Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Subject Description

This class provides an introduction to the interactions between cells and the surfaces of biomaterials. The course covers: surface chemistry and physics of selected metals, polymers, and ceramics; surface characterization methodology; modification of biomaterials surfaces; quantitative assays of cell behavior in culture; biosensors and microarrays; bulk properties of implants; and acute and chronic response to implanted biomaterials. General topics include biosensors, drug delivery, and tissue engineering.


8.01; 8.02; 3.091, 5.111, or 5.112; 7.012, 7.013 or 7.014; 3.012, 5.60, or 2.40.


Buy at Amazon Ratner, Buddy D., et al. Biomaterials Science: An Introduction to Materials in Medicine. 2nd ed. Burlington, MA: Academic Press, 2004. ISBN: 9780125824637.

Supplemental Handouts.


Approximately biweekly (7 problem sets).


Two quizzes and one final exam.


Homework* 40%
Quiz 1 15%
Quiz 2 15%
Final Exam 30%


* weighting may vary

Note: Students may discuss homework problems, but should write up solutions independently. Quizzes and final are closed-book exams.


Several lectures are given by the course TA Dr. Ikuo Taniguchi.

1 Course Introduction

Biomaterials Defined

Structural Hierarchy in Materials and Biology
Problem set 1 assigned
2 Biomaterials Surfaces: Physics

Surface (vs. Bulk) Structure and Properties

Surface Energy

Adsorption, Segregation, and Reconstruction at Surfaces
3 Biomaterials Surfaces: Chemistry

Reactions at Surfaces: Chemisorption, Corrosion
4 Biomaterials Surfaces: Chemistry (cont.)

Hydrolysis (Dr. Taniguchi)
Problem set 1 due

Problem set 2 assigned
5 Protein-Surface Interactions

Proteins: Structure, Properties, Functions

Protein Adsorption: Langmuir Model
6 Protein-Surface Interactions (cont.)

Protein Adsorption: Complex Phenomena, Measurement
Problem set 2 due

Problem set 3 assigned
7 Cell-Surface Interactions: Host Response to Biomaterials

Cell Adhesion Mechanisms

Coagulation Cascade
8 Cell-Surface Interactions: Host Response to Biomaterials (cont.)

Immune Response: Alternative Complement Activation
9 Surface Modification Methods


Plasma Treatments

Organic Coatings (Dr. Taniguchi)
Problem set 3 due
  Quiz 1  
10 Surface Modification Methods (cont.)

Polymer Coatings

Patterned Surfaces
Problem set 4 assigned
11 Surface Characterization

12 Surface Characterization In situ

Contact Angle, AFM
Problem set 4 due
13 Quantifying Cell Behavior

Cell Cultures

Cellular Assays: Adhesion, Migration, Proliferation
Problem set 5 assigned
14 Quantifying Cell Behavior (cont.)

Cellular Assays: Differentiation, Function
15 Statistical Analysis

Error Sources, Distribution Functions, t- test
16 Statistical Analysis (cont.)

Fisher Test, Regression Methods
Problem set 5 due

Problem set 6 assigned
17 Biosensors and Diagnostic Devices

Biological Elements

Transduction Mechanisms


Examples: Fiber Optic Biosensors, Nanobarcodes
Problem set 6 due
  Quiz 2  
18 Drug Delivery: Controlled Release (Dr. Taniguchi)

Chemically-controlled Devices
19 Drug Delivery: Controlled Release (cont.)

Diffusion-controlled, Membrane-based and Osmotic Devices
Problem set 7 assigned
20 Drug Delivery: Controlled Release (cont.)

Methods: Transdermal, Colloidal Vehicles

Mechanical Pumps
21 Biomaterials for Organ Replacement

Organ Replacement Therapies

Mechanical Properties

Bone Substitutes
22 Tissue Engineering

Cell Types; Approaches: In vitro, In vivo, Ex vivo/Cell Encapsulation

Scaffolds: Design and Fabrication
Problem set 7 due
23 Tissue Engineering (cont.)

Case Examples: Artificial Pancreas, Cartilage, Nerve Regeneration
24 FDA Regulatory Issues and Course Evaluations  
  Final Exam