Soft Tissue and Cellular Biomechanics

Subject BMEN90029 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 48 hours including 2 hours of lectures and 2 hours of workshops per week
Total Time Commitment:

200 hours


One of the following subjects -

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Vijay Rajagopal


Vijay Rajagopal

Subject Overview:


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

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.
  • 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.

Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
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
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Master of Engineering (Biomedical with Business)
Master of Engineering (Biomedical)
Master of Engineering (Mechanical)

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