Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia

Cell and Tissue Engineering



Academic unit

Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia


Departamento de Física



Teacher in charge

Jorge Alexandre Monteiro de Carvalho e Silva

Weekly hours


Total hours


Teaching language



The main purpose of this curricular unit is to provide the students with a general introduction to this area of Biomedical Engineering.

After completing this unit, the students will have a general understanding of the repair mechanisms of wounds in adults and how Tissue Engineering is being used in the developement of new therapies involving the creation of tissues and organs that can replace the originals, damaged or malfunctioning, due to desease or accident. Students will learn about techniques to produce porous biodegradable scaffolds, basic techniques of cell culture and analysis of biological tissue, among several subjects of the course syllabus. Current products and applications of TE to some tissues and organs are analysed.


There are no special pre requisites, although it would be preferable that students have already completed corses on biomaterials and cell biology.

Subject matter

Program based on the book "Tissue Engineering" (Senior Editor: Clemens van Blitterswijk. Elsevier, 2008)

1 - Introduction to cell and tissue engineering

2 - The History of the first TE product, Integra

3 - Natural polymers

4 - Synthetic degradable polymers

5 - Bioceramics and Biocomposites

6 - Scaffold design and fabrication

7 - Cell culture

8 - Tissues and the extracellular matrix

9 - Stem cells

10 - Tissue homeostasis and wound healing

11 - Cell-biomaterial interactions


Main Bibliography:

          - C. van Blitterswijk (editor), Tissue Engineering, Elsevier, 2008

Additional bibliography for specific parts of the program:

         - W. M. Saltzman, Tissue Engineering - Principles for the design of replacement organs and tissues, Oxford University Press 2004 (R 857 SAL)
        - K. Lee, D. Kaplan, Eds, Tissue engineering I - Scaffold Systems for Tissue Engineering, Springer, 2006
        - K. Lee, D. Kaplan, Eds, Tissue engineering II - Basics of Tissue Engineering and Tissue Applications, Springer, 2007
        - B. Alberts, A. Johnson, J. Lewis, M. Raff, K. Roberts, P. Walter, Molecular Biology of The Cell, 4th Ed, Garland 2002
        - R. I. Freshney, Culture of Animal Cells - A manual of basic techniques, Wiley-Liss, 2005
        - P. X. Ma, J. Elisseeff, Eds., Scaffolding In Tissue Engineering, CRC, 2005

Teaching method

The method used in teaching the syllabus of ECT is based on lectures and laboratory practical classes. In the lectures the various themes that make up the curriculum are addressed through exposure of concepts, methods and examples of laboratory and clinical studies. In practical classes, students produce and characterize scaffolds for tissue engineering and perform cell cultures on these scaffolds.

Evaluation method

The curricular unit “Cell and Tissue Engineering” is of the type Seminar. 


The assessment consists of four components: oral presentation, practical work, essays and research project. There are no tests nor final exam.


The final grade is the weighted average of the grades of the oral presentation (25%), practical work (30%), essays (10%) and research project (35%). The classification of the various evaluation elements are always rounded to the unit.


There is frequency assessment. It is granted to students who have positive evaluation in practical work and oral presentation components. Students who do not obtain frequency will have to sign up again and repeat the ECT component where they didn''''''''t obtain a positive mark. The frequency and the marks obtained in the components of practical work and oral presentation have no expiry date.


Practical work - the assessment is based on reports. Students are given a model structure for reports. The laboratory experiments are performed in groups of two or three students.


Essays - 4 activities of two questions each answered using the Moodle platform about the class subjects (Tissue Engineering; biomaterials; scaffolds; tissues and cells).


Oral presentation - presentation and discussion on the state of the art of Tissue Engineering / Regenerative Medicine of a tissue or organ to the students'''''''' choice. Students are given the evaluation grid. Oral presentations are held during the last two weeks of classes in groups of 2 students. The presentations are discussed by another group of students . The presentations ( slides ) must be delivered by the 15th of November to be available to all students and teachers before the beginning of the presentations .


Research project - design and writing of a research project in the area of Cell and Tissue Engineering according to the rules of the Foundation for Science and Technology (only the technical/scientific component of  FCT / MEC projects). The project theme is chosen by the student. The evaluation is carried out taking into account the objectives explained in the instructions provided to students. The research project is individual. The deadline is the last day of the examination period. The final project will only be accepted from students who have obtained frequency.