Virginia Tech®home

Biomedical Engineering Graduate Courses

Orthopedic Mechanobiology Lab

SBES Graduate Course Listings

See below for specific course listings offered through the biomedical engineering graduate degree programs.

BMES 5054 / 605: Quantitative Cell Physiology

Mathematical modeling, simulation, quantitative description of cell physiology and control. Numerical simulation of cellular physiologic processes including reaction kinetics, inhibition and cooperativity, passive transport, facilitated and carrier-mediate reaction kinetics. Cell resting membrane potential, and nerve and muscle tissue. Modeling of neural cell processes including voltage-gated channels, neurotransmitter kinetics, and postsynaptic cell membrane potentials. (3H, 3C)

Corequisite: BMES 5044

BMES 5064 / 606 Quantitative Organ Systems Physiology

Mathematical modeling, simulation, quantitative description of organ physiology and control. Numerical simulation of cardiovascular physiologic processes including regulation of cardiac output, the baroreceptor - stroke volume model, venous return, and closed-loop control. Respiratory ventilation mechanics, gas exchange, pulmonary circulation, alveolar-capillary diffusion, and respiratory ventilation control. Nephron countercurrent mechanism and hemodialysis. Modeling of endocrine system functions. (3H, 3C)

Corequisite: BMES 5044

BMES 5024 / 602 (BMVS 5224) Biomedical Engineering & Human Disease

Comprehensive overview of a variety of human diseases, including, neurological disorders, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, and cancer, designed primarily for graduate students majoring in engineering and other related areas who have a long-term academic and professional goal in the field of biomedical engineering and life sciences. Introduction to state-of-the-art biomedical engineering approaches used for the study of early detection/diagnosis, treatment and prevention of human disease. (3H, 3C)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing 

BMES 5044 (CHE 5044) (BSE 5044) Engineering Mathematics

Introduction to numerical solutions of partial differential equations using the finite element method in one-, two-, and three-dimensions with direct relevance to chemical engineering, biological systems engineering and biomedical engineering and sciences. Partial differential equations and ordinary differential equations using finite differences, model parameter sensitivity analysis, optimization, and data analysis. (3H, 3C)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing 

BMES 5124 / 612 (ESM 5224) Advanced Musculoskeletal Biomechanics

Skeletal anatomy and mechanics. Muscle anatomy and mechanics. Theory and application of electromyography. Motion and force measuring equipment and techniques. Inverse dynamics modeling of the human body. Current topics in musculoskeletal biomechanics research. (3H, 3C)

BMES 5154G Advanced Commercialization of Biomedical Engineering Research

Commercialization process applied to translational research. Regulatory aspects of biomedical engineering products and technologies (e.g. devices, diagnostics, drugs, biologics). Intellectual property, technology transfer processes, clinical trial design, commercialization of university research, modeling of development costs (e.g. cash flow and revenue projections). Small business startup approaches. (3H, 3C)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

BMES 5164 / 616 (ME 5754) Advanced Impact Biomechanics

A review of impact biomechanics and critical investigation of the impact response of the human body. Participants will study the dynamic response of the head, neck, chest, abdomen, upper extremities, and lower extremities. Real world examples from automobile safety, military applications, and sport biomechanics. (3H, 3C) 

BMES 5174 / 617 Biomechanics of Crash Injury Prevention

Principles of design and analysis of crash injury prevention methods in vehicle crashes. The course encompasses three major focus areas for occupant protection in crashes: crash energy absorption in (1) the vehicle structure, (2) the occupant, and (3) the occupant restraints. Topics include the biomechanics of impact injury, analysis of occupant response in crash tests, vehicle crash kinematics, modeling of vehicle impact response, modeling of human impact response, and occupant restraint design.  (3H, 3C)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing 

BMES 5184 / 618 Injury Physiology

Introduction to the physiology of injury. Focus on the pathophysiology, mechanisms, and outcomes of injury in humans. Explores injury physiology at the organ, tissue, and cellular level. Topics include physiology of injury to the peripheral and central nervous systems, the musculoskeletal system, the pulmonary system, the abdomen, and the eye. Includes the injury physiology of adults as well as the special populations of children, pregnant females, and the elderly.  (3H, 3C)

Prerequisite: BMES 5054, 5064
Corequisite  : BMES 5164 

BMES 5204 Laboratory Techniques in Injury Prevention

Human surrogate biomechanical impact testing. 3D rigid-body kinematics, kinetics, properties of deformable materials, servosled testing. Injury prediction and mitigation for transport systems. Transportation restraint system design. Instrumentation, data acquisition, and signal processing techniques of impact biomechanics.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing (4H, 4C)

BMES 5214 / 621 (ISE 5614) Human Physical Capabilities

Focuses on the modeling, analysis, and evaluation of industrial workplaces with emphasis on the physical demands placed on and the capabilities of workers. Topics covered include: physiology, anthropometry, bioinstrumentation, and biomechanics. Students will learn and apply a range of contemporary analytical and assessment methods. (3H, 3C)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing 

BMES 5304 / 630 (CHE 5304) Biological Transport Phenomena

The fundamental principles of mass transport phenomena will be introduced and applied to the characterization of transport behavior in biological systems (e.g., cell, tissues, organs, people). Topics will include active, passive, and convective molecular transport mechanisms. These fundamentals will be used to develop analytical and predictive models that describe phenomena such as oxygen transport, kidney function, systemic drug delivery, and design of extracorporeal devices. (3H, 3C)

Prerequisite: CHE 3114, CHE 3044, CHE 3144, ME 3304, ME 3404. Graduate standing. 

BMES 5305 (ESM 5305) Cardiovascular Mechanics I

Mechanics of the heart, arterial blood vessels and microcirculation; history of the circulation; anatomy and physiology of the heart; mechanics of cardiac contraction; cardiac fluid mechanics; work, energy, efficiency of cardiac function.

Prerequisite: ESM 4106 

BMES 5306 (ESM 5306) Cardiovascular Mechanics II

Rheology of blood; hematology; elasticity of blood vessel walls; transport processes; control of the circulation; mathematical analysis of pulsatile blood flow and pulse-wave propagation through small arteries, capillary beds and extra-corporeal devices.

Prerequisite: ESM 4106

BMES 5314 / 631 Introduction to Regenerative Medicine

Current state of the field of regenerative medicine with specific emphasis on the technological challenges that limit the efficacy and clinical translation of engineered tissues and therapies. Life science (e.g., call biology, organ physiology, biochemical methods) and engineering perspectives (e.g., stem cells, biologically-inspired materials, gene therapies) (3H, 3C)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing. 

BMES 5324 / 753 - Advanced Topics in Regenerative Medicine

Advances in regenerative medicine, gene therapy, stem cell biology/therapy, biomaterials, tissue engineering, and the physiology of the major organ systems in both health and disease. Problem solving novel approaches to overcome limitations to engineer anatomically accurate and fully functional organ replacements to solve the unmet clinical need for donor organs. (3H, 3C)

Prerequisite: BMES 5314

BMES 5434 / 643 (CHE 5214) Polymeric Biomaterials

Topics include polymer design and processing, inflammatory responses to polymers, interaction of blood with polymeric materials, and the effect of mechanical, chemical, and surface properties of polymers on cells. The culmination of this course will provide students with the knowledge to successfully design polymer-based biomaterials, drug-delivery devices, and bio-implants. (3H, 3C)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing 

BMES 5514 / 651 (ME 5714) Digital Signal Processing for Mechanical Measurements

The fundamentals of digital signal processing of data experimentally obtained from mechanical systems will be covered. Attention will be given to the data acquisition, A/D conversion, aliasing, anti-aliasing filtering, sampling rates, valid frequency ranges, windowing functions, leakage, and various transform methods. Special attention will be given to random, transient, and harmonic function data processing. Various methods of estimation of the frequency response function (FRF) will be explored. The estimation methods will be assessed as to their impact on FRF estimation errors. (3H, 3C) 

BMES 5525-5526 / 652 (ECE 5605-5606) Stochastic Signals and Systems

Engineering applications of probability theory, random variables and random processes. Time and frequency response of linear systems to random inputs using both classical transform and modern state space techniques. (3H, 3C)

Prerequisite: STAT 4714 

BMES 5534 / 718

Advanced Computational Methods and Modeling for Biomedical Applications Methods of biomedical computational model development, solutions of ordinary and partial differential equations in mathematical models for biomedical applications, and current topics in biomedical modeling.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (3H, 3C)

BMES 5574 (MSE 5574G) / 641 Advanced Biomaterials

Materials for biomedical applications. Basic material types and properties, functional uses of materials in medical applications, and tissue response mechanisms. Integrated design issues of multicomponent material design in prosthetic devices for hard and soft tissues, orthopedics, cardiovascular, and drug delivery applications. (3H, 3C)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

BMES 5604 Cancer Detection Therapeutics

Coming soon!

BMES 5614 Multiscale Cancer Engineering 

Coming soon!

BMES 5624 Frontiers in Cancer Engineering 

Coming soon!

BMES 5634 Biotransport in Cancer 

Coming soon!

BMES 5714 / 671 Biomedical Microdevices

The goal of this course is to build the foundation necessary for engineering research in micro- and nano- biotechnology. The course will be broken down into four major area: micro- and nano- fabrication techniques, the fundamentals of microfluidics, micro- and nano- particle manipulation, and engineering aspects of cells and their membranes. The culmination of the course will provide students the knowledge required to create biomedical micro- and nano- devices with a focus on the unique physics, biology and design aspects at these scales. Students will be expected to know undergraduate engineering, physics, and calculus. (3H, 3C)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

BMES 5724 / 676 Biomedical Nanoengineering

Biomedical Nanoengineering will introduce major concepts in the design, production, and utility of micro- and nanotechnolgoies in biomedicine. Students will learn techniques critical to the fabrication of molecular sensors and nanodevices, fundamental physics and engineering principles at play, and practicable applications of the techniques to biomedicine. (3H, 3C)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

BMES 5764 / 676 (ESM 5764, ME 5764) Modeling MEMS and NEMS

Modeling MEMS and NEMS is about the construction, analysis, and interpretation of mathematical and computational models microelectromechanical and nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS and NEMS). A goal throughout the course will be to develop a physical intuition for the fundamental phenomena at these small scales. The material covered will be broad and multidisciplinary including: dimensional analysis and scaling; a review of continuum mechanics; fluid dynamics, elasticity, thermal transport and electromagnetism at the micro and nano scales; the modeling of a variety of new MEMS/NEMS devices; and approaches beyond the continuum theory including stochastic and deterministic methods. (3H, 3C)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

BMES 6064 / 706 Clinical Rotation

The course gives the student both a broad view of the use of engineering principles in medicine and general clinical care, together with an in-depth study of a particular aspect of medicine under the direct supervision of a physician. The student is allowed to observe the operation and maintenance of various clinical modalities, systems, and devices under the guidance of a working engineer or technician. The student participates in clinical rounds and image reading sessions to gain insight into the actual operation and needs of departments using medical imaging modalities.  (2C)

Prerequisite: BME Ph.D. graduate students who have finished first year of study. 

BMES 6164 / 716 (ME 6754) Computational Modeling in Impact Biomechanics

Dynamic modeling of the human body subjected to transient impact loading. A combination of finite element analysis and multi-body simulated techniques. Utilized software packages with dynamic solvers. Applications include computer-aided design for automobile safety, sports biomechanics, and military restraint systems. (3H, 3C)

Prerequisite: BMES 5164, ME 5754 

BMES 6174 / 717 Advanced Human Modeling: Injury and Tissue Biomechanics

Serves as a continuation of Impact biomechanics (BMES 5164) and computational biomechanics (BMES 6164). Basics of the finite element method as it applies to high-rate phenomena. Focus will be on practical problems and the use of commercial codes for solving vehicle crashworthiness and biomechanics problems. Theory will be presented when it is useful for application to the problem. Real world examples from biomedical engineering, automobile safety, military applications, and sport biomechanics are used. (3H, 3C)

Prerequisite: BMES 5164, ME 5754, BMES 6164, ME 6754 

BMES 6194 Advanced Movement Assessment

This course will teach and expand on previous course work and provide a detailed understanding of the methods used to collect human movement data, how to process data and interpretation of data output for the assessment of human movement. This course will also evaluate current literature in the area of human biomechanics and the application of these techniques in research and clinical settings.

Prerequisite: BMES 5124 or ESM 5224 (3H, 3C).Graduate standing.

BMES 6534 Medical Health Physics

Physical and biological aspects for the assessment of and protection from ionizing radiation in medical environments. Biological consequences of human radiation exposure. Principles of ionizing radiation protection. Radiation exposure recommendations and regulations. Radiation shielding design, personnel monitoring, and medical health physics instrumentation.

Prerequisite: BMES 6544 (3H, 3C)

BMES 6524 / 774 - Physics of Medical Imaging

Physical principles, mathematical algorithms and devices used in diagnostic medical imaging. Medical imaging modalities and digital imaging; computerized tomography and reconstruction algorithms; ultrasound imaging; magnetic resonance imaging; nuclear medicine imaging; patient safety and applications.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (3H, 3C)

BMES 6544 Radiological Physics

Nature and fundamental concepts of ionizing radiation. Radiological principles, radiation interactions, production of radiation and radiation dosimetry. Radiation quantities, attenuation and stopping power, charged particle and radiation equilibria and radioactive decay. Photon interactions, charged and uncharged particle interactions, x-ray production and quality and dosimetry concepts. 

Prerequisite: Graduate standing (3H, 3C)

BMES 6554 Radiation Therapy Physics

The physics of radiation therapy through the use of radiation producing equipment, character of photon and electron radiation beams, radiation dose functions, computerized radiation treatment planning, brachytherapy, special radiation treatment procedures, quality assurance, and radiation shielding for high energy facilities. 

Prerequisite: BMES 6544 (3H, 3C)

BMES 5944 / 694 Seminar

Required every semester. (1H, 1C) 

BMES 5994 M.S. Research & Thesis (VT Campus)

Sign up under advisor's section. Variable credit: (1-18C) 

BMES 7994 Ph.D. Research & Dissertation (VT Campus)

Sign up under advisor's section. Variable credit: (1-18C) 

BMES 797 / 798 Research (WFU Campus)

Variable credit: (1-9) 

BMES 5974 / 697 Independent Study

Variable credit (normally 3C), Pass-Fail only.

BMES 5984 / 698 Special Study

Variable credit (normally 3C) 

BMES 6984 Special Study

Variable credit (normally 3C)


SBES M.S and Ph.D. students must enroll in at least one (or more, if desired) graduate level science course and acquire a minimum of three (3) credit hours to fulfill the life science requirement for a graduate degree in biomedical engineering. 

SBES M.S. students must complete a minimum of three (3) credit hours of mathematics coursework approved by the advisory committee to fulfill the math requirements, and SBES Ph.D. students must complete a minimum of six (6)  credit hours of mathematics coursework approved by the advisory committee. (No more than three hours may be in statistics; however, the math requirement does not require statistics.)

The Virginia Tech Graduate Catalog provides a program overview and includes more information about courses offered.