Course Title: Bioen 490, Engineering Materials for Biomedical Applications

Instructor: Thomas A. Horbett

Number of credits: 3

 UW General Catalog Course Description:

Combined application of principles of physical chemistry and biochemistry, materials engineering, to biomedical problems and products.  Applications include implants and medical devices, drug delivery systems, cell culture processes, diagnostics, and bioseparations.  Offered: jointly with CHEM E 490 A.

Prerequisites by Course Number: Bioen 326

Prerequisites by topic: Suggested Background by Topics: Cell biology, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, biochemistry.

Instructor’s Detailed Course Description: This course will provide an overview of the field of biomaterials.  The student will learn the history and design principles behind the classes of biomaterials used today in medical devices used as implants in the body or in contact with bodily fluids.  Ultimately, the student will obtain the tools necessary to design, analyze, and characterize biomaterials for new applications.  The course focuses mainly on the materials in actual clinical usage as part of biomedical devices. The major classes of materials along with their properties, characterization, biological responses, and specific clinical applications are presented.  Articles from the current literature are used to highlight ongoing research and development efforts to improve biomaterials and devices.  Near the beginning of the course, students make presentations on biomaterials used in a specific clinically used device as way to become familiar with the wide variety and great impact of biomaterials and devices used in humans.  Later in the course, the students present an analysis of failure mechanisms of the device they described earlier, especially failures related to the biomaterials used.  In the term paper, the students propose a new biomaterial to be used in the device to overcome one or more of the failure mechanisms of the current version of the device.  

Required Textbook: Biomaterials Science, 2nd Edition (2004).  Edited by B. D. Ratner, A. S. Hoffman, F. Schoen, and J. Lemons.  ISBN 0125824637 2004.  Elsevier Academic Press NOTE: The third edition is supposed to be available in spring 2013 and if so will be used starting fall of 2013.

Course Objectives:  The objectives of the course are to provide the students with:

  1.  Knowledge of chemical and mechanical properties of materials currently used in devices used in contact with the body, their large impact on human health, and the major bodily reactions to the devices (h, j, l) – Assessed by: exams.
  2. The ability to apply principles in mathematics, science and engineering to the design and evaluation of biomaterials and biomedical devices (c, m) – Assessed by: failure mechanisms presentation, term paper, and exams.
  3. An overview of current limitations of biomedical devices and strategies being studied in both academia and industry to address these limitations (h, j) – Assessed by: exams, presentation on biomaterials in current devices, term paper.
  4. The opportunity to present their findings of biomaterials used in current devices and their analysis of design limitations of current devices in two oral presentations to their peers and to write a proposal to overcome one or more design limitations of current devices in a written document (g) – Assessed by: biomaterials in current devices and failure of device presentation, term paper.

 Topics Covered:

  • History; relevance and impact
  • Materials in selected clinical devices (presentations by students in class)
  • Metallic biomaterials: chemical compositions, corrosion/fretting, mechanical properties, osteoinductivity, bone cements
  • Bioceramics and bioglasses and carbons
  • Natural biomaterials
  • Definitions and terminology
  • Polymeric biomaterials, chemistry and properties, including polyurethanes and plasma deposited polymers
  • Biomaterials for tissue engineering
  • Biological reactions to implants
  • Blood clotting
  • Foreign body reaction
  • Failure of devices (presentations by students in class)
  • Surface analysis of biomaterials
  • Biomaterials in drug delivery
  • Stents
  • Blood compatibility testing, heparinized surfaces
  • Protein adsorption,  foreign body reaction
  • Toxicological testing
  • Device related infection. Biological correlations

Class Schedule: Lectures 1 hr. 20 min/lecture, meet twice a week. Fall 2012 lecture schedule attached at end of this document.

Computer Use: Students will use computers to prepare their homework, final papers and class presentations.

Laboratory Projects: No labs.

Design Project: A final term paper is required, worth 30% of the grade.  The term paper is developed throughout the course, as follows.  At the beginning of the course, students are given a list of currently used biomedical devices that are used in contact with the body, each student is assigned or chooses one device, and is asked to make a brief presentation.  The students must find at least one manufacturer of the device, and find out as much as they can about what type of materials are used in the device and why they were chosen.  Only devices actually on the market and being used clinically may are studied.  In the second phase of term paper development, students make an oral presentation or written report on the known failure mechanisms of their assigned biomedical device.  A “failure mechanism” is why the device sometimes fails in clinical use, e.g. aseptic loosening in hip implants or thrombosis of cardiovascular stents.  All known failure mechanisms for the device are reviewed.  This exercise is intended to familiarize the students with shortcomings of current devices so that they are prepared to propose improvements in the device in their term paper.  The final phase of term paper is to propose a solution to one or more of the known device failure mechanisms and methods to test whether the proposed solution works, which involves prior review of the Specific Aims by the instructor.

Outcomes Addressed By This Course:

Specific outcomes in Bioen 490 and their assessment mechanisms are as follows.

(c) an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs.  Students’ ability will be assessed by their term paper project, in which they will design a novel biomaterial to overcome a known failure mechanism of a currently used device.

(g) an ability to communicate effectively.  Communication will be assessed by one or more of the following: written reading reports on assigned reading, oral presentations of biomaterials used in devices and failure mechanisms of devices, and the written term papers.

(j) knowledge of contemporary issues.   Students will be evaluated on their understanding of economic and societal forces driving biomaterial and biomedical device development through one or both of the following: written or oral reports on failures of devices, and in the background section of the term paper.  Students will also be evaluated on their knowledge of current state-of-the-art approaches to improved biomaterials and devices through exams and the term paper.

(m) the capability to apply advanced mathematics, science, and engineering to solve the problems at the interface of engineering and biology.  Students will be evaluated on their ability to apply advanced science and engineering through the term paper.

Relationship of Course to Departmental Objectives: Note that these Program Educational Objectives are those approved by faculty Sept. 14, 2012)

The relationship of Bioe 490 to department objectives is as follows:

Pursue educational opportunities and/or employment in bioengineering-related fields, such as medicine, device development, or biotechnology.

Earn advanced degrees and/or obtain employment in Bioengineering related fields such as medicine, device development, or biotechnology.

Pursue opportunities for professional growth and development.

Advance their careers by obtaining appropriate educational and professional qualifications.

Serve their profession and community

The wide awareness of the impact of biomaterials on human health care developed in the course prepares the students to serve their profession and community by contributing to their background knowledge of the biomaterials field which will help them become educated reviewers of papers, grant applications, conference abstracts, etc., thereby serving the professional community.

Contribute to responsible development of new technical knowledge

Bioen 490 presents the fundamental chemical, mechanical, and biological principles applicable to the biomaterials in currently used devices, including polymer and surface science, biomaterials in drug delivery, biomaterials for tissue engineering, and the biological reactions to implants. The course increases their ability to solve biomedical problems because they have to apply this new knowledge in their term paper to design improved biomaterials and devices.

Course grading: The grading distribution guidelines for your course are as follows. Exams and grades: 20% for reading reports; 20% for the two medical device presentations/reports; 30% for mid-term; 30% for term paper. Reading reports where questions are answered will be like open book mini-exams.

Grading of the reading reports and presentation will be done using a set of standards described in a “rubric”. Students are given some feedback on the reports by the grader and there will be a penalty for late turn in of reading assignments, as described in  “Grading of reading assignments” document on the class website.

Oral presentations will stress both communication skills and technical content and graded using standards described in another rubric. Midterm will be closed book, in class and be a mixture of short answer and essay questions; old exams will be posted.

Term paper will be a research proposal in NIH format (R01 or possibly R21 type) on an improved biomaterial for a particular device, including an outline to be turned in no later than the second last class in the course that will serve as a platform for preliminary feedback on your proposal. There has been no final exam in recent years, only a term paper, at request of students.

Course schedule by week/topic: A weekly schedule of your course. See attached schedule.


# Day Date Topic(s) Lecturer
1 Tues Sept 25   Introductory overview of biomaterials: Definitions, history, types, impact, examples Course organization. T. Horbett
 2  Thurs Sept 27 Metals as biomaterials T. Horbett
 3 Tues Oct 2 Cancel class (Request from Bioe for Open house) Reading assignment 1 report due
 4 Thurs Oct 3 Orthopedic Biomaterials and their Mechanisms of Failure T. Horbett
 5 Tues Oct 9 Dynamics of bone bonding and failure: Legeros/Craig and Letic-Gavrilovic
reviews; Dental implant interfaces; HA osteoinducvity; Ceramics, glasses, carbons; THR review
Reading assignment 2 report due
T. Horbett
 6 Thurs Oct 11 Toxicology; Clinical FBR and Infections Mechanisms of FBR and infection T. Horbett
 7 Tues Oct 16 Protein and Cell interactions I Reading assignment 3 report due T. Horbett
 8 Thurs Oct 18  Protein and Cell interactions II T. Horbett
 9 Tues Oct 23 Thrombosis on devices  Reading assignment 4 report due T. Horbett
 10 Thurs Oct 25 Materials in clinical devices Class
 11 Tues Oct 30 Materials in clinical devices, finish Additional comments on Infections, FBR, thrombosis Reading assignment 5 report due Class
 12 Thurs Nov 1 Midterm exam T. Horbett
 13 Tues Nov 6 Polymeric biomaterials I Reading assignment 6 due B. Ratner
 14 Thurs Nov 8 Polymeric biomaterials II polyurethanes B. Ratner
 15 Tues Nov 13 Surface treatments with plasmas etc.  Reading assignment 7 report due B. Ratner
 16 Thurs Nov 15 Biomaterials in the eyeBiomaterials in drug delivery  T. ShenA. Hoffman
 17 Tues Nov 20 Biomaterials for tissue engineering   Reading assignment 8 report due  K. Hauch
 18 Thurs Nov 22 No class: Thanksgiving
 19 Tues Nov 27 Surface analysis of biomaterials  Reading assignment 9 report due  L. Gamble
 20 Thurs Nov 29 Biomaterials in the nervous system T. Horbett
 21 Tues Dec 4 Biological correlations  Reading assignment 10 report due B. Ratner
 22 Thurs Dec 6 Term paper tutorial  Failure analysis report due T. Horbett

Final exam week is Dec 10-14
Final exam will probably not be done this year, just a term paper.
Grader is Deep Hathai
Lecture schedule and outline is tentative, and may be changed.
Final exam if held would be at 10:30-12:20 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012 in Gould 322.

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