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Course catalogue

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Master SERP+ Programme - cohort 2020-2025

Composite materials for biomedical applications (6 ECTS)


Intro to Composite materials.  Definition of Composite.  Reinforcement and matrix: analysis and definition.

Exemplum of Reinforcement: Carbon Fiber.

Production: Process of creation of the fiber through spinneret, solidification process, termo-mechanical treatments at low, medium, high temperatures.  PAN vs PITCH Fibers: analysis of the different structure and functional behavior. Fiber nanostructure: fibrils.  Fiber microstructure: shrinking process in creation. Transverse anisotropy. Fiber inner structure. Tow creation.

Fabric: Reinforcement + Matrix scheme vs prepregs: analysis of the different typologies. Symmetric and Balanced Laminates. Technologies: simple vacuum vs autoclave. Non woven: Unidirectional vs fabric. Aligned vs mat fiber materials.  Woven: theory of fabric creation- Basic schemes illustrated.

Matrix: polymer matrices, features and scopes of matrices. Fiber-Matrix interactions: basic on wetting theory, interfaces, adhesion.

Failure of composites: analysis of the most common failure modes. External Prosthesis, intro to their need with composite materials. Internal prosthesis: Composite materials to create prosthesis and temporary devices: scaffolds.

Construction in additive manufacturing, surface treatment, functionalization. Membrane scaffolds: electrospinning and combination with additive techniques. Ceramic matrix composites: intro.

Composite Market: intro to industrial analysis and dependence in production on industrial variables. TRL and MRL: how to reach the market creates a robust product. Safety: brief notation on safety on new materials and products.


Provide to students the capability to manage new material items based upon an engineering point of view focused on the device need and constraints when created with advanced innovative materials. Carbon fiber as well as ceramic based composites and the technologies to produce, treat, stabilize them will be presented and studied in their specific features. Application methodologies with their main advantages and possible problems will be discussed with the students. Regulatory frameworks, specifically devoted to bring a new product on the market and to take care of the strict biomedical need, will be also highlighted by a specific 8 hrs short course. Comparison between European and Usa normative will be illustrated. Continuous comparative analysis between the scientific and industrial viewpoints will be performed in classroom.


Basic knowledge in chemistry as well as physics. Polymer structure, Tg, Tm, Burger series/parallel functional scheme for viscoelastic materials,  weak attractive (VdW ) forces vs repulsive (Coulombian) forces.  Mechanical properties:  Linear elasticity, Young Modulus, Stiffness, Hardness. 

Recommended Books

Gay, Daniel ; Hoa, Suong V ; Tsai, Stephen W; Boca Raton : CRC Press, c2003


Teaching Staff

Prof. Fabrizio Barberis


48 hours Lecture

Study hours for the students : 102h

Grading System

Oral final exam