This is an archived course. A more recent version may be available at


Biomaterials-Tissue Interactions (BE.441)

As taught in: Fall 2003

Schematic diagram of a hip prosthesis.

The hip prosthesis is a widely used and successful example of a permanent medical implant. (Image courtesy of OCW.)


Prof. Ioannis Yannas

Prof. Myron Spector

MIT Course Number:

20.441 / 2.79J / 3.96J / HST.522J



Course Features

Course Description

This course is an introduction to principles of materials science and cell biology underlying the design of medical implants, artificial organs, and matrices for tissue engineering. Topics include methods for biomaterials surface characterization and analysis of protein adsorption on biomaterials. Molecular and cellular interactions with biomaterials are analyzed in terms of unit cell processes, such as matrix synthesis, degradation, and contraction. It also covers mechanisms underlying wound healing and tissue remodeling following implantation in various organs. Other areas include tissue and organ regeneration; design of implants and prostheses based on control of biomaterials-tissue interactions; comparative analysis of intact, biodegradable, and bioreplaceable implants by reference to case studies. Also addressed are criteria for restoration of physiological function for tissues and organs.

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.