EEEN30180 Bioinstrumentation

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module covers the fundamental principles of measurement and instrumentation as applied in biomedical device design. The vast majority of medical devices that serve diverse diagnostic and therapeutic functions are based on a single core design framework, involving a) transduction of key physiological variables into electrical signals, b) conditioning of those signals, and c) forging output variables that readily guide medical decisions. The goal of this module is to provide the theoretical and practical foundations that will enable students to tackle bioinstrumentation design problems within this framework.

There is no required text for the module, but the following are recommended for supplemental reading:
Medical Instrumentation: Application and Design. 5th Edition. J. G. Webster. Wiley. [This is the bioinstrumentation bible.]
Biomedical Sensors and Instruments. 2nd Edition. Tatsuo Tagawa, Toshiyo Tamura, P. Ake Oberg. CRC Press.
Principles of Applied Biomedical Instrumentation. L.A. Geddes & L.E. Baker. Wiley.
Introduction to Biomedical Engineering. Enderle, Blanchard & Bronzino. Elsevier.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:
- apply the principles of electrical circuit theory and analyses to the use and design of instrumentation in the biomedical area;
- explain the operating principles of biomedical transducers for themeasurement of biopotentials (ECG, EMG, EEG, EOG) and other critical physiological variables such as blood pressure, flow, and temperature;
- design and build analog signal conditioning circuits that provide reliable biopotential measurements, e.g. ECG;
- explain the physical principles underlying the function of biopotential electrodes;
- demonstrate knowledge of electrical safety considerations in the medicalenvironment;
- demonstrate programming skills through the use of MATLAB or Python for back-end data acquisition and elementary digital signal processing.

Indicative Module Content:

Below is a rough list of topics covered when the class was delivered in Spring 2021:
* Intro/outline
* Sensor static characteristics
* Sensor calibration
* Revision of electrical engineering (up to opamps and phasors)
* Passive conditioning circuits (RC filters, Bode plots)
* Active conditioning circuits (active (opamp) filters)
* Bioelectricity (membrane potentials, equilibrium (Nernst), voltage gated channels, action potentials, myelin, volume conduction)
* Electrophysiology (examples of EEG, ECG, EMG, EOG,...)
* Electodes (oxidation/reduction, electrolytes, electrode electrical models)
* Advanced conditioning circuits (noise, interference, shielding, active shielding, driven right leg active ground)
* Overview of sensing/transduction (strain gauges, LVDTs, piezocrystals, MEMS accelerometers and gyroscopes, optical sensors)
* Bridges (no bridge; 1/4, 1/2, full bridge)
* Electrical safety
* Revision

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
- Flipped classroom: We are using a flipped classroom approach; instead of coming to lectures, you will watch approximately 3 hours of video content each week to prepare for the following week's tutorials. It will take some discipline to keep up with the video content, but doing so will help you get the most from tutorials.
- Pre-recorded video: Pre-recorded topic-focused videos and PDF copies of the handwritten notes from the videos will be available on Brightspace; videos are hosted on YouTube, linked to from Brightspace.
- Tutorials: Tutorial sessions will be delivered in person, on campus, in which students will work collaboratively on tutorial questions. There is no hybrid option for tutorials; they are in-person only. Solutions are not posted online. (1x 100 min tutorial per week.)
- Laboratories: Laboratories will be performed in pairs, in-person, on campus. The module coordinator and demonstrators are on hand to assist during labs.
- Office hours: The module coordinator will be available at announced office hours time slots, in-person, for individual or small group meetings to answer questions. Meetings outside of office hours can be arranged, depending on module coordinator's availability.
- Email: You can contact the module coordinator with questions, but response times may vary depending depending on their workload at the time. Every effort is made to reply within one day. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

A basic prior knowledge of electric circuit theory and probability theory are important. Prior background in signal processing is also useful.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
MEEN30040 - Measurement & Instrumentation

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Examination: Midterm Exam Varies over the Trimester Yes Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Class Test: Online Brightspace quizzes in tutorials (10 x 1%). Open book. Throughout the Trimester n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Lab Report: Labs Throughout the Trimester n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Examination: Final 2 hour End of Trimester Exam Yes Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Labs: Students can seek feedback when preparing laboratory reports from the demonstrators (during the lab session) or the module coordinator. Written post-assessment feedback if lab reports will be given on Brightspace when the lab mark is released; the extent of this feedback depends on the number of deficiencies found in the lab report. Midterm exam: During course revision, general feedback will be given on where most common errors occured in the midterm exam. Tutorials: Feedback given by way of answering individual student questions and presenting worked solutions. Office hours: Feedback available by request at office hours or scheduled meetings with the module coordinator.

Medical Instrumentation: Application and Design, 5th Edition. John G. Webster (Editor), Amit J. Nimunkar (Editor). Wiley. ISBN: 978-1-119-45733-6
(This book is on its 5th edition, but is very similar to several of the previous editions, so they may suffice. It's not a mandatory text, but it would be good to have a copy of this if studying biomedical engineering).
Name Role
Dr Emer Doheny Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Stephen Redmond Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Tutorial Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Wed 13:00 - 14:50
Practical Offering 1 Week(s) - 24, 26, 30, 32 Tues 15:00 - 17:50
Practical Offering 2 Week(s) - 23, 25, 29, 31 Tues 15:00 - 17:50