Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session


This course includes the analysis and design at a molecular scale of materials used in contact with biological systems, including biotechnology and biomedical engineering. Topics include molecular interactions between bio- and synthetic molecules and surfaces; design, synthesis, and processing approaches for materials that control cell functions; and application of state-of-the-art materials science to problems in tissue engineering, drug delivery, vaccines, and cell-guiding surfaces.

Course Focus

This course covers the fundamental concepts (physical chemistry, chemistry, and materials physics, and biology) behind the design at a molecular scale of synthetic materials with biological functions.


Homework (which may include Problem Sets, and Critical Evaluation of Recent Research Literature) 30%
In-class Exam 30%
Take-home Exam 40%

There is no final exam for the course.


20.462J does not have an assigned textbook; readings from selected texts and primary literature sources will be used throughout the course. Some of the useful text resources (in no particular order) include:

Buy at Amazon Ratner, B. D., A. S. Hoffman, F. J. Schoen, and J. E. Lemons. Biomaterials Science. Burlington, MA: Academic Press, 1996. ISBN: 9780125824613.

Buy at Amazon Fan, L. T., and S. K. Singh. Controlled Release: A Quantitative Treatment. Edited by H. -J. Cantow, et al. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag, 1989. ISBN: 9780387508238.

Buy at Amazon Flory, P. J. Principles of Polymer Chemistry. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1953. ISBN: 9780801401343.

Buy at Amazon Dinh, S. M., J. D. DeNuzzio, and A. R. Comfort. Intelligent Materials for Controlled Release. New York, NY: American Chemical Society, 1999. ISBN: 9780841235953.

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

Buy at Amazon Lanza, R. P., R. Langer, and W. L. Chick. Principles of Tissue Engineering. Burlington, MA: Academic Press, 1997. ISBN: 9781570593420.

Buy at Amazon Mann, S. Biomineralization: Principles and Concepts in Bioinorganic Materials Chemistry. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2002. ISBN: 9780198508823.

Buy at Amazon Mortimer, R. G. Physical Chemistry. Burlington, MA: Academic Press, 2000. ISBN: 9780125083454.

Buy at Amazon Saltzman, W. M. Drug Delivery: Engineering Principles for Drug Therapy. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2001. ISBN: 9780195085891.