Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Transport Processes in Biomedical Engineering

BME 46100 / 3 Cr.

This course explores engineering principles in mass and other transport processes in biological systems.  Topics covered include diffusion, convection, reaction kinetics, transport in porous and fluid mediums, etc.  Mathematical models of transport are developed and applied to biomedical problems and physiological systems such as the kidney/renal and oxygen/arterial systems.


G Truskey et al. Transport Phenomena in Biological Systems, 2nd ed., Pearson 2004


After completion of this course students should be able to:

  • Derive 1D diffusion from the principles of the random walk
  • Write a differential equation model of diffusion.
  • Derive the heat equation.
  • Apply appropriate boundary conditions to heat and mass transfer problems.
  • Apply diffusion and transport equations to biological processes.
  • Use numerical methods to solve partial differential equations related to diffusion.
  • Apply conservation principles to transport processes.
  • Model transport through a membrane.
  • Model enzyme kinetics.
  • Diffusion
    • Introduction to class
    • Conservation to mass
    • Fick's law of binary diffusion, diffusion coefficient
    • Random walk, Stokes-Einstein equation
    • Diffusion in various coordinates, boundary conditions
    • Diffusion limited ractions: protein binding on cell surfaces
  • Diffusion plus convection
    • Transport by convection
    • Dimensional analysis, Peclet number
    • Diffusion with convection, boundary layer
    • Mass transfer coefficient
    • Transport in porous media: porosity, tortuosity
    • Transport and diffusion in porous media
  • PDE solutions
    • PDE solution (1)
    • PDE solution (2)
  • Transport with biological reactions
    • Chemical kinetics and reation mechanism
    • Enzyme kinetics, Michaelis-Menten kinectics, quasi-steady state
    • Receptor ligand binding kinetics
    • Receptor mediated endocytosis
    • Oxygen-hemoglobin kinetics
    • Oxygen delivery, Krogh cylinder model
  • Heat transfer
    • Conservations law, energy balance, heat transfer
    • Conduction: stead and unsteady, examples
    • Conduction with viscous or chemical sources
    • Convection, forced and natural
  • Applications
    • Peer-reviewed papers in transport phenomena in BME
  • Class Participation (10%)
  • Homework (30%)
  • Midterm Exam (30%)
  • Final Exam (30%)
  • Homework will be assigned regularly throughout the semester.
  • There will be occasional guest lectures, with reading materials to be distributed separately.