Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Program Course Descriptions

BME 295/395/495 (1-4 credits) Selected Topics in Biomedical Engineering

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit.

Specialized topic areas for which there are no specific courses, workshops, or individual study plans, but having sufficient student interest to justify the formalized teaching of a course (temporary course numbers).


BME 296/498 (1-4 credits) Biomedical Engineering Projects

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit.

Individual research projects to be approved by the supervising faculty member and Academic Advisor before registering for the course.

BME 201 (3) Biomolecules: Structure, Function, and Engineering Applications

Prerequisites: CHM 116, CS 159, ENGR 131 & 132, and MA 166 or equivalents. Corequisites: BIOL 230, BME 205

Classes of molecules (biomolecules) such as sugars, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids that form the cellular components of living organisms. Explores the chemistry behind the structure and function of these important classes of biological molecules. Hydrogen-bonding, hydrophobic forces, electrostatic interactions along with other weak interactions discussed with reference to their importance in biomolecular systems in an engineering context.

BME 205 (1) Biomolecular and Cellular Systems Laboratory

Prerequisites: CHM 116, CS 159, ENGR 131 & 132, and MA 166 or equivalent. Corequisites: BIOL 230, BME 201

Introductory laboratory experience focused on engineering concepts and practices in the analysis of biomolecules and cells. Topics include fundamental quantitative techniques of analysis, methods of isolation, identification, and quantification of biomolecules and cells, and analysis of integrated biosystems. Concludes with student-driven design project.

BME 290 (1) Frontiers in Biomedical Engineering

BME majors only

This course introduces the rapidly emerging field of biomedical engineering by exposing students to a wide range of research activities in the Weldon School and to a variety of experiential learning opportunities. Topics addressed include career paths, professional development opportunities, and career development skills including creating a plan of study, informational and job interviewing, writing a resume, technical writing, preparing effective oral presentations, and peer-editing.

BME 204 (3) Biomechanics of Hard and Soft Tissues

Prerequisite: BME 205 and ME 270 or equivalent. Corequisite: MSE 230 or equivalent

Covers the mechanics of biological materials, with applications in the musculo-skeletal system, nerves, spinal cord, and vascular tissue, down to the level of the cell. Topics include center of mass, moment of inertia, basic understanding of stresses, strains, and deformations, axial elements, pressure vessels, beams, torsion, viscoelasticity, and thermal stress. Case studies and problem solving sessions used to emphasize the unique biological criteria which must be considered when mechanically analyzing both soft and hard tissues.

BME 206 (1) Biomechanics and Biomaterials Laboratory

Prerequisites: BME 205 and ME 270 or equivalent. Corequisite: BME 204. Concurrent Prerequisite: MSE 230

Provides hands-on training in engineering and biological principles of biomaterials and biomechanics. Topics include evaluation and interpretation of experimental results, modeling and testing of tissue and body mechanics, and interactions of living (e.g., tissue/cell) and nonliving (e.g., biomaterial) systems.

BME 256 (3) Physiological Modeling in Human Health

Prerequisites: BIOL 23000 and CS 15900 and PHYS 24100 or PHYS 27200. Concurrent Prerequisite: MA 26200 or MA 26600

Description: Introduction to the physiology and medicine underlying practical problems in biomedical engineering, especially with respect to medical device development. Engineering skills taught and practiced within the context of human disease, injury, and illness on extended problem sets which include mathematical modeling and problem solving with appropriate documentation. Main physiological systems of focus are cardiovascular, pulmonary, and renal, and common afflictions thereof.

BME 301 (3) Bioelectricity

Prerequisites: PHYS 241, MA 166, and CS 159 or equivalents. Corequisite: BME 305

Fundamentals of bioelectricity of the mammalian nervous system and other excitable tissues. Passive and active forms of electric signals in both the single cell and cell-cell communication, tissue and systemic bioelectricity, mathematical analysis including Nernst equation, Goldman equation, linear cable theory, and Hodgkin-Huxley Model of action potential generation and propagation.

BME 305 (3) Bioinstrumentation Circuit and Measurement Principles

Prerequisites: PHYS 241 or 272 and MA 266 or 262 and BME 20600. Corequisite: BME 301

Introduction of laboratory instruments used to measure physiological events. Stimulation and conduction of electric signals within the nervous system and other excitable tissues are demonstrated. Fundamental circuit elements and concepts include resistance, capacitance, inductance, op-amps, impedance, voltage, current, power, and frequency. Fundamental analog measurement concepts include adequate bandwidth and amplitude and phase linearity. An integrative two-week design project addresses the practical aspects of quantitative physiological measurements.

BME 304 (3) Biomedical Transport Fundamentals

Prerequisites: ME 200 and MA 262 or MA 266

Fundamental concepts and principles of momentum, heat, and mass transport phenomena in the context of biomedical applications. Integrated biological topics include transport of physiological fluids (e.g. blood), mass transport (e.g. oxygen and nutrients), forced convection (e.g. hemodialysis) and unsteady-state molecular diffusion (e.g. drug delivery mechanisms).

BME 306 (2) Biotransport Laboratory

Prerequisite: BME 304

Practical experience with transport principles related to physiological systems is presented through inquiry-based modules. Modules contain elements of computer simulation, experimental design, implementation, and data analysis and address biomedical applications.

BME 390 (1) Professional Development and Design in Biomedical Engineering

Prerequisites: BME 290 (Frontiers in BME) and junior standing

Introduction to a diverse spectrum of current topics relevant to the technical, professional, and career aspects of Biomedical Engineers. The course topics will focus on the early stages of the design process (e.g. need identification, problem formulation, innovation and idea generation), professional communication skills (e.g. written and oral reporting and documentation), and ethics of biomedical design and research (e.g. ethical codes and decision making, animal care and use in research and testing, authorship and intellectual property, social and environmental impact of design).

Biomedical Engineering Design (Fall semester or full year option)


BME 490 (1 Cr Studio Style) Professional Elements of Design

Prerequisite: BME 390 and ECE 301. Corequisite: BME 488

This course advances and enhances engineering design tools, concepts, and knowledge relevant to biomedical engineering design. Students work individually and in small teams to investigate the topic within the context of their specific senior design project in preparation for their lab. Topics include project management, human and animal subjects, ethics, regulatory affairs, literature and patent searching, and entrepreneurship.

BME 488 (1) Preliminary Senior Project Design

Prerequisite: BME 306. Corequisite: BME 490

The preliminary stages of design are completed during these lab hours. Students will work with their teammates to develop a problem statement with appropriate technical specifications, complete the relevant literature and market analysis, derive and justify a preliminary design, and outline a plan to successfully complete the project. The resulting preliminary design is presented and evaluated through an oral presentation and a written report.

BME 489 (2) Senior Design Project Lab

Concurrent Prerequisite: BME 488

The biomedical engineering design process is completed starting from a preliminary system design. Students will work with their teammates to implement (e.g. build, test, iterate and evaluate) a solution to address a biomedical engineering problem statement and meet the technical specifications set forth. The resulting project design is presented and evaluated through an oral presentation, laboratory demonstration, and a final written document.

BME 493 (optional, variable credit) Mentored Engineering Design

Prerequisite: Senior standing

Biomedical engineering design teams meet regularly with mentoring faculty for guidance throughout the design process.
Updated: 08/11/2011