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ME 656 Orthopaedic Bioengineering

Catalog Description

ME 656 Orthopaedic Bioengineering (3). Prerequisites: Anatomy and Physiology (BSC 211 and BSC 212, or equivalent). An overview of the fundamentals of bone and joint form, function, pathology, and mechanical considerations. Based on optimum performance, implant design characteristics and pitfalls will be discussed. Special attention will be placed on design issues relating to natural human biomechanical, healing, and adaptive behavior.

Prerequisites by Topic

  1. Mechanics of materials
  2. Viscoelasticity
  3. Introductory hard and soft tissue mechanics
  4. Vertebrate anatomy


M. Nordin and V. Frankel, Basic Biomechanics of the Musculoskeletal System, Second Edition, Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia, 1989.


M.J. Voor, Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Mechanical Engineering Faculty Associate.

Course Objectives

  1. Review the fundamentals of both natural and synthetic biomaterials; conĀ¬centrating on stress-strain behavior, corrosion resistance, fatigue properties, and viscoelasticity.
  2. Introduce bone as an engineering material, cover advanced elasticity principles as they relate to bone, discuss special adaptive properties of bone as a living organ.
  3. Cover the basic structure function relationships of the major human joints, including the hip, knee, shoulder, elbow, and spine intervertebral joints.
  4. Present the basic and special principles of orthopaedic implant design and cover the specific concerns related to designing and testing total joints, external fracture fixation devices, spinal implants.


  1. Biomaterials (5 classes)
  2. Bone mechanics (6 classes)
  3. Mechanics of human joints (6 classes)
  4. Orthopaedic implant design and testing (7 classes).
  5. Laboratory project discussion (4 classes)
  6. Applications (8 classes)
  7. Current research topics, journal article review (4 classes)
  8. Examinations (2 classes and 2Ā½ hours)

Laboratory Projects

Two laboratory projects involving (i) determination of tissue material properties and (ii) implant design.

Computer Use

Computer aided design and analysis tools will be used as appropriate for homework assignments and in the laboratory projects.

Laboratory Schedule

Three 50 minute sessions per week devoted to lecture, discussion, and problem solving.

Professional Component Contribution

Engineering science: 2 credits, engineering design: 1 credit.

Relationship to Program Objectives

This course supports Mechanical Engineering program objectives by developing:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to identify, formulate and solve problems in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern tools necessary for the practice of mechanical engineering.

Prepared by M.J. Voor, May 2006

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