Jennifer Weiser

Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering

EID 222: Biomaterials



Permission of instructor listed, but not required.

Text and other requirements

Required textbook: Biomaterials Science: An Introduction to Materials in Medicine, 3rd edition by Ratner, Hoffman, Schoen, and Lemons. Hardcover ISBN: 9780123746269, eBook ISBN: 9780080877808. Furthermore, I will be using material from An Introduction to Tissue-Biomaterial Interactions by Dee, Puleo, and Bizios. ISBN: 978-0-471-25394-5. These books will be the main resource for this class and I highly recommend you have a copy of Ratner’s book. I will provide a simplified version of my lecture notes, but you will need materials to take additional notes, do problems during class (paper, pencil or pen, and a calculator), and access to a computer to do certain homework problems. If you would like to prepare for class ahead of time, you can read section numbers from the text in the class schedule, but that is not essential.

Course overview:

The course is a study of both natural and synthetic materials and how they interact with the human body. Topics covered include mechanical properties, design considerations, biocompatibility, the immune response, potential for allergic response and carcinogenic ramifications, mechanical compatibility, effects of long-term implantation, and government regulations. Students will develop a vocabulary for different classes of biomaterials and explore how atomistic properties influence larger scale morphology and macroscopic behavior inside the human body. After a general introduction to biomedical materials, case studies involving physiological systems are considered, and design of artificial parts and materials are investigated.

This course will cover a portion of each topic. However, due to time, we may not cover every topic:

Materials Science and Engineering

  • Section 0 – History of Biomaterials
  • Section I.1 – Properties of Materials
  • Section I.2 – Classes of Materials Used in Medicine

Biology and Medicine

  • Section II.1  – Some Background Concepts
  • Section II.2 – Host Reaction to Biomaterials and Their Evaluation
  • Section II.3 – Biological Testing of Biomaterials
  • Section II.4 – Degradation of Materials in the Biological Environmental
  • Section II.5 – Application of Biomaterials

Practical Aspects of Biomaterials

  • Section III.1  – Implants, Devices, and Biomaterials: Special Consideration
  • Section III.2 – Voluntary Standards, Regulatory Compliance, and Non-Technical Issues

Note – The exact sections in each of these chapters will be explicitly listed on the lecture slides. We will rarely be covering entire chapters from either book, but sections that give a good representation of the material.

Course goals and objectives:

By the end of this course, you should be able to 

  • Develop design criteria for biocompatible, biodegradable, and bioactive materials for specific uses in biomedicine, including devices and implants.
  • Explain biological responses to foreign objects including immune response, blood clotting, and scar tissue formation.
  • Relate biological responses to the design considerations for biomedical devices and implants.
  • Compare and contrast biomedical materials technologies currently on the market and the future technologies on the horizon.
  • Explain the regulation of biomedical materials and the ethical concerns surrounding the testing and use of biomedical materials.
  • Demonstrate the ability to design, perform, and analyze data from inquiry-based laboratory experiments.

Laboratory assignments:

There will be three at home group laboratory assignments. Each lab will have a short pre-lab write up and a longer post-lab report. All materials for the labs will be provided for you except for salt and water. There will be a need to use a heating source for the assignment. We will discuss in class safety, but be mindful of using a heat source at home.