CHEM13081 - Biomaterials: Environmental and Medical Applications

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit is an introduction to the use and usefulness of biomaterials. You will be introduced to the materials science of metals, ceramics, polymers and composites, and the engineering principles behind biomaterial design. You will also discuss the medical and environmental applications of biomaterials, such as biomedical engineering, bioactive polymers and antifouling biofilms.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 3
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites


CHEM11041 Chemistry for the Life Sciences or CHEM11043 Atoms, Molecules and Matter or CHEM11044 Chemical Reactions

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

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Residential School Compulsory Residential School
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Unit Availabilities from Term 2 - 2022

Term 2 - 2022 Profile
Mixed Mode
Term 2 - 2023 Profile
Mixed Mode

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Practical Assessment 15%
2. Written Assessment 35%
3. Take Home Exam 50%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 2 - 2021 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 4.5 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 18.18% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Student Unit and Teaching Evaluation (SUTE)
Students highlighted that the major assessment for this Unit was focused on a research proposal and writing a scientific manuscript in the format of either the journal Biomaterials Science or the Journal of Chemical Education. Those CC13 students who had completed a chemistry minor were required to take only three basic chemistry specific subjects within their whole degree. As such, research proposal and writing a scientific manuscript in the above-mentioned format remains beyond their level of competency.
In the next offering, the major assessment item will be reviewed to ensure it is relevant for the different cohorts studying the unit.
Action Taken
The assessment tasks and requirements were simplified and improved to ensure students could understand the assessment better. Extra learning resources such as reading materials, Journal of Biomaterials Science and Chemical Education writing formats, videos, lectures were provided to students, especially to the CC13 cohort to support their research proposal and scientific manuscript development. Marking rubrics were introduced to the assessment. This provided students with concise expectations about their work and good guidance for what they needed to achieve. The assessment was discussed with the teaching team for their advice and suggestions for improving the assessment task before finalisation.
Source: Have Your Say
Students commented that opportunity to complete a mini research project from the ground up was absolutely amazing and the teaching was done well.
Endeavor to maintain and update the research project and teaching materials for the next offering.
Action Taken
Source: Have Your Say
Some students commented that this unit should not be a part of the Bachelor of Agriculture course as they thought it teaches medical content rather than content relevant to agriculture.
Consult with staff from the appropriate discipline. This unit is offered in the Chemistry minor for the Bachelor of Agriculture. The unit content and assessment will be modified to accommodate students from the Bachelor of Agriculture if necessary.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Describe the various types of biomaterials and the principles of biomaterial design and development
  2. Discuss strategies to solve significant problems in health and the environment using the principles of biomaterial science
  3. Evaluate the use of biomaterials and devices constructed with biomaterials
  4. Assess the compatibility of biomaterials in health and environmental disciplines and apply the appropriate compatability requirements to real world applications.
  5. Discuss the responses of living tissues to implanted biomaterials

Potential RACI accreditation of the unit - currently in discussion with the RACI.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Practical Assessment
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Take Home Exam
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Take Home Exam
1 - Practical Assessment