Introduction to Biomaterials


The main goal of the course is to give an insight to materials structure-properties relationship, with enphasis on materials for biomedical applications.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

João Paulo Miranda Ribeiro Borges


Weekly - 4

Total - 70

Teaching language





William F. Smith, J. Hashemi, Foundation of Materials Science and Engineering, McGraw-Hill, Inc., New York, 2004
Buddy D. Ratner et. al (ed), Biomaterials Science - An introduction to Materials in Medicine, Academic Press, New York, 2020
•Teacher''s handouts

Teaching method

Two tipes of presencial classes: Lectures (2h/week); Practical (2 h/week). Lectures will be supported by powerpoint slides.

Tuturial classes are also available every week (2 h/week) for supporting the students in there homework.

Evaluation method

The evaluation of the curricular unit (UC) has two components:

1 - Practical evaluation, given by the evaluation of the laboratory notebook (LN): 40%

2 - Theoretical assessment (60%), comprising different assessment elements:

2.1. The newspaper (NP) of the curricular unit (10%) (group activity);

2.2. Two summative tests (T) or Final Exam (FE), which focus on the subjects taught in theoretical and theoretical-practical classes (50%) (Minimum average of 8 values)

Attendance to ALL laboratory activities is mandatory, so the student will be excluded in case of absence.

- Students who opt for the final assessment will have access to the exam, provided they have attended ALL lab classes.

- The final grade is given by:

i) 0.40*LN+0.10*NP+0.50*TA; for students that attended ALL lab classes and opt for continuous assessment (TA represents the arithmetic mean of the two tests)


ii) 0.40*LN+0.10*NP+0.50*FE;  for students that attended ALL lab classes and opt for the final exam.

Subject matter

Theorectical topics:

1. Materials classificatiion. Biomaterials and biocompatibility.

2. Metalic and Ceramic materials: Crystal structure and crystal geometry; X-ray diffraction; Crystalline imperfections.

5. Phase diagrams.

4. Polymeric Materials.

5. Mechanical properties of materials

6. Linear Viscoelasticity.

7. Rubber elasticity.

8. Elasticity of biological tissues: the formation of an aneurysm - analogy with rubber elasticity.

9. Composite materials.

Lab classes:

1 - Diffraction experiments

2 - Physical properties of materials/Determination of the porosity of a ceramic

3 - Polymer synthesis

4 - Tensile tests of a metal and a polymer: Analysis of the stress-strain curve.

5 - Analysis of the creep behavior of a polymer.

6 - Rubber elasticity (Gough-Joule effect, uniaxial and biaxial tensile tests).


Programs where the course is taught: