General Details

Full Title
Transcript Title
N/A %
Subject Area
MATL - Materials
LIFE - Life Sciences
06 - NFQ Level 6
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Richard Sherlock
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 SG_SBIOM_C06 202100 Higher Certificate in Science in Biomedical Science

This is an introductory module covering concepts in Materials Science and Materials Engineering that may be of relevance to biomedical science and medical biotechnology. The content is framed in the context of the selection and suitability of materials used in biomedicine and in medical devices.

Learning Outcomes

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


Define basic concepts and explain general principles of materials science.


Describe, discuss and use examples of how the structure of materials influences the properties and performance of materials and apply knowledge of basic material science to identify material properties that are critical for metallic, polymer and ceramic biomaterials, or their combination.


Explain the operation of a range of instruments in materials testing and examination.


Report the performance of a materials science experiment and/or test in a prescribed manner, presenting results, processing and interpreting data, and deducing informed conclusions.


Research, analyse, interpret and report information relevant to function and construction of biomedical devices and describe the relevance of the choice of biomaterial for given applications.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will be delivered full-time in a face-to-face classroom environment. Theory wil be taught in a lecture setting 2 hrs per week. Laboratory teaching will take place every week in a 2 hour session. Learners will augment face-to-face class time with independent learning.

Module Assessment Strategies

A written reports in the form of a short essay will be assigned during the module to assess the learner's progress in understanding the fundamental concepts of materials science and interpreting these concepts in the context of biomedical applications. The assignments will normally be scheduled before the mid point of the semester to encourage early and consistent engagement with the module, to monitor progress and provide feedback.

A group presentation exercise focussing on medical devices will be scheduled towards the end of the module. This is to encourage the learners to demonstrate a knowledge of materials science in the context of medical device applications . The exercise will also promote peer assisted learning of the basics of a wide range of medical devices and will enable learners to demonstrate team-working and presentation skills.

Towards the end of the semester learners will take a short summative quiz. The purpose of the quiz is to encourage learners to engage with the totality of the course material well in advance of the terminal exam and to afford them the opportunity to assess their integrated understanding.

Laboratory skills and report-writing ability will be assessed weekly as part of the practical work performed during the module.

An end of semester terminal written exam will be used to assess the learner's integrated understanding of the module.

Learners must reach an assigned gate of 30% of the available marks in the end of semester terminal exam and achieve at least 40% overall to pass the module.

Learners must attend at least 75% of the available practical sessions to pass the module. 

Repeat Assessments

Repeat assessments will be of the same kind as any failed elements and can include any required combination of repeat final exam, repeat practical exam, and/or repeat quiz. Under certain circumstances the learner may be required to repeat attend the module.

Module Dependencies

Chemistry , Physics and Biology.

Indicative Syllabus

Basic Science of Materials

Atomic Structure, Elements and the Periodic Table. Atomic Bonding and Moleclues. Compounds, Mixtures. Solids, Liquids and Gases. Avogadro's Number and the mole concept. Crystalline and Amorphous Structures. Crystals, Allotropy, Grain structure. Metallic Bond. Defects in metals. Dislocations : edge and screw type. Dislocation motion and multiplication.

Introduction to Materials and their Properties

Overview of properties of metals, ceramics, polymers and composites. Factors affecting material selection. Mechanical properties of materials. Physical properties of materials. Surface properties.

Material Behaviour

Elastic and Plastic Deformation. Heat treatment basics. Strengthening mechanisms. Fracture and failure in materials.

Materials testing

Tensile test. Tensile test data. Proof stress. Effect of grain size and structure on tensile testing. Tensile testing of polymers. Impact testing. Interpretation of impact test data. The effect of processing on hardness. Hardness testing.

Biomaterials in action

Definition of "Biomaterial". Composition, structure, properties and manufacture of biomaterials used for medical applications. Description of medical grade alloys. Description of standard polymers used for biomedical applications.

Medical Devices

Construction and functions of medical devices. Selection of materials for medical devices based on material properties and cost.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
60 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
40 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Written Report Short essay on materials topic Continuous Assessment UNKNOWN 5 % Week 4 1,2,5
2 Presentation Group presentation on Medical Device Continuous Assessment UNKNOWN 20 % Week 11 1,5
3 Short quiz Continuous Assessment Assessment 5 % Week 12 1,2,3
4 Practical Evaluation Laboratory report Continuous Assessment UNKNOWN 30 % OnGoing 4

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final Exam Final Exam UNKNOWN 40 % End of Term 1,2,3

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Tiered Classroom Lecture 2 Weekly 2.00
Laboratory Practical Science Laboratory Laboratory Practical 2 Weekly 2.00
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Self Study 4 Weekly 4.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 4.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2012 Biomaterials Science: An Introduction to Materials in Medicine Academic Press

Recommended Reading
2014-12-15 Biomaterials CRC Press
ISBN 9781482227697 ISBN-13 148222769X

Explores Biomedical Science from a Unique Perspective Biomaterials: A Basic Introduction is a definitive resource for students entering biomedical or bioengineering disciplines. This text offers a detailed exploration of engineering and materials science, and examines the boundary and relationship between the two. Based on the authors course lecture notes and many years of research, it presents students with the knowledge needed to select and design biomaterials used in medical devices. Placing special emphasis on metallic, ceramic, polymeric, and composite biomaterials, it explains the difference between materials science and materials engineering, introduces basic concepts and principles, and analyzes the critically important properties of biomaterials. Explains Complex Theories Using Aspects of Daily Life This text provides an appropriate balance between depth and broadness of coverage, and offers an understanding of the most important concepts and principles to students from a wide academic spectrum. It delivers the science of biomaterials in laymen terms, from a material standpoint, as well as a clinical applications point of view. It equips students majoring in materials science/engineering with knowledge on the fundamentals of how biomaterials behave at a biological level, and provides students majoring in medicine with information that is generally unavailable in traditional medical courses. The authors incorporate learning objectives at the beginning of each chapter, as well as chapter highlights, problems, and exercises at the end of each chapter. In addition, they present objectives, suggested activities, and reference material for further reading. Contains an overview of medical science vis- -vis materials science, describes anatomy, histology, and cell biology Highlights health issues and diseases where biomaterials can easily find medical applications Presents knowledge of the relationship between the biomaterials and the living body Evaluates medical devices and looks into their respective regulations Biomaterials: A Basic Introduction contains an overview of basic biomaterials and concepts, and is written for upper-division students in the US/Canada, and second-level students in universities worldwide.

Recommended Reading
2013-11-07 Introduction to Biomaterials Cambridge University Press
ISBN 9780521116909 ISBN-13 0521116902

A succinct introduction to the field of biomaterials engineering, packed with practical insights.

Recommended Reading
2007-09-07 Biomaterials Springer
ISBN 0387378790 ISBN-13 9780387378794

With sixty years of combined experience, the authors of this extensively revised book have learned to emphasize the fundamental materials science, structure-property relationships, and biological responses as a foundation for a wide array of biomaterials applications. This edition includes a new chapter on tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, approximately 1900 references to additional reading, extensive tutorial materials on new developments in spinal implants and fixation techniques and theory. It also offers systematic coverage of orthopedic implants, and expanded treatment of ceramic materials and implants.

Recommended Reading
2003-01-01 Handbook of Materials for Medical Devices Asm International
ISBN UOM:39015057642228

ASM International has been documenting the properties and failure mechanics, of metallic implant materials for the past 20 years, but mostly in the form of reviews in various volumes of the Metals/ASM Handbook series. Here staff members compile the information (not the original articles) into a sing

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

See Booklist

Journal Resources


Other Resources


Additional Information