MSE 791 Biomaterials

This course provides an introduction to materials of natural and synthetic origin and a brief survey of historic, current, and future applications of materials in medicine. This course will examine the classes and properties of degradable and non-degradable materials, interactions of materials with cells and tissues, and fundamentals of biocompatibility including inflammation, encapsulation, and infection. This course will also discuss biomaterial failure mechanisms, regulation, and related ethical concerns. **Additional expectations for MSE 791 students will be communicated throughout the semester and will be most prominent in the project and journal club deliverables 3 credit hours.


• Prerequisite

MSE 201/203 (Structure and Properties of Engineering Materials/Intro. to the Materials Science of Biomaterials) and BIO 183 (Introductory Biology II) or permission of instructor.

• Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe and compare classes and properties of biomaterials and their past, present, and future applications in medicine.
  2. Predict host response to various classes of biomaterials with regard to biocompatibility, function, and failure.
  3. Illustrate cell-biomaterial and tissue-biomaterial interactions.
  4. Explain methods of biomaterials processing and characterization.
  5. Select materials and optimize material properties for enhanced function and biocompatibility.
  6. Discuss contemporary issues and ethical concerns by linking biomaterials topics to current research.

• Course Requirements


Project   20%  
Exam 1   15%  (20% for EOL students)
Exam 2   15%  (20% for EOL students)
Final Exam (Cumulative)   25%  
Journal Club Assignment   15%  
Quizzes   10%  (0% for EOL students)

Total   100%  

• Course Outline
  • Introduction to course and syllabus
  • History of Materials in Medicine/Overview (Ratner, xxv-liii), (Kuhn, Chapter 5, Biomaterials)
  • Natural Biomaterials (Agrawal, Chapter 8, Natural Biomaterials)
  • Cells, Tissues, and Histology (Histology Text)
  • Biological Systems (Agrawal, Chapter 3, Biological Systems)
  • Cell Interactions with Biomaterials
  • Blood-Biomaterial Interactions (Knovel - Ratner, 551-557)
  • Biomaterials and Inflammation (Temenoff, Chapter 10, Inflammation)
  • Biomaterials and Wound Healing (Temenoff, Chapter 11, Wound Healing)
  • Biomaterials and Immune Response (Temenoff, Chapter 10, Immune Response )
  • Journal Club Discussion (on-campus only)
  • Exam 1
  • Structure-Function: Orthopedic Biomaterials (Bone Histology & Hollinger Chapters 28/29)
  • Structure-Function: Orthopedic Biomaterials (Cartilage Histology & Hollinger Chapter 30)
  • Structure-Function: Cardio Biomaterials (Heart Valve Histology & Ratner, II.5.3)
  • Structure-Function: Vascular Biomaterials (Blood Vessel Histology & Ratner, II.5.3)
  • Journal Club Discussion (on-campus only)
  • Structure-Function: Skin Biomaterials (Skin Histology & Ratner, II.5.14)
  • Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering (Lanza, Chapters 1, 2, 21, 24)
  • Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering (Lanza, Chapters 1, 2, 21, 24)
  • Exam 2
  • Journal Club Discussion (on-campus only)
  • Biological Testing of Biomaterials
  • Medical Device Regulation
  • Current Topics in Biomaterials
  • Current Topics in Biomaterials
  • Student Presentations (on-campus only)
  • Student Presentations (on-campus only)
  • Course review
  • Final Exam (Cumulative)

• Reference Texts

Textbook is not required.

Reference books:

  • Biomaterials Science – An Introduction to Materials in Medicine, 3rd Edition, Edited by Ratner, Hoffman, Schoen, and Lemons, Available online through the NCSU Knovel database
  • Biomaterials, Artificial Organs and Tissue Engineering, Hench & Jones (2005), Available online through the NCSU Knovel database
  • Histology: A Text and Atlas, with Correlated Cell and Molecular Biology, 6th Edition, Michael H. Ross
  • Biomaterials – The Intersection of Biology and Materials Science, Temenoff and Mikos
  • An Introduction to Biomaterials, 2nd Edition, Hollinger
  • Introduction to Biomaterials – Basic Theory with Engineering Applications, Agrawal, Ong, Appleford, and Mani
  • Introduction to Biomedical Engineering, 3rd Edition, Enderle and Bronzino

• Computer and Internet Requirements

NCSU and Engineering Online have recommended minimum computer specifications. For details, click here.

• Instructor

Dr. Cheryl Cass, Assistant Professor
Dept. of Materials Science & Engineering
Director of Undergraduate Programs
Engineering Building 1 (EB1) 3002B, Box 7907
NCSU Campus
Raleigh, NC 27695

Web Site: