Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Course Objective

The goal of this subject is to teach the physical and biological principles that serve as the scientific basis for understanding the interactions of biological molecules and cells with biomaterials employed for the fabrication of permanent implantable prostheses and as matrices for tissue engineering.

  • "Unit cell processes" are used to describe wound healing and tissue remodeling in the absence and presence of implants.
  • Emphasis on the molecular and cellular interactions between standardized biomaterials surfaces and model biological environments.
  • Principles of tissue engineering.
  • Critical characteristics of biomaterials surfaces and methods of analysis.
  • Comparative analysis of permanent and biodegradable implants by reference to case studies.


Chemistry GIR (3.091, 5.111, or 5.112)
Thermal-Fluids Engineering I (2.005) or Thermodynamics and Kinetics (5.60)
Biology GIR (7.012, 7.013, or 7.014)

Textbook and Readings

Readings from the literature will be assigned for many classes. Selected readings will also be assigned from the course textbook:

Buy at Amazon Yannas, I. V. Tissue and Organ Regeneration in Adults. New York, NY: Springer, 2001. ISBN: 9780387952147.

Homework Sets

Most of the homework questions are quiz questions from prior years. Homework sets will be graded on a scale of 0-3.


The final grade will be based principally on 3 quizzes. Performance on the homework sets and class participation may also be taken into consideration, particularly for borderline grades.


I. Tissue environment of the implanted biomaterial: unit cell processes
1 Survey of clinical cases of biomaterials-tissue interactions Spector, Yannas  

Tissue structures and unit cell processes

Integrins and adhesion proteins

3 Unit cell processes comprising the healing response Spector Homework 1 due
4 Unit cell processes underlying tissue engineering Spector Homework 2 and 3 due
5 Structure and function of naturally occurring ECMs Yannas  
6 ECM does not regenerate spontaneously Yannas Homework 4 due
7 Quiz 1    
II. Cell-surface interactions
8 Analysis of surfaces of biomaterials and protein adsorption Spector  
9 Phenotype changes following adhesion on biomaterials Yannas  
10 Structural determinants of biologically active materials Yannas Homework 5 and 6 due
11 Methodology for cell-surface interactions Yannas  
12 Cell-scaffold interactions during regeneration Yannas  
13 Noncooperative cell-surface interactions Yannas  
14 From randomness to cooperativity Yannas Homework 7 and 8 due
15 Quiz 2    
III. In vivo and clinical case studies
16 Tissue response to implants; biocompatibility Spector  
17 Epithelialization (epidermal regeneration) and endothelialization of vascular prostheses Spector  
18 In vivo synthesis of skin Yannas  
19 In vivo synthesis of peripheral nerve Yannas  
20 Rules for synthesis of tissues and organs Yannas  
21 Joints and dental tissues: prosthetic replacement Spector Homework 9 due
22 Implants for bone regeneration Spector  
23 Regeneration of soft musculoskeletal tissues Spector  
24 Biomaterial applications in the heart and other organs Spector  
25 Quiz 3