Biomechanics and Biomaterials (MECH4961)


This course is divided into two parts, biomechanics and biomaterials:
Biomechanics is the study of the body from the point of view of it being an engineering structure. There are many aspects to this since the human body contains soft tissues, hard tissues (skeletal system), and articulating joints. We will begin with a general introduction to biomechanics, modelling the human body from the macroscopic level to the microscopic level. We will then study soft tissue mechanics, with respect to both non-linear and viscoelastic descriptions, with a significant focus on the mathematical methods used in relation to the mechanics of the system. We will then look at specific aspects of biomechanics: muscle mechanics, joint mechanics, kinematics and dynamics of human gait (gait analysis), biomechanics of cells, physiological fluid flow, biomechanics of injury, functional and mechanical response of tissues to mechanical loading.
This course will involve the study of biomaterials from two perspectives: firstly, the response of the body towards the biomaterial- an immune response and foreign body reaction; secondly, the response of the biomaterial to the body- corrosion, biodegradation, and mechanical failure. Our study will begin with the response of the body towards the biomaterial. We will begin by looking at the immune system itself and then move on to look at the normal inflammatory response. We will then study in detail the foreign body reaction caused by biomaterials. The final part of this section is the study of protein adsorption onto biomaterials, with a strong focus on the Vroman effect. Then we will move onto the response of the biomaterial to the body. We will begin by a review of biomaterials, their applications, and compositions, and mechanical properties. We will then look at key problems such as corrosion, stress shielding, static fatigue, and mechanical failure. Finally, we will take a practical look at the materials themselves. Beginning with metals, then polymers (thermoplastic, thermosetting, and biodegradable), and finally ceramics (bioinert, biodegradable, and bioactive).

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Further unit of study information




Through semester assessment (50%) and Final Exam (50%)

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Unit of study rules


(ENGG1960 OR ENGG1802 OR PHYS1001) AND (AMME2302 OR AMME1362) AND MECH2901 AND MECH3921

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.