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Learn about biomaterials with online courses and programs

Biomaterials are engineered substances made from natural or synthesized materials that can interact with biological systems. They can be especially useful in supporting, enhancing, and replacing damaged tissues or functions.

What are biomaterials?

Biomaterials are designed to replace, augment, or interact with natural biological systems to perform specific biological functions in living organisms. For patients facing health-related challenges, biomaterials can be a life-saving solution and even improve their quality of life.

Medical professionals in a variety of fields rely on biomaterials to improve patient outcomes:

  • Cardiologists can place stents in weakened areas of a patient’s heart.

  • Surgeons can use biomaterials to aid in the replacement of damaged tissue.

  • Nurse practitioners can program drug delivery systems to manage patient conditions.

  • Dentists can design implants that interface with a patient’s jaw bone.

As technology advances, researchers can continue to develop new and more advanced biomaterials and enhance existing ones. Their discoveries are important to healthcare professionals and the patients they treat, making biomaterials an exciting and rewarding career path to explore.

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Biomaterials course curriculum

Are you curious about technology and innovation in the medical sector? Once you have a foundation in basic biology concepts, you can explore courses that discuss key topics in biomaterials and medical devices, including:

  • Clinical testing and quality assurance

  • Tissue engineering

  • Biofabrication

  • Biomedical product development

  • Industry trends

From there, you may want to advance your understanding of biomaterials in the context of sustainability or digital innovation. Classes may cover ways to apply biotechnology to solve energy issues, or introduce new experimental technologies that may have uses in the field.

edX offers online courses that allow learners to study a variety of topics including biomaterials, product development, and much more. ‌Sign up for an accelerated boot camp, or enroll in a full degree program and start working toward a bachelor's degree, or (for more advanced learners) a master’s degree in a relevant subject. You can also explore executive education programs specifically designed for busy professionals.

Explore careers in biomaterials

The research, development, and implementation of biomaterials relies on a variety of roles to ensure the best possible outcomes. Some of the jobs that contribute to or are impacted by the use of biomaterials include:

  • Materials scientist: Studies the properties of materials, including biomaterials, to develop new materials for various applications.Footnote 1

  • Dentist: Uses biomaterials to develop solutions for patients, such as dental implants, fillings, and other dental procedures.Footnote 2

  • Pharmacist: Uses biomaterials in the development of various drug delivery mechanisms, such as nanoparticles and microparticles.Footnote 3

  • Product developer: Aids in the development of medical devices and products, which may require the use of biomaterials.Footnote 4

  • Academic researcher: Contributes to the advancement of biomaterials and disseminates knowledge to the next generation of professionals.Footnote 5

Each of these roles will have different education and skills requirements. For example, some employers may seek candidates with a degree in dentistry or engineering, depending on the role. Before deciding on a specific learning path, research the positions you hope to pursue and align your coursework with your career goals.