a number of examples of applications of biomaterials in the clinic environment.


Learning outcomes

A greater depth of the learning outcomes will be covered in the following sections:
  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Intellectual skills
  • Practical skills
  • Transferable skills and personal qualities

Teaching and learning methods

Online taught lectures divided into synchronized and asynchronised activities, small group and team projects, personal assignments, presentations and reports.


Knowledge and understanding

  • Defend the importance of materials in medicine and their historical development.
  • Recognise the industrial and clinical applications of biomaterials.
  • Discuss the concept of tissue engineering (TE).
  • Explain tissue, organ and system response to biomaterials.
  • Classify diseases, ageing or trauma that requires surgical intervention and the methodology used.
  • Describe the variety of materials and scaffolds that can be utilised for a variety of applications.

Intellectual skills

  • Discuss how alternatives to common surgical solutions can be exploited using biomaterials and tissue engineering approaches.

Practical skills

  • Team working.
  • Present in groups.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Presentation and communication skills.
  • Team working, organisation, time management.  

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 70%
Written assignment (inc essay) 30%

Feedback methods

Feedback give verbally and written.

Recommended reading

  • Principles of Tissue Engineering 3rd Edition, Lanza, Langer and Vacanti
  • Biomaterials Science 3rd or 4th Ed Ratner et al
  • Additional directed and suggested reading is provided as pdfs via Blackboard


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Julie Gough Unit coordinator

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