Teaching plan for the course unit



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General information


Course unit name: Biofluid Mechanics

Course unit code: 571457

Academic year: 2019-2020

Coordinator: Aurora Hernandez Machado

Department: Department of Condensed Matter Physics

Credits: 2,5

Single program: S



Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 62.5


Face-to-face learning activities

(Face-to-face lectures, seminars and laboratory sessions.)



-  Lecture




-  Group tutorial




-  Laboratory session

(Four groups will be established to each carry out a specific task.)




-  Seminar



Supervised project

(Tutored assignment in small groups.)


Independent learning

(Preparation of reports and PowerPoints for the presentation of papers.)






Students are recommended to have:

— Knowledge of fundamental concepts of mathematics: equations in partial derivatives.

— Knowledge of fundamental concepts of physics: fluid mechanics.



Competences to be gained during study


— Knowledge of the biophysical foundations of the mechanical aspects of biological fluids and their applications in cells, biomembranes and blood.

— Ability to propose and carry out theoretical analysis of mathematical models to obtain quantitative predictions.

— Ability to solve mathematical problems using analytical and numerical methods.

— Ability to design and make experimental micro-scale devices.

— Skill in the use of lab-on-a-chip devices in the laboratory.





Learning objectives


Referring to knowledge

— The objective of the course is to prepare students for research and for the development of new ideas, diagnostic devices and therapies in the field of biomedicine.



Teaching blocks


1. Introduction

1.1. Cells

1.2. Body fluids

1.3. Biomembranes

2. Fluid flow

2.1. Navier-Stokes equations

2.2. Darcy’s law

3. Diffusion

3.1. Random diffusion models

4. Capillary effects

4.1. Surface tension

4.2. Contact angle

4.3. Young-Laplace equation

4.4. Capillary elevation

5. Rheology

5.1. Shear stress, shear rate and viscosity

5.2. Thinning and thickening

5.3. Creep

5.4. Elastic and viscoelastic effects

6. Elasticity

6.1. Strain energy, spontaneous curvature and Gaussian curvature

6.2. Elasticity and body fluids

7. Surface biphasic flows

7.1. Wetting

7.2. Contact line dynamics

8. Micro- and nanofluidics

8.1. Viscosity, resistance and dissipation

8.2. Slip limits and the Navier hypothesis



Teaching methods and general organization


— Face-to-face classes in which students actively participate, group problem-solving exercises and tutorial sessions to clarify issues, both individually and in small groups.

— Laboratory practice (0-50%).

— Research projects on topics of current interest, with tutorial sessions for guidance, held both individually and in small groups.



Official assessment of learning outcomes


— Written examination (0-100%)

— Work carried out by the student (0-50%)

— Oral examinations (0-50%)


Examination-based assessment

— Written examination (0-100%)

— Work carried out by the student (0-50%)

— Oral examinations (0-50%)