Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Biomaterials and Biocompatibility

Biomaterials and Biocompatibility
Second semester
Main language of instruction: Spanish

Other languages of instruction: Catalan, English

Teaching staff

A face-to-face meeting with the teacher can be arranged by writing an email.


Currently, biomaterials play a fundamental role in reparative medicine. A biomaterial is any material that interacts with biological systems and whose purpose is to replace or restore some function of the human body. They can be bioinert, bioactive, permanent or reabsorbable. Ideally, the design or selection of a biomaterial should be guided by an objective knowledge of the mechanisms of interaction between the implanted material and the biophysical system of the receptor. These mechanisms involve multiphysical, chemical and biological phenomena, whose scope requires qualities such as multidisciplinarity and teamwork. The theory of the subject will focus on multiphysics and biological aspects. Current examples of biomaterials applied to research or industry will be treated through seminars (8 h) taught by specialists in each field. A practical work will serve to integrate the knowledge acquired throughout the course for the resolution of specific cases.

Pre-course requirements

Materials subject.


The general objective of the subject is to have the basic knowledge of the types of biomaterials that exist and their applications. Also understand how a biomaterial should be designed to be biocompatible with the human body, understanding the interactions between material and living tissues that surround it once implanted.


  • CB2 - Students must know how to apply their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional way and have the competences that are demonstrated through the creation and defence of arguments and the resolution of problems within their field of study.
  • CB4 - Students can transmit information, ideas, problems and solutions to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • CE6 - To incorporate the foundations of science and materials technology, while taking into account the relationship between microstructure, synthesis or process and the properties of materials.
  • CE9 - To apply the basic foundations of elasticity and the resistance of materials to the behaviour of actual volumes.
  • CG1 - To undertake projects in the field of Bioengineering that aim to achieve a concept and a design, as well as manufacture prosthetics and orthotics that are specific to a certain pathology or need.
  • CG7 - To analyse and evaluate the social and environmental impact of technical solutions
  • CT2 - The ability to link welfare with globalisation and sustainability; to acquire the ability to use skills, technology, the economy and sustainability in a balanced and compatible manner.
  • CT7 - To be fluent in a third language, usually English, with a suitable verbal and written level that is in line with graduate requirements.


  1. Definition of Biomaterial
  2. Classification of Biomaterials
  3. Definition of Biocompatibility
  4. Social and economic impact

Teaching and learning activities

In person

Apart from the theory necessary to acquire the basic concepts of biomaterials, the students will also carried out small jobs in groups focused on the working concepts given in class as read scientidic articles or dissemination or scientic debates. 

The students also will carried out a specific job in this subject. A specific Biomaterial will be asigned by the Professor and the students must carried out a job about it and showing the main aspects, last modern designs and future applications.  

The Biomaterialse covered into the job of the subject will be: 

- Metals (titanium, Cr-Co, stainless steel, magnesium among others)

- Bioinert Ceramics (Alumina, zirconia)

- Bioactive Ceramics (Hidroxiapatite, calcium phosphate etc..)

- No-Biodegradable Polimers: poliethylene, tetrafluoroethylene, PDMS, etc..

- Biodegradable Polimers: caprolactone, polilactic acid, poliglicolic acid, among others.

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

The student's grade will be:

First call

Final grade = 0.4 Final exam + 0.25 Partial exam + 0.3 Final course work and seminar summary + 0.05 Class participation

Second call

Final grade = 0.7 Second call exam + 0.3 Final course work + 0,05% continuous evaluation. 


- The minimum mark of the partial exam will be 4 because it does the average with the rest of the continuous evaluation.

- The minimum mark of the final exam will be 4.5 (both the 1st and 2nd calls) so that it does half with the rest of the continuous assessment.

- The minimum mark of the assigned job will need to be 4 in order to be considered for the fnal evaluation of the subject.

- El assigned job of the subject can not be deliver it again in case of the 2ond exam call. It will remain the mark obtained in the 1st exam call (always a minimum of 4).  

- The repeating students will have to re-perform all the activities.

- Foreign and exchange students (Erasmus and others) will be subject to the same conditions as the rest of the students. This is especially relevant with regard to the calendar, the exam dates and the evaluation system.

Bibliography and resources


[1]         L. J. E. Buddy D. Ratner, Hoffman Allan S., Schoen Frederick J., Biomaterials Science - An Introduction to Materials in Medicine. 2004.

[2]         C. B. Carter and M. G. Norton, Ceramic materials: science and engineering. Springer Science & Business Media, 2007.

[3]         A. B. (Editor) Roger Narayan (Editor), Susmita Bose (Editor), Biomaterials Science: Processing, Properties and Applications V. John Wiley & Sons, 2015.

[4]         C. Mas-Moruno et al., “Bioactive ceramic and metallic surfaces for bone engineering,” in Biomaterials Surface Science, A. Taubert, J. F. Mano, and J. C. Rodríguez-Cabello, Eds. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH, 2013, pp. 1–37.

[5]         F. Mahyudin and H. Hermawan, Biomaterials and Medical Devices - A Perspective from an Emerging Country, vol. 58. 2016.

[6]         O. martinez Cruz and Xavier Mora Iter, “Biomaterials: ciments ossis, ceràmiques i el seu ús en cirurgia protètica,” Agència Qual. i Avaluació Sanitàries Catalunya, 2017.