Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Biomaterial Characterization Techniques

Biomaterial Characterization Techniques
First semester
Main language of instruction: English

Other languages of instruction: Catalan, Spanish,

Teaching staff

Due to the Covid19 situation, it is best to send an email to make an appointment  


Prof. Soledad Perez Amodio - sperezam@uic.es 

Biomaterial Characterization Techniques is an optional subject in the official curriculum of the Bioengineering Degree. In this subject, the basic techniques that allow characterizing the most common biomaterials in bioengineering are presented. The subject consists of a theoretical part and a practical part where theoretical knowledge is applied. The subject is taught in English and in the case of practices, Spanish or Catalan will be used in specific cases.

Pre-course requirements

The subject is taught in English, so it is necessary to have a sufficient knowledge of this language to be able to follow the explanations and assimilate the teaching material provided.

The subject requires some knowledge that it would be convenient to have, such as: strength of materials, certain physical processes, chemical reactions.


1. Review the most used biomaterials and their applications

2. Present the common techniques for characterizing biomaterials from a physical-chemical point of view

3. Present the characterization techniques through thermal processes and structural techniques

4. Present techniques based on biological processes

5. Apply the knowledge acquired in theory, carrying out laboratory practices.


Competences/Learning outcomes of the degree programme

  • CB1 - Students must demonstrate that they have and understand knowledge in an area of study based on general secondary education. This knowledge should be of a level that, although based on advanced textbooks, also includes some of the cutting-edge elements from their field of study.
  • 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.
  • CE12 - To undertake a professional project in the field of Bioengineering-specific technologies in which knowledge acquired through teaching is synthesised and incorporated.
  • CE15 - The ability to undertake a project through the use of data sources, the application of methodologies, research techniques and tools specific to Bioengineering, give a presentation and publicly defend it to a specialist audience in a way that demonstrates the acquisition of the competences and knowledge that are specific to this degree programme.
  • CE16 - To apply specific Bioengineering terminology both verbally and in writing in a foreign language.
  • CE17 - To be able to identify the engineering concepts that can be applied in the fields of biology and health.
  • CE19 - To know how to select and apply material based on its properties and electric, magnetic, mechanical and chemical behaviour
  • CE2 - To know how to apply the basic concepts of mechanics and biomechanics to resolve problems that are specific to the field of Bioengineering.
  • 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.
  • CG10 - To know how to work in a multilingual and multidisciplinary environment.
  • CG3 - To be able to learn new methods and theories and be versatile so as to adapt to new situations.
  • CG4 - To resolve problems based on initiative, be good at decision-making, creativity, critical reasoning and communication, as well as the transmission of knowledge, skills and prowess in the field of Bioengineering
  • CT3 - To know how to communicate learning results to other people both verbally and in writing, and well as thought processes and decision-making; to participate in debates in each particular specialist areas.
  • CT4 - To be able to work as a member of an interdisciplinary team, whether as a member or by management tasks, with the aim of contributing to undertaking projects based on pragmatism and a feeling of responsibility, taking on commitment while bearing the resources available in mind.

Learning outcomes of the subject

The student, after taking this course, must:

- Have basic knowledge of biomaterial characterization techniques

- Know its areas of application and most common uses

- Having acquired an analytical capacity to reach valid conclusions after an analysis process.

- Be able to identify and select the most appropriate technique to make a characterization


1 Introduction and review of available techniques. 

1.1 Motivation 

1.2 Brief review of biomaterials 

1.3 Description of the manufacture and use of devices in patients.

 1.4 Summary of available techniques 

2 Chemical characterization 

2.1 Chemical characterization techniques

2.2 Physical characterization techniques

2.3 Mechanical characterization techniques 

3 Structural and thermomechanical characterization

3.1 Thermomechanical characterization techniques

3.2 Structural characterization techniques

4 Techniques based on biological and bacterial characterization. 

4.1 In vitro characterization

4.2 In vitro cellular models for the biocompatibility of biomaterials

4.3 In vivo models for the characterization of biomaterials. 

4.4 Use of AFM to quantify bacteria-biomaterial interaction

 4.5 Quantification of bacteria in biomaterials 

Teaching and learning activities

In person

The activities can be grouped into four main types: lecture sessions, participatory sessions, practical sessions and individual or group study.

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

The evaluation will be as listed below:

A)     Continuous evaluation (portfolio of activities) (70%)

  • Class attendance and attitude in class (10%)
  • Laboratory practices (30%)
  • Article presentation and other assessments  (20%)

B)      Final exam (30%)

To consider:

1. The grade for the course is made up of the grade for the portfolio (70%) plus the Final Exam (30%). 

2. In order to calculate the grade for the course, a minimum grade of 4.5 is required in the Final Exam. 

3. The portfolio is scored on the 1st call, so all portfolio activities must be delivered on the 1st call. 

4. If a student could not take the Final Exam or failed in the 1st call, they can take the second call.

More to consider:

  1. Plagiarism, copying or any other action that may be considered cheating will be zero in that evaluation section. Besides, plagiarism during exams will mean the immediate failing of the whole subject.
  2. In the second-sitting exams, the maximum grade students will be able to obtain is "Excellent" (grade with honors distinction will not be possible).
  3. Changes of the calendar, exam dates or the evaluation system will not be accepted.
  4. Exchange students (Erasmus and others) or repeaters will be subjected to the same conditions as the rest of the students.

Bibliography and resources

  • Bandyopadhyay A, Bose S (2013). Characterization of Biomaterials. Elsevier
  • Mitić Z, Stolić A, Stojanović A, Najman S, Ignjatović N, Nikolić G, Trajanović M (2017). Instrumental methods and techniques for structural and physicochemical characterization of biomaterials and bone tissue: A review. Mat. Sci. & Engng. C79:930–949
  • Gallagher P, Brown M (2003). Handbook of thermal analysis and calorimetry. The Netherlands. Elsevier
  • Omidi M (2017). Biomaterials for Oral and Dental Tissue Engineering, Chp. 7: ‘Characterization of biomaterials’. Elsevier
  • Cerrolaza M, Shefelbine S, Garzón A (Eds) (2017). Numerical methods and advanced simulation in biomechanics and biological processes. Elsevier. 450 pp.
  • Ginebra MP, Driessens FC, Planell JA (2004). Effect of the particle size on the micro and nanostructural features of a calcium phosphate cement. Biomaterials 25(7):3453-3462
  • Jaffe M, Hammond W, Tolias P, Arinzeh (Eds) (2020). Characterization of BiomaterialsSeries in Biomaterials, WoodHead Publishing Ltd. USA
  • Wen C (Ed) (2013). Structural BiomaterialsSeries in Biomaterials, WoodHead Publishing Ltd. USA

Evaluation period

E: exam date | R: revision date | 1: first session | 2: second session:
  • E1 10/01/2024 P2A03 14:00h