The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Graduate Courses

Nature’s Materials

BME 597A/697A

Fall semester

Material science and mechanical engineering approaches are used to explore the structure-function relationships of natural biomaterials.  Principles that govern mechanical behavior are used to discuss design approaches for synthetic bio-inspired and biomimetic materials. The main focus is on structure;function relationships of materials.  There is also emphasis on mechanical design and function, with some discussion of cellular interactions. Materials covered include skin, horn, nail, hoof, hair, wood, plants, spider silk, nacre, bone, tendon, ligament, cartilage, meniscus, and tissue engineering scaffolds. Topics for bio-inspired and biomimicked materials include structural and energy absorbing materials and biomedical materials for clinical applications.

Clinical Orthopedics for Engineers

BME 597C/697C

Fall semester

This course provides an overview of the clinical diagnosis and contemporary treatment of major musculoskeletal disorders. The pathophysiology, epidemiology, and anatomy of the affected biological systems are covered. Students will develop an understanding of the challenges faced by clinicians, research scientists, and medical device manufacturing engineers. We will explore novel therapeutic approaches that integrate engineering and medicine to restore or improve function. Topics will include orthopedic trauma, sports injury, osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis.

Drug Delivery

BME 597D/697D

Fall semester

This course covers the breadth of drug delivery, from systemically delivered nanoparticles to local drug releasing systems. The course will consider the pharmaceutics of drugs and their disease target, and describe how to engineer drug delivery systems for these scenarios. Mathematical models, clinical examples, industry trends, and emerging research topics will be covered throughout the course.

Biomedical Imaging

BME 597E/697E

Fall semester

This course is intended to serve as an introduction to bioimaging and its applications to medical fields. In this course, the fundamental physical principles behind the four primary medical imaging modalities (X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound, and nuclear imaging) will be introduced. In addition, the underlying image reconstruction algorithms will be described. Introduction of each imaging modality will also include the clinical interpretation of images it produces.


Intro to Gene Therapy

BME 597G/697G

Spring semester

This course is offered to junior or senior undergraduate students and graduate students to introduce them to the field of engineered gene therapy. It covers how gene therapy works, the type of vectors used, and why;when certain vectors are employed. The course also includes how to make viral vectors and introduces some non-viral tools for gene therapy.


BME 597K/697K

Spring semester

An introduction to transport phenomena in biological systems covering fundamental principles of fluid mechanics and mass transfer at the cellular, tissue, and organ levels. Topics include macroscopic and microscopic mathematical descriptions of physiological fluid mechanics in circulation and tissue and mass transport related to convection and diffusion in biological systems; transmembrane and transvascular transport; biochemical interactions; mass separations; and kinetics of biochemical reactions. Course material will be reinforced using examples in drug delivery, tissue engineering, bioengineered systems, and tumorigenesis.

Biomedical Microfluidics

BME 597M/697M

Fall semester

This course introduces students to the field of biomedical microfluidics and biochips. It covers the fundamentals of microfluidic phenomena and microfabrication. The course also includes the design of microfluidic components and some biomedical applications of microfluidic systems.


Molecular, Cellular and Tissue Biomechanics


Fall semester

This course applies principles of continuum mechanics to a broad range of biomechanical phenomena. The topics include: introduction to cell biology, fundamentals of solid mechanics, mechanosensitive machineries in cells, mechanotransduction, cell mechanics, developmental biomechanics, etc. Experimental methods for measuring molecular mechanics, cell adhesion, migration and contraction, and tissue biomechanics will also be discussed. Most recent literature will be used as discussion materials to connect theories with research.



BME 597N/697N

Spring semester

This course seeks to build a foundation of physical principles underlying neuroengineering techniques, including electrical, optical, and magnetic approaches to neural recording and stimulation. We will discuss neural recording probes and materials considerations that influence the quality of the signals and longevity of the probes in the brain. This will be accompanied by the discussion of evolution of neural probes from microwires in the 1950s, to Utah arrays in the 1980s, to modern Neuropixels, meshes, and fibers. We will then consider physical foundations for optical recording and modulation approaches. Materials physics of optical fibers, GRIN lenses, light-emitting devices, and photodetectors will be discussed and followed by the in-depth review of devices and systems involved in optogenetics, photometry, and endoscopy. Finally, the course will deliver an introduction to magnetism in the context of biological systems. We will focus on magnetic neuromodulation methods including transcranial magnetic stimulation and nanomaterials based approaches to remote control of neural activity.


Nanomaterials and Sensors


Fall semester

The course will cover nanomaterial science and sensor science and technology with an emphasis on nano-enabled sensors and biosensors.


Intro to Biophotonics

BME 597P/697P

Spring semester

This course covers basic concepts in electromagnetism and light-matter  interactions of biomedical significance.  Topics covered include: optical properties of biological cells, tissues and biomaterials; visible and near-infrared light absorption, scattering and fluorescence spectroscopy; advanced microscopy techniques, optical coherence tomography, vibrational spectroscopy, photoacoustic imaging, photodynamic therapy and their relevance to human disease diagnostic and therapeutic applications.


Biomedical Signals and Systems

BME 597S

Fall semester

This course will cover time- and frequency-domain approaches for the analysis of both continuous-time and discrete-time signals and systems. Specific technical topics covered will include linear time-invariant systems, impulse response, convolution, Fourier series, Fourier transform, and Laplace transform. The course will involve both analytical problem solving and hands-on coding using MATLAB. Students will apply learned concepts to real-world medical/biological problems through case studies and demos involving various biosignals and physiological systems. Topics will include electrophysiology, medical imaging, and pharmacology and span applications in cardiology, oncology, and neurology.


Tissue Engineering

BME 597T/697T

Spring semester

An introduction to tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.



BME 597U/697U

Spring semester

This course will first provide an understanding of basic immunology and then transition to apply these fundamental principles to the design of immunoengineering solutions to biomedical disease challenges. Basic immunological principles that we will cover in the first part of the course include the cells of the immune system and their function, innate and adaptive responses, antigen presentation, T and B cell responses, and immunological memory. In the second part of the course, we will focus on understanding how these basic principles are applied in the design of immunomodulatory nanomaterials, antibody engineering, systems immunology, and development of cell-based therapies. This application-oriented second part of the course will involve overviews of the scientific literature to cover this rapidly evolving field. Throughout the course, we will focus on the biomedical challenges of cancer and infectious disease.


Introduction to Biostatistics


Fall & Spring semester

Principles of statistics applied to analysis of biological and health data, evaluation of public health and clinical programs. 


Intermediate Biostatistics


Spring semester

Principles of statistics applied to analysis of biological and health data. Continuation of Biostats 540 including analysis of variance, regression, nonparametric statistics, sampling, and categorical data analysis.