ENSC3023 Biomedical Engineering

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Biomedical specialisation in the Engineering Science major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Mathematical and Physical Sciences
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 3 elective
Biomedical engineers develop materials, processes and devices that help prevent or treat disease or rehabilitate patients. This unit covers the three fundamentals of bioengineering: (a) biomaterials—artificial materials that can be placed into the body (e.g. implants, artificial valves, etc.); (b) biomechanics—study of the structure and function of human biological systems through engineering mechanics, and investigation of hard (e.g. bone), mixed (e.g. musculoskeletal) and soft (e.g. cardiovascular) tissue systems; (c) biomedical imaging—how imaging is applied to the diagnoses or treatment of disease.

Students gain an insight into how engineering and the body interact and the methods by which engineering can be used to help characterise, monitor, diagnose illness and disease, and repair the human body.
Students are able to (1) differentiate between different types of biomaterials and select the best for a given application; (2) describe the reaction of the human body to various biomaterials; (3) explain how the cardiovascular system works from a biomechanics perspective; (4) describe the biomechanical mechanisms of the human musculoskeletal system; (5) explain the fundamentals of tissue optics and their application to medicine; (6) discuss the challenges in developing optical imaging probes and evaluating images, in particular, for intravascular optical coherence tomography; and (7) design rudimentary medical devices, therapies, rehabilitation strategies and optical imaging systems.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignments; (2) group project; and (3) a final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Barry Doyle
Unit rules
completion of 18 points of the Level 1 and Level 2 units taken from the degree-specific Engineering Science major, including (ENSC1002 Material Behaviour from Atoms to Bridges
ENSC1004 Engineering Materials)
(ENSC2001 Motion
ENSC2004 Engineering Mechanics)
(PHYL2002 Physiology of Cells
Advisable prior study:
CITS2401 Computer Analysis and Visualisation
GENG4408 Introduction to Biomedical Engineering
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; practical classes/activities: 2 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.