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Soft Tissue and Cellular Biomechanics (BMEN90029)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeBMEN90029
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


This subject aims to develop students’ knowledge and capabilities in experimental and computational biomechanics of cells and soft-tissues. Students will apply fundamental mathematical theory of nonlinear continuum mechanics and computational approaches to solve stress-equilibrium equations. Students will learn fundamentals in cell signalling and how cell- and sub-cellular-level processes affect cell and tissue mechanical properties. These concepts will be put to practice in project-based and examination assessments.


  • Nonlinear continuum mechanics theory
  • Computational techniques for solving nonlinear mechanics problems
  • Soft-tissue mechanical properties
  • Cytoskeletal networks and mechanics
  • Signalling pathtways and systems-biology related to mechanics of cells and tissues

Intended learning outcomes

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Describe the fundamental mathematical principles behind nonlinear continuum mechanics
  2. Describe and construct biochemical models of cell signalling pathways that affect cell and tissue mechanics
  3. Construct computational models of the mechanics of soft-tissues and cells
  4. Describe how the mechanical behaviour of cells and tissues in the body are regulated by chemical and mechanical signals
  5. Construct multi-scale models of mechanics and signalling in cells and tissues
  6. Demonstrate skills in communicating results from engineering research in written form.

Generic skills

On completion of this subject, students should have developed the following skills:

  • The ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution
  • Capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning
  • Profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of scholarship
  • An ability to apply knowledge of basic science and engineering fundamentals

Eligibility and requirements


One of the following subjects -

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
MAST30030 Applied Mathematical Modelling
Semester 1
BMEN30005 Introduction to Biomechanics
Semester 1
MCEN30017 Mechanics & Materials
Semester 1
Semester 2



Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home



  • An assignment requiring 40-45 hours work, due in week 6 (30%). ILOs 1 and 3 will be assessed in this assignment.
  • A project based assignment requiring 40-50 hours of work, due in week 11 or 12 (30%). ILOs 1-,6 will be assessed in this assignment.
  • A 2 hour end-of-semester examination. ILOs 1, 2 and 4 will be assessed in the examination.

HURDLE – students will need a mark of at least 50% in the end-of-semester exam to pass this subject.

Dates & times

  • Semester 1
    Principal coordinatorVijay Rajagopal
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours48 hours including 2 hours of lectures and 2 hours of workshops per week
    Total time commitment200 hours
    Teaching period 4 March 2019 to 2 June 2019
    Last self-enrol date15 March 2019
    Census date31 March 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail10 May 2019
    Assessment period ends28 June 2019

    Semester 1 contact information

Time commitment details

200 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    There are no specifically prescribed or recommended texts for this subject.

  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

    Additional information for this subject

    Subject coordinator approval required

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 9 April 2019