Biomaterials is an exciting and rapidly developing field. Engineered materials are increasingly used in medical applications (such as drug delivery, gene therapy, scaffolds for tissue engineering, replacement body parts, and biomedical and surgical devices) while an understanding of structure-property relationships in natural biomaterials may lead to improved interventions for a wide variety of diseases and injuries. Because it is highly interdisciplinary (involving elements of materials science, engineering, biology, chemistry and medicine), biomaterials as a discipline requires a deep understanding of the properties of materials in general, and the interactions of materials with the biological environment in particular.
The biomaterials track is designed to provide a broad basis in the fundamentals of materials science and engineering, as well as a particular emphasis on the principles and applications of biomaterials. While the fundamental principles of materials science still apply, a complete understanding of biomaterials and their interactions with biological environments requires a greater degree of specialization than the standard undergraduate curriculum provides. The biomaterials curriculum includes topics such as biomimetic materials, natural biomaterials, host responses to biomaterials, biocompatibility, and applications of biomaterials, particularly in tissue engineering, drug delivery, and medical devices and implants. Our goal is to train students who can apply these principles to the development of novel materials that benefit human health.
To receive commendation for completion of the Biomaterials Track, the student must complete two electives, whose subject matter is some aspect of Biomaterials, and complete a biomaterials-related senior design project. Approval of electives must be made by a student’s academic advisor prior to taking the courses, and approval of the senior design project must be pre-approved by the senior design instructor.