BI3BT17-Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Evangelos Delivopoulos


Type of module:

Summary module description:

Implantable devices and regenerative medicine can now restore lost organs and their function. Soft, biodegradable constructs are laden with stem cells and transplanted into healthy tissue. On the other hand, elastic materials and refined microfabrication techniques have made it possible to engineer interfaces that can be chronically implanted, in order to record and stimulate the nervous system. This module provides students with a foundation in materials science and then introduces a series of medical device fabrication and tissue engineering technologies. The module examines different applications, such as artificial vision, cardiovascular implants and nervous system interfaces. These topics are examined over a series of 2 hour lectures. In the final 3 weeks, students undertake a team based project, writing a grant proposal for their team’s research idea and pitching it to their colleagues.


The aim of the module is to enable the students to synthesize and evaluate tissue engineering solutions that can address current medical challenges. These range from targeted stem cell therapy to biocompatible materials for tissue regeneration. The module provides fundamental knowledge in materials science, developmental biology and neuroscience, as well as an overview of engineering techniques, at the forefront of research and industry.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Students should be able to discuss fundamental concepts in neural development (the formation of the neural tube, neurogenesis and neural migration, etc.). Students are expected to identify and employ the literature in a tissue engineering area of their choosing, in order to critically evaluate different regenerative/restorative strategies.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

In the first six weeks, the module will cover key concepts and technologies in materials science, stem cell biology, neural development and the cardiovascular system. Students will be presented with technologies and interfaces at the forefront of biomaterials, stem cell research and neural and cardiovascular engineering. Examples include: stem cell differentiation in hydrogel scaffolds, neuronal and glial patterning on multi-electrode array, neural interfaces and neuroprosthetic devices.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module is taught over the span of 10 weeks. In the first 5-6 weeks there are 2 hour lectures. In the next 3-4 weeks, students conduct a group project and present their funding proposals to their peers. Feedback is provided and winning team is chosen to “fund” their project proposal.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Demonstration 2
Practicals classes and workshops 8
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 25
    Wider reading (directed) 10
    Preparation for presentations 1
    Dissertation writing 19
    Essay preparation 20
    Reflection 5
Total hours by term 0 100 0
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 70
Oral assessment and presentation 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

1 group project with presentation and group submission:  30%

1 individual 5000 word essay on topic of choice: 70%

Formative assessment methods:
Peer review and feedback during presentations. Feedback also provided by the lecturer.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Resit by a written 2 hour examination

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 20 May 2019


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