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Biofluid Mechanics, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Biofluidmekanik

This syllabus is valid: 2021-02-22 and until further notice

Course code: 3RA024

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Physics: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: Three-grade scale

Responsible department: Radiation Physics

Established by: Board of undergraduate education, 2021-01-28


This course is about fluid mechanics principles and how they can be applied to study the different biofluid systems of the human body.
The course covers various analytical and numerical methods commonly applied in both clinical practice and medical research for understanding and evaluating different physiological functions related to these biofluid systems. The course includes the biofluid mechanics of systems such as the brain, heart, macro- and microcirculation.

The course consists of two parts:

  • Module 1, theoretical work, 5 ECTS
  • Module 2, laboration, 2,5 ECTS

Expected learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding: 
Demonstrate knowledge of the role of biofluid mechanics in health care and medicine
Define and describe relevant fluid mechanics principles such as the conservation laws, Bernoulli's equation and the Hagen-Poiseuille equation, including the main assumptions that need to be fulfilled
Discuss and describe in detail how to apply these fluid mechanics principles to different biofluid systems and when and where different fluid mechanics principles are used in clinical practice
Account for the fluid systems of the human body and their relevant fluid mechanics quantities (e.g. intracranial pressure, blood flow and arterial wall shear stress) and typical measurements related to these systems

Skills and abilities: 
Independently and with methodological accuracy apply classical mechanics principles to solve fluid flow problems in the field of medicine.
Independently perform laboratory measurements of flows and pressures related to physiological systems, and to critically compare the results to theoretical predictions 
Independently apply and interpret numerical fluid dynamic simulations based on imaging, flow and pressure data acquired in vivo (from data collection to post-processing analysis)

Judgement and approach: 
Critically reflect on and discuss the role of biofluid mechanics in health care and medical research
Critically evaluate and discuss the possibilities and limitations of analytical and numerical applications for describing the biofluid mechanics of the human body

Required Knowledge

At least 90 ECTS credits including Classical Mechanics (9 credits) and Mathematics of Physical Models (10.5 credits) or equivalent. Proficiency in English and Swedish to meet the general entry requirements for higher studies in Sweden.

Form of instruction

The instruction is in the form lectures, supervised laboratory work, seminars and demonstrations. Attendance is mandatory for the laboratory work.

Examination modes

Module 1: Theoretical work, 5 credits.
This part is tested through a written examination. Mini-tests are conducted on six occasions and can provide bonus points for the written exam (up to 10% of the exam's maximum score). The grading scale consists of Fail (U), Pass (G), or Pass with Distinction (VG). 50% of the exam's maximum score is required for a passing grade (G), and 80% is required to Pass with Distinction (VG).

Module 2: Laboration, 2.5 credits.
This part is examined through written laboratory reports. The grading scale consists of Fail (U) or Pass (G).

On the course as a whole, the potential grades are Fail (U), Pass (G), or Pass with distinction (VG). The grade is based on the grade received for module 1 and will not be given until all obligatory modules have been approved.

Students who do not pass the regular examination, renewed examination in accordance with the Umeå University Regulations for tests and examinations at the undergraduate and graduate level (FS 1.1.2-553-14) could be arranged. The first re-test is offered no later than two months after the first examination. When the ordinary examination takes place in May or June, a first retesting opportunity is given within three months after the first examination. In addition, at least another re-test within one year of regular examination is offered. Students who receive a passing grade on an examination may not retake the examination.

A student who has taken two examinations in a course or part of a course without passing, has the right to have another examiner appointed, unless there are specific reasons against it (6 ch. 22, § HF). Requests for new examiners should be addressed to the Head of the Department of Radiation Sciences.

Changes can be made to the syllabus' examination form for students that have been granted pedagogical support due to disability.
Adaptions to the examination form shall be considered based on the individual needs of the student. Any adjustments made must accommodate the expected learning outcomes. At the request of the student, the course coordinator, in consultation with the examiner, should promptly decide on the matter and notify the student about the decision.

Other regulations

In the event that the course is cancelled or major changes are introduced, the students are assured at least three occasions of examination (including regular examination), as prescribed in the syllabus to the course that the student originally registered in, over a period of a maximum of two years from the previous syllabus expiration date.


Valid from: 2021 week 8

Rubenstein David A.
Biofluid mechanics : an introduction to fluid mechanics, macrocirculation, and microcirculation / David A. Rubenstein, Wei Yin, and Mary D. Frame, The Department of Biomedical Engineering, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA [Elektronisk resurs]
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ISBN: 9780128009444
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