Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Engineering in Biology 2 ENG2087

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Engineering
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 2 (SCQF level 8)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

The aim of the course is to provide students with an introduction on the use of engineering approaches in biomedical sciences.  The students will gain an understanding of the biological phenomena involved in biomedical applications, in parallel with the engineering tools and methods used to explore and control these phenomena.


2 lectures per week

2 laboratory sessions

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements


Recommended Entry Requirements


Excluded Courses





70% Written Exam

20% Report: Laboratory report

10% Set Exercise

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

The aims of this course are to:

■ introduce the students to the structure of cells and key cellular processes, and the fundamental mechanisms that govern the organisation and function of the tissues (cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interactions);

■ provide students with the knowledge and skills to analyse the composition and properties of the extracellular matrix the structure of biological tissues;

■ provide students with knowledge on how mechanical forces are generated and sensed at different length scales in biological systems;

■ provide students with knowledge of the need for specialised imaging in biomedicine and different phenomena on which this is based;

■ introduce students to the structure and function of drug delivery systems and provide them with an understanding of the engineering approaches used in their design.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ explain how different cell types are identified and classified, the mechanisms of cell-cell communication and cell-matrix interactions, and how external signals are transduced to initiate cellular processes;

■ analyse the composition and properties of the extracellular matrix and identify its role in regulating cell functions and compare the structure of different types of cells and animal tissues;

■ describe the mechanisms involved in current mechanosensing techniques and of the rationale for their use, discuss the relative importance of various forces for humans (static and dynamic), and explain how muscles are able to apply forces and relate the mechanisms to biochemical events;

■ relate imaging engineering technologies to specific imaging requirements in biomedicine;

■ describe the phenomena involved in the release of drugs from different types of drug delivery systems and relate how mathematical and engineering approaches can be used to design drug delivery systems.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must attend the degree examination and submit at least 75% by weight of the other components of the course's summative assessment.


Students must attend the timetabled laboratory classes.