Spring Quarter, 2007

Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00 pm – 3:20 pm, CENTER 214
April 3rd – June 7th, 2007

We will use the UCSD WebCT system to distribute grades and conduct online chat rooms. Use your ACS username and password to access ClassWeb and WebCT.

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 mechanics of tissues and cells. Click here for the complete lecture schedule.


Dr. Andrew McCulloch, Professor and Chair of Bioengineering
email: <amcculloch AT ucsd DOT edu>
Powell-Focht Bioengineering Hall, room 231
Office Hours: by appointment
Assistant: 858-822-1253

Dr. Jeffrey Jacot, Research Fellow, Dept of Bioengineering
email: <jjacot AT ucsd DOT edu>
Powell-Focht Bioengineering Hall, room 241
Office Hours:

Graduate Student Instructors

Christopher MacDonald, Bioengineering graduate student, email: <clmacdon AT ucsd DOT edu>
Quynhhoa Nguyen, Bioengineering graduate student, email: <q9nguyen AT ucsd DOT edu>
Andrea Pallante,Bioengineering graduate student, email: <apallant AT ucsd DOT edu>





Graduate Student Instructor



1:00 – 1:50 pm


Christopher MacDonald



11:00 – 11:50 am

WLH 2204

Quynhhoa Nguyen



4:00 – 4:50 pm


Andrea Pallante

Recommended Textbooks

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

  • 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

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

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 or BENG 112A.


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 will be needed for assignments in this course. All UCSD engineering students are eligible for OCE (Open Computing Environment) computer accounts (Unix) through the Academic Computing Center. 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.

For dial-in services, a dial-in account can be obtained for a monthly fee from Academic Network Operations (534-1857). More information is available at

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.

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 …” Pertinent university policies are described in abbreviated form at The full descriptions of these polices, as well as others regarding exams, grading policies, etc, are given in full in the General Catalogue at: as well as in the quarterly Schedule of Classes.

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.

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 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. in the Y-C Fung Auditorium. The schedule of speakers is posted on the Bioengineering Department web pages.