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ME40061: Biomechanics

[Page last updated: 04 August 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Mechanical Engineering
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Semester 1
Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • Examination (EX 100%)
Supplementary Assessment:
ME40061 Reasessment Examination (where allowed by programme regulations)
Description: Aims:
To introduce the student to applications of mechanics in a biological and clinical context.
To provide an insight into the forces and motions in human joints, and the mechanical properties of a variety of hard and soft tissues.
To give an appreciation of the functional requirements of replacement joints and fracture fixation systems.
To impart an awareness of the materials and manufacturing technology associated with the design of replacement joints and fracture fixture systems.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this unit the student should be able to:
* Apply the concepts and principles of mechanics to biological tissues, the major load bearing joints and to the management of fractures.
* Systematically and critically understand the range of technology used in the medical device industry and the problems associated with the performance of artificial joints and fracture fixation systems in the aggressive environment of the human body.

Problem solving; numeracy; working independently.

BIOMECHANICS OF NATURAL JOINTS: Introduction to musculo-skeletal system, connective tissues, anatomical structures of synovial joints, biomechanics of articular cartilage, biomechanics of bone
KINEMATICS AND DYNAMICS OF SYNOVIAL JOINTS: Hip joint, knee joint, ankle and foot, elbow and shoulder, wrist and hand, spine.
TRIBOLOGY: Lubrication and wear of natural and artificial joints
ARTIFICIAL JOINTS: Joint disorders, history of joint replacement, methods of fixation, functional adaptation of prosthesis/bone composite structure.
BIOMECHANICS OF FRACTURE FIXATION: Biomechanics of fracture, healing, methods of fracture fixation and stabilisation
ENGINEERING STUDIES IN BIOMECHANICS: Engineering techniques in biomechanical testing, in vivo and in vitro testing of implants, future perspectives.
Topics for self study that could be examined.

Programme availability:

ME40061 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • UEME-AFM48 : MEng(Hons) Integrated Design Engineering (Year 4)
  • UEME-AKM48 : MEng(Hons) Integrated Design Engineering with Year long work placement (Year 5)
  • UEME-AFM16 : MEng(Hons) Mechanical Engineering (Year 4)
  • UEME-AKM16 : MEng(Hons) Mechanical Engineering with Year long work placement (Year 5)
  • UEME-AFM38 : MEng(Hons) Mechanical Engineering with Manufacturing and Management (Year 4)
  • UEME-AKM38 : MEng(Hons) Mechanical Engineering with Manufacturing and Management with Year long work placement (Year 5)
  • UEME-AFM47 : MEng(Hons) Mechanical with Automotive Engineering (Year 4)
  • UEME-AKM47 : MEng(Hons) Mechanical with Automotive Engineering with Year long work placement (Year 5)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.