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Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Intercalated BSc in Biomedical Engineering and Clinical Materials

For more information on the course and our Intercalated BSc symposium, where students on the course present their research to the wider Institute of Bioengineering community, please visit our website:

Engineering based technologies are becoming increasingly important in many aspects of clinical care. For example state of the art imaging systems can provide high-resolution 3-dimensional maps of the body, highlighting damaged or diseases tissues. Robotic virtual reality-driven surgical systems are being developed which could allow surgeons to operate on patients without being in the operating theatre. Many clinical problems may be overcome by tissue engineering where engineers work with biologists to create new tissues for implantation. The elaboration of novel biomaterials and understanding of phenomena at bio-interfaces are essential in the development of biomedical applications such as compatibility and functionality of biomaterials, medical diagnostics, and tissue engineering scaffolds. The development of medical devices (such as modular hip prostheses), healthcare monitoring systems (such as in-body and on-body mounted wireless sensors) and biosensors are all part of our current research activities. In addition the influence of biomechanical or physicochemical stimuli on biological systems at a range of different length scales from subcellular structural mechanics, to cell and tissue mechanobiology and through to whole body biomechanics are also important parts of the research activities related to this programme.

The intercalated BSc in Biomedical Engineering and Clinical Materials aims to provide students with the opportunity to increase their knowledge of engineering and materials-based technologies applied within the clinical environment, related to the Department’s research interests. Students will study aspects of biomechanics, biomaterials, computational methods in medicine, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, medical imaging and rehabilitation technologies. The course is academically rigorous and students will take four level 6 taught courses during the academic year. In addition, you will undertake an extensive research project worth 60 credits, alongside leading research teams in biomedical engineering and materials. The research project accounts for 50% of the final mark and its highly likely the work will contribute to a publication.

Applications from students who have not passed A level maths or physics will not normally be considered.

You will choose four optional units in semester A or B. These include:

  • Surgical Techniques & Safety
  • Bioengineering in Urology
  • Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
  • Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine
  • Advanced Structure - Property Relationship in Materials
  • Ethics and Regulatory Affairs
  • Advanced Polymer Synthesis
  • Science of Biocompatibility
  • Chemical and Biological Sensors
  • Advanced Meterials Characterization Techniques
  • Tissue Mechanics
  • Clinical Measurements
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics

Examples of previous research projects include:

  • Green Cross-liking of ELPs for Barrier Membranes
  • 3D printing of hydrogels
  • PROM pathogenesis: The role of COX-2, Cx43 and AKT
  • Methods of Layer-by-Layer Uricase Microcapsule Assembly
  • Chlorhexidine Particles
  • Expansions of Stem Cells on Liquids
  • Ion Dissolution Behvaiour in SIHA Bone Graft Substitutes
  • Computational modelling of skull fracture
  • Molecular engineering of hydrogels to develop artificial stem cell niches

The course involves the Medical Engineering division which has an international reputation for high quality research and benefits from brand new state-of-the-art Stem Cell and Bioengineering laboratories, developed at a cost in excess of £2 million. The majority of the course organisers and project supervisors are members of the world renowned IRC in Biomedical Materials at Queen Mary, University of London.

Structure and timing

Summary for 2018/19 with unit values and approximate dates.

Optional units

  • DEN412 – Surgical techniques and safety (15 credits - Semester A)
  • DEN430 – Bioengineering in Urology (15 credits - Semester A)
  • MAT311 – Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (15 credits - Semester A)
  • MAT7803 – Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine (15 credits - Semester A)
  • MAT706 - Advanced structure/property relationships in materials (15 credits - Semester A)
  • DEN7020 – Ethics and regulatory affairs (15 credits - Semester B)
  • MAT7797 - Advanced polymer synthesis (15 credits - Semester B)
  • MAT6312 - Science of biocompatibility (15 credits - Semester B)
  • MAT707 - Chemical and biological sensors (15 credits - Semester B)
  • MAT804 - Advanced materials characterisation techniques (15 credits - Semester B)
  • DEN6311 - Tissue mechanics (15 credits - Semester B)
  • DEN406 – Clinical Measurements (15 credits - Semester B)
  • DEN403 – Computational fluid dynamics (15 credits - Semester B)

Compulsory units

  • DEN6407 - Intercalated research project (60 credits - Semester A and B)

Summary of course units

Required units

Intercalated Research Project (DEN6407)

Course organiser: Professor Julia Shelton

Course aims: The project consists of an individual piece of work, under the supervision of an academic member of staff. It can take either one, or a combination, of the following forms: (i) an experimental investigation; (ii) a computational exercise; (iii) the development of a piece of experimental apparatus; (iv) a design study; (v) a theoretical analysis; (vi) a review of a topic of current interest.

Optional Units

Surgical Techniques and Safety (DEN412)

Course organiser: Dr Hazel Screen

This course introduces students to a wide range of equipment for use in surgery. It looks at the importance of electrical safety within the medical environment, and the rules governing equipment. It also aims to cover the principles of operation of a number of important monitoring devices and some of the major electronic equipment used within a surgical environment.

 Bioengineering in Urology (DEN430)

 Course organiser: Dr Martin Knight

Course aims: The course explores a broad range of medical engineering associated with the areas of urology and nephrology. Topics will include surgical instrumentation, imaging and diagnostics, tissue engineering, implantable devices, functional electrical stimulators, dialysis and lithotripsy. Initially the course covers the basic anatomy, physiology of the urinary tract in health and disease, with particular reference to incontinence. The course will utilize tissue and fluid mechanics to examine the biomechanics of the bladder and urodynamic clinical assessment. Specialist information will be provided by outside lecturers including clinicians and NHS clinical engineers.

Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (MAT311)

Course organiser: Professor DA Lee

Course aims: The course covers a range of topics in tissue engineering, including cell source, materials/construct design and bioreactors. A research-based approach is used to investigate tissue engineering for skin, bone, cartilage, pancreas and ligaments. It will develop the knowledge base of the student, based around this emerging topic and will include the current research themes followed by the organisers. It will enable the student to undertake projects in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. These aims will be supported by skills developed in the state-of-the-art stem cell and bioengineering laboratories.

Clinical Measurements (DEN406)

Course organiser: Dr Hazel Screen

This course aims to provide an understanding of biopotentials and other biological signals, and identify mechanisms by which they can be measured. It also aims to provide a detailed understanding of the fundamental principals associated with transducers, and comprehensive review of the most widely used techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of disease states.

Computational fluid dynamics (DEN403)

Course organiser: Dr Jens Mueller

In this course we deepen our knowledge in various areas. We learn to analyse the properties of discretisations and apply these to simple model equations. We discuss the various aspects of modelling turbulence. In the accompanying laboratory, we learn to generate meshes, solve viscous flow problems on these meshes and perform the relevant analysis of the quality of our simulations.

Further information

For more information visit the School of Engineering and Materials Science website, or contact the Programme

Director, Professor Tina Chowdhury.


School of Engineering and Materials Science, QMUL, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS

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