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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
TIF050 - Materials in medicine
Syllabus adopted 2014-02-24 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPBIO
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Bioengineering, Engineering Physics
Department: 16 - PHYSICS

Teaching language: English
Open for exchange students
Block schedule: D

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0105 Examination 7,5 c Grading: TH   7,5 c   16 Jan 2015 am V,  13 Apr 2015 pm M,  21 Aug 2015 pm V

In programs

MPBIO BIOTECHNOLOGY, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)


Bitr professor  Julie Gold


In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

Course specific prerequisites

Basic university level courses in physics or mechanics and chemistry, or materials science.


The aim of this course is to introduce the student to the main categories of materials used as biomaterials, with emphasis on their structure-property relationships, and to provide an introduction to specific materials commonly used in medical devices, as well as drug delivery and tissue engineering applications. Another aim is for students to be familiar with the special handling, performance and degradation criteria required for materials in medicine.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

Understand the basic structure and property relationships of metal, ceramic, polymeric and composite materials systems.

Understand structure-property relationships of biological materials, including major tissues found in the body.

Be familiar with characterization methods commonly used to analyse biomaterials.

Name and describe a few specific materials in each of the main catagories of materials used in medicine, such as metals, ceramics, polymers, degradable polymers, biopolymers.

Have an understanding of the requirements for materials used in several application areas in the body, such as soft tissue replacements, hard tissue replacements, blood contacting devices, as well as transplants and tissue engineered devices.

Describe some advantages and disadvantages of the main sterilization methods used in the medical device industry.

Describe the main degradation mechanisms of materials in the body.


The course is built upon the principle of understanding the specific properties of the different material types used as biomaterials, and how this understanding can be used for selecting/designing materials for different medical implant applications.
The course provides a necessary background for students in biotechnology, biomedical engineering or biomedicine who will continue with studies in biomaterials and tissue engineering.

The course covers the major classes of materials used in medicine, such as metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites. Emphasis is placed on structure, composition, mechanical properties, analytical methods, surface vs. bulk properties and degradation mechanisms of each material group. Also covered are sterilization methods, and industry and regulatory standards required for implant materials. These aspects of biomaterials are further stressed in a site visit to a medical device manufacturer.

Journal clubs address current materials issues within the medical implant field. Each article is read, summarized and criticized during tutorial sessions. Emphasis is placed on the materials used, processing methods, characterization, and performance.
For the group projects, each group of students will dive deeper into one of the articles from the Journal Club, addressing clinical needs, tissue physiology, alternative medical device strategies and other materials being used or developed for the application, and performance requirements. The application areas and alternative approaches will be presented orally by the students during a special session towards the end of the course.


The course is based on a combination of lectures, Journal Club sessions, group project, and a site visit to a medical device company.


Biomaterials Science. An Introduction to Materials in Medicine (Ed.
Ratner B, Hoffman AS, Schoen FJ, Lemons JE), Academic Press, 3rd
Edition, 2013 - ebook Chalmers library.

Reference: Biomaterials: The Intersection of Biology and
Materials Science, J.S. Temenoff, A.G. Mikos, Pearson Prentice Hall,
2008, international edition

Reference: Biomaterials: An Introduction, Third Edition, JPark and RSLakes, 2007, Springer. 

Handouts in the form of lecture notes and scientific journal articles.


Course grades are based on the sum of grades from the Journal Club sessions, group project, individual grades from the group work, and written final exam.

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.