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First Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento


Acquiring knowledge and understanding
The student will acquire basic information about the design process of medical devices, about the fundamental properties and characterization techniques of materials as well as fabrication techniques of some of the most widespread medical devices. He will also acquire the fundamental notions regarding structural dimensioning and verify in both static and fatiguing conditions.

Applying knowledge and understanding
The student will be able to set a structural analysis aimed to design components for medical devices, with particular emphasis on metallic ones.

Making informed judgements and choices
The student will be able to assume a critical and propositive role when requested to evaluate working principles and building techniques of medical devices characterized by strcutural functions.


Compulsory background is defined by the Faculty Policy

The student should have good basics of mathematics and physics. He/she also should have a good knowledge of basic mechanical properties of metallic, polymeric and ceramic materials.
Students are strongly encouraged to pass in advance following majors:
1) Mechanics and Biomechanics
2) Biomaterials


1) Equilibrium equations and free body diagrams
2) Equilibrium of connected bodies.
3) Statically determinate and statically indeterminate structures.
4) Internal forces and moments.
5) Stress and strain: Hooke's law and Mohr's circle.
6) Moments of area.
7) De Saint Venant cases: axial, flexure, shear and torsion loading.
8) Equation of elastic line.
9) Principle of virtual work for calculation of displacements and analysis of statically indeterminate systems.
10) Introduction to medical devices: basic concepts, biocompatibility, biomaterials, fundamentals of design process
11) UNI-EN code 10093 (Biological evaluation of medical devices)
12) Diagrams of internal loading for beams, Tension and compression, Design for Strength and Stiffness, Strain energy, Torsion Stress analysis of deformable bodies and mechanical elements; stress transformation; Mohr's circles; combined loading; failure modes; material failure theories (Maximum Normal Stress, Maximum Tangential Stress, Von Mises)
Design of structural/mechanical members; design processes. Wear and contact. The theory of Hertz.
13)Introduction to fatigue: characteristics of fatigue failure mode, examples of service failures
Fatigue crack formation: stress-life concepts (S-N curves, mean stress models and correction factors), Miner's rule and load sequence effects, notch fatigue. Examples of fatigue design using the stress method.
14)Human joints working principles and bone structure
15) Knee joint and total knee replacement. Materials and surgical techniques. Implant life-cycle and failure modes
16)Hip joint and total hip replacement. Materials and surgical techniques. Implant life-cycle and failure modes
17)Anatomy and physiology of the circulatory system. Biological and synthetic prosthesis
18)Heart structure. Biological and mechanical valves (ball and cage, single tiliting disk, bileaflet)
19)Endovascular stents
20)Ostheosynthesis (plates and screws, endomidullar nails, external fixators)

Teaching Methods

Classroom/remote lectures according to what defined by the academic policies after COVID emergency.Exercises on main topics of the course, practical training on gait analysis, balance and plantar pressures assessment using a pressure platform.

Verification of learning

During the course, the faculty requires students to perform two assignments (intermediate and final). The emphasis on exams includes not only problem-solving abilities, but also a significant number of questions to check understanding of basic concepts, definitions, fundamental knowledge,and design implications. If the student passes both tests, a short final oral exam is performed. For students not attending lectures during the semester, a written+oral exam is required.


[1] A.Bernasconi et. al. ”Fondamenti di costruzione di macchine”, McGraw-Hill;
[2] F.P.Beer, et. al. “Meccanica dei solidi: Elementi di scienza delle costruzioni”, McGraw-Hill;
[3] Flaccavento: Esercizi di scienza delle costruzioni completamente risolti, Libreria tecnica editrice V. G. [4] Minola: Scienza delle Costruzioni - Esercizi - PLV, Linea Elastica, Instabilità, Città Studi Ed.
[5] R. Pietrabissa “Biomateriali per protesi ed organi artificiali”, Patron Ed.
[6] C. Di Bello “Biomateriali (introduzione allo studio dei biomateriali per uso biomedico)”, Patron ed.
[7] J. Shigley et al. “Progetto e costruzione di macchine”, McGraw Hill
[8] R.C. Juvinall e K.M. Marshek “Fondamenti della progettazione dei componenti delle macchine”, ETS Pisa
[9] E. Franceschini e C. Petrassi, “Protesi ed endoprotesi in chirurgia vascolare”, Ed. Aracne

Slides provided through the institutional website of the teacher (

More Information

A website containing all the slides (and other information relevant for the course) used by the professor during the lectures is available for students.

Questionnaire and social

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