Certificate Requirements

A certificate in Biologically Inspired Materials and Material Systems will be awarded to students that successfully complete:

  • Two required core courses
  • A minimum of five graduate elective courses
  • Regular attendance and participation in the academic seminar series
  • An advanced material laboratory training series offered through the Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility

Core Courses

The first required course for all students is Introduction to Biologically Inspired Materials (MEMS 265-10/BME265-06). This course provides an overview of biologically inspired materials and material systems and consists of a series of lectures, given over a period of a semester that introduces the student to the focus of this IGERT and CBIMMS. A mix of biology, chemistry, materials science, physics, and engineering are developed, demonstrating the integrative and interdisciplinary importance of each field to this endeavor, and analytical, numerical, and experimental efforts are described.

The second required course is a modular course aimed at introducing students to the multidisciplinary research of biologically inspired materials and material systems. The course will be composed of modules, which, for example, might discuss muscle, starting at single protein molecules and ending with tissue. Faculty from biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering and materials science, cell biology, and chemistry will be involved in the development of discrete modules woven into a cohesive course. This course is not currently available; it will be offered in the spring 05 semester.

Seminar Series

CBIMMS and the Center for Biomolecular and Tissue Engineering (CBTE) conduct a seminar series each semester. The Biological Engineering Seminar Series (MEMS 301 – fall; MEMS 302 – spring) features invited speakers and pre-seminar discussions. Students are exposed to the breadth of research topics in biological engineering, with emphasis on bioinspired materials and material systems, biomolecular, and tissue engineering. Enrollment is required for all CBIMMS certificate program students in the first and second years. Students sign up to form teams that prepare and lead an in-depth discussion about the field of research for an upcoming seminar. Each team prepares a summary of the discussion for dissemination.

Advanced Materials Lab

The advanced materials laboratory is led by the staff of the Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility (SMiF). Students will meet once a week for 3-hour laboratory sessions. There will be a total of 12 sessions that break out as follows:

- Cleanroom fabrication (3 sessions)
- SEM and e-beam lithography (2 sessions)
- TEM (2 sessions)
- XPS (3 sessions)
- AFM (2 sessions)

The course is taught as a hands-on training session which enables students to learn about the capabilities and operation of the research tools.


In addition to the requirements stated above, students select 5 elective courses, depending upon their interest areas. Please review the complete list of Courses and the summaries of how each is integrated into the three areas of the program. Please note that this list is in the process of being updated.

- Bio-NanoScience and Engineering
- Encapsulation, Coatings, and Surface Patterning
- Hierarchical Systems

This is not simply a “collection of what is offered,” rather an overview of existing and planned courses that have been woven into a curriculum that allows the student to shape his or her specific interests for successful transition within the research component of the program.

Students are required to fulfill the departmental requirements in which they pursue their degree. We suggest students work with their advisor to determine which electives best meet their research interests and departmental requirements. Electives can be added to the approved list upon prior request if they are relevant to the student’s research program in biologically inspired materials and material system.