BIO07033 2019 Implant Biocompatibility

General Details

Full Title
Implant Biocompatibility
Transcript Title
Implant Biocompatibility
N/A %
Subject Area
BIO - Bio Tech/Eng/Chem
LIFE - Life Sciences
07 - NFQ Level 7
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Tony McCabe
Programme Membership
SG_SBIOM_B07 201900 Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science SG_SMEDI_H08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Science in Medical Biotechnology

This subject is designed to introduce the students to compatibility issues which arise from the use of implants and medical devices. The subject emphasises the properties of biomaterials which may result in incompatibility within the recipient. The subject studies the implant host interface and the role this plays in determining biocompatibility. The module defines and describes the major adverse host responses to implanted biomaterials and how they may be controlled.  The module also encompasses biomaterial testing in theory and practical elements. The importance of sterility and product standards and regulations is also addressed.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Outline materials used in implant devices and how they impact on biocompatibility.


Describe the environmental and biological responses to implanted devices.


Provide an overview of the importance of sterilization, regulation and standards to the medical device industry.


Outline the testing of implants for biocompatibility.


Execute laboratory assays which are used to determine biocompatibility.


Analyse and report experimental concepts and data.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching and Learning Strategy

The module contact time will be split evenly between lectures and laboratory time.

Contact time will contain some tutorial elements which will be used to help students address problem topics and answer questions and provide feedback on assessments.

Lectures can comprise of elements such as: Powerpoint presentations, videos, articles for study and discussion on relevant topics.

The moodle platform will be used as a repository for course material.

Active Learning:

Students will be asked to read around and contextualize relevant articles and topics.

Students will be required to research relevant information for the production of experimental reports.


Occasional time will be set aside for tutorials will allow time for students to discuss the quizzes and assessments in a face to face format during which problems can be addressed and additional explanations provided. 

Small group writing tutorials will be provided for students who require additional help in constructing elements of reports (for example data presentation).


Laboratory work:

Students will execute relevant experimental procedures within groups. When possible, students also work individually in the laboratory on certain experiments.

The laboratory classes are preceded by introductory lectures, so students are aware of the research question at hand, requirements, learning outcomes and any relevant health and safety concerns. Students are encouraged to raise learning issues, particularly with new techniques.


Module Assessment Strategies

This module has an end of semester exam worth 50% and a laboratory element worth 50%.

The students’ performance will be evaluated through formative and summative assessments. 

Formative assessment:

The formative assessments may be delivered in class and through online quizzes so students can check their own progress. Assessments will be provided on an on-going basis throughout the semester and can be taken at a time of the students’ choosing. Typically, they will be made available at the end of particular topics during the module. Online quizzes and review questions and crosswords are provided on the moodle platform, students can access these resources at any time once made available.

Quizzes will be designed in accordance to Bloom’s taxonomy, assessing elements relevant to the level 7 module status.

Summative assessment:

Module theory will be assessed through an end of term exam worth 50% of the module. Relevant elements of the module theory, pertaining to testing for example, will also be assessed during practical evaluation, entailing short quizzes on the practical applications of the module. The laboratory element of the module (50%) will undergo a Practical Evaluation over 4.5 weeks of the semester (or 26 hour equivalent). This evaluation will assess students’ basic laboratory skills and professional attitude, the students’ data presentation and analysis skills as well as their dissemination skills through submission of reports or individual report elements such as abstracts.

Students, particularly those from overseas, can avail of remote proctoring of exams.

The moodle platform will be used by students to upload assignments and used in combination with Turnitin software.

The student must reach an assigned mark in the final exam and achieve 40% overall to pass the module. The student must attend a minimum of 75% in the laboratory element of the module or they may be required to repeat and re-attend the module.

Repeat Assessments

If a student fails to achieve 40% in the module they will be required to resit the exam, resubmit or submit laboratory reports, write a theory assignment or a combination of these.

Module Dependencies


Indicative Syllabus

Outline materials used in implant devices and how they impact on biocompatibility.

Metal, polymers, ceramics and nanomaterials

Material-protein interaction


Describe the environmental and biological responses to implanted devices.

Corrosion, hydrolysis, oxidation and calcification.

Inflammation, blood-material interactions, tumourigenesis, hypersensitivity and complement


Provide an overview of the importance of sterilization, regulation and standards to the medical device industry.

Sterilization methods and requirements.

Standards testing and regulatory needs and stages.


Outline the testing of implants for biocompatibility.

In vitro testing: assay types and use.

In vivo testing: the necessity for animal testing and their use.


Execute laboratory assays, which are used to determine biocompatibility.

Perform typical assays used in the industry such as MEM elution and direct contact assay.


Analyse and report experimental concepts and data.

Presentation of data through elements such as abstracts, introductions and discussions, encompassing elements of graph, image and data tables.

Concepts underlining experimental assays.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
50 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
50 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Quiz Formative Assessment - % OnGoing 1,2,3,4
2 Laboratory work Practical Practical Evaluation 50 % OnGoing 4,5,6

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final Exam Final Exam Closed Book Exam 50 % End of Semester 1,2,3,4

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Laboratory Practical Science Laboratory Laboratory Practical 2 Weekly 2.00
Independent Learning Not Specified Self Study 3 Weekly 3.00
Lecture Lecture Theatre Theory delivery and tutorials 2 Weekly 2.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 4.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
1999-10-14 Biomaterials Science and Biocompatibility Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN 0387987118 ISBN-13 9780387987118

Adopting an interdisciplinary approach to the chemistry and physics of materials, their biocompatibility, and the consequences of implantation of such devices into the human body, this text introduces readers to the principles of polymer science and the study of metals, ceramics and composites, and also to the basic biology required to understand the nature of the host-transplant interface. Topics covered include the macromolecular components of cells and tissues, self-assembly processes, biological cascade systems, microscopic structure of cells and tissues, immunology, transplantation biology, and the pathobiology of wound healing. The materials science section includes the structures and properties of polymers, metals, ceramics and composites, and the processes for forming materials as well as the pathobiology of devices. The final two chapters deal with tissue engineering and the relations between the biology of cells and tissue transplantation, and the engineering of tissue replacements using passaged cells.

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Biological Performance of Materials: Fundamentals of Biocompatibility, Jonathan Black, 4th Edition 2005, Marcel Dekker print.

Biomaterials Science and Biocompatibility. Author Frederick Silver and David Christiansen. Spriger-Verlag 1999.

Biomaterials Science : An Introduction to Materials in Medicine by Schoen, Frederick J., Lemons, Jack E., Ratner, B. D., Hoffman, Allan S. 2013. Available as an e-book from IT Sligo library


Journal Resources

Relevant articles will be recommended to the students rather than journals. For example:

Basic fibroblast growth factor suspended in Matrigel improves titanium implant fixation in ovariectomized rats. By Gao, Ying; Zhu, Songsong; Luo, En; Li, Jihua; Feng, Ge; Hu, Jing. In Journal of Controlled Release. 2009 139(1):15-21 Language: English. DOI: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2009.05.032

Other Resources

Moodle lecture series on Implant Biocompatibility


IT Sligo Library


Additional Information