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Biomaterials (BMAT)


Admission requirements

Core course in MSc Life Science and Technology (Biophysical Sciences series), MSc Chemistry elective.
For students with a BSc in MST, LST, BFW or equivalent. Students are expected to have a basic understanding of (in)organic chemistry and/or cell biology.


This course introduces the field of biomaterials science, a rapidly growing area at the interface between chemistry, materials science and biology. Throughout the course, the potential of hard (e.g. metals, ceramics) and soft materials (e.g. polymers, hydrogels, liposomes) to specifically modulate various biological processes will be explored at several length scales in the context of wound healing, regeneration and disease. Moreover, an in-depth evaluation of the preparation methods of various materials scaffolds and their characterization will also be presented. The overall goal of this course is for students to gain an appreciation of the impressive developments and challenges faced in this interdisciplinary field, but also to grasp the opportunities for the intervention of materials at the biological interface.
For more information on the topic, see supramolecular materials: from biosensors to cell delivery devices

Course objectives

At the end of the course the students:

  • will have an overview of the field of biomaterials science.

  • will be able to explain the preparation and characterization of a range of hard and soft biomaterials using various physical and chemical techniques as well as an understanding of the cellular responses to them from the molecular to the macroscopic scales.

  • will be able to describe the strategies used to prepare implants composed of metal-based alloys and bioceramics, their characterization and applications in load-bearing tissues.

  • will be able to explain fundamental aspects of polymers and their characterization as materials (e.g. hydrogels) and methods to enable their interfacing with biological matter.

  • will be able to compare delivery strategies in the fields of macroscale and particulate drug delivery from the preparation of the scaffolds to their application.

  • will be able to summarize the use of biomaterials in rapidly developing areas such as tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, bioprinting, and immunoengineering.

  • will be able to apply the knowledge gained during the course to critique and present a basic research article in the biomaterials area and to follow a presentation from a researcher in the field.


Schedule information can be found on the website of the programmes.

You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of Instruction

The course consists of weekly lectures, guest lectures and student presentations.

Assessment method

Literature assessment (60%) and a written exam (40%).

Reading list

Selected research articles and reviews that will help to guide the lecture material will be provided via Brightspace.


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.

Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.


Dr. Roxanne Kieltyka, Prof.dr. Alexander Kros


Assignment deadlines are communicated via Brightspace.

According to OER article 4.8, students are entitled to view their marked examination for a period of 30 days following the publication of the results of a written examination. Students should contact the lecturer to make an appointment for such an inspection session.