BENG 112A Biomechanics

Please Note BE112A for Winter 2018 will use TritonED

Winter Quarter, 2013

Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:00 am - 12:20 pm, WLH Room 2204
January 8th - March 14th, 2013

We will use the UCSD Ted system to distribute grades and conduct online forums. Use your ACS username and password to access TED.

Course Objectives

The relationship between structure and function in living tissues will be studied using the theories and methods of continuum mechanics. Theoretical problem-solving and the role of engineering design will be emphasized with weekly homework assignments posted at this website. This course concentrates on the biosolid mechanics of tissues and cells. Click here for the complete lecture schedule.


Dr. Andrew McCulloch, Professor of Bioengineering and Medicine
email: <amcculloch AT ucsd DOT edu>
Powell-Focht Bioengineering Hall, room 231
Office Hours: by appointment
Dr. Ratnesh Lal, Professor of Bioengineering and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
email: <rlal AT ucsd DOT edu>
Powell-Focht Bioengineering Hall, room 291
Office Hours: by appointment

Graduate Student Instructors

Kevin Vincent, Bioengineering graduate student, email: <kpvincen AT ucsd DOT edu>
Aereas Aung, Bioengineering graduate student, email: <aeaung AT ucsd DOT edu>





Graduate Student Instructor


10:00 - 10:50 am

Sequoyah Hall 148

Kevin Vincent


11:00 - 11:50 am

HSS 2305A

Aereas Aung

Recommended Textbooks

  • JD Humphrey and SL Delange, An Introduction to Biomechanics: Solids and Fluids, Analysis and Design, Springer-Verlag, 2004

  • YC Fung, A First Course in Continuum Mechanics, 3rd Edition, Prentice Hall, 1994

Suggested Reading

  • YC Fung, Biomechanics: Circulation, 2nd Ed., Springer-Verlag, 1997

  • SC Cowin and SB Doty, Tissue Mechanics, Springer, 2007

  • C Ross Ethier and Craig A Simmons, Introductory Biomechanics: From Cells to Organisms, Cambridge University Press 2007

  • Jonathon Howard, Mechanics of Motor Proteins and the Cytoskeleton (Paperback), Sinauer Associates, 2001

  • YC Fung, Biomechanics: Mechanical Properties Of Living Tissues, 2nd Ed., Springer-Verlag, 1993 (Recommended for most students; book followed most closely in lectures)

Regular reading of the relevant sections in Y-C Fung's Biomechanics textbook is a valuable supplement to the lectures. Continuum mechanics textbooks are useful for reference, but all the required theoretical material will be found in your lecture notes for this course or BENG 110.


To render equations in the the PowerPoint files properly, you'll need the correct MathType Fonts. Otherwise you can download the PDF printable version.


Computer and network access may be needed for assignments in this course. All UCSD engineering students are eligible for computer accounts through Academic Computing Services. You can see what kind of account you have on-line using the Account Lookup Tool at It will also show you what class allocations you have for OCE compatible classes in your major. If you do not already have an account with UCSD, you can register for one from the web site. If you do not have one for Engineering, but you are an Engineering major, you can upgrade your current account to an OCE account.

Computing labs are available throughout the campus including room 161 in Powell-Focht Bioengineering Hall. For assistance with UCSD instructional computing facilities, do not come to the instructor or TAs as they are not managed by departmental personnel. You can email questions to . Student "Zebra" consultants are available to help in ACS labs on weekdays and evenings.


Homework and design assignments


Midterm Examination


Final Examination


Grading Policy

Every effort will be made to accept homework assignments that are handed in a little late. However, all late homework, whether an extension was approved or not, may be subject to a late penalty at the sole discretion of the grader. We cannot guarantee that late assignments will be returned on time, and they may not be eligible for regrading. Homeworks received after worked solutions have been handed out will receive no credit. Regrades: In fairness to all students, work is only regraded when there is evidence of grading error. We reserve the right to regrade an entire piece of work.

Late Homework Policy

Although we attempt to accept late homework, assignments submitted after the beginning of class on the day the homework is due, and the TA has left (so ~11:05am), will only receive credit for 80% of the total score. Homework received after the start of the tutorial section on the following day will be graded out of a maximum of 60%. This total will continue to reduce by 20% each day at the time of the start of class or section for that weekday. (There is normally a class or section on every week day). After solutions or design grading summaries are posted, late homework will not be accepted. A doctor's note or other written explanation will be required for exceptions to this policy.

Integrity of Scholarship

The Department of Bioengineering adheres to the UCSD Policy on Integrity of Scholarship. This Policy states that "Students are expected to complete the course in compliance with the instructor's standards. No student shall engage in any activity that involves attempting to receive a grade by means other than honest effort ..." The full descriptions of these polices, as well as others regarding acceptable behavior are given in the Student Code of Conduct at The regulations on exams, grading and integrity of scholarship are also in the General Catalog at Helpful resources on understanding and complying with these regulations can be found at:

Students are not discouraged from discussing homework assignments among themselves or engaging in group study. However, individual homework assignments must be the sole work of the submitting student. Specific guidance will be given in the case of group projects. When submitted coursework incorporates material authored by a third party, the source should always be attributed according to the accepted standards of scholarly endeavor. Material taken from the internet or other forms of electronic media are subject to the same requirements of attribution applicable to printed reference sources or materials. Work suspected of being tainted by plagiarism will receive no credit. All cases of suspected academic dishonesty including collaboration, plagiarism and cheating as defined by UCSD regulations will be referred to the UCSD Academic Integrity Coordinator.

In cases of suspected academic dishonesty including cheating in an examination or altering graded work and resubmitting it, the student will be handed a copy of the student conduct code, and the case will be referred to the appropriate dean. The academic penalty for serious academic dishonesty will generally be a grade of F.

Department Seminars (BENG 281)

Fridays 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the Y-C Fung Auditorium. The schedule of speakers is posted on the Bioengineering Department web pages.