BIOMENG 7115 - Biomedical Instrumentation

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2024

In this course, you will learn key measurement principles of sensors found in health technologies, ranging from medical devices used in hospitals to wearables for fitness monitoring. You will learn how to build bio-potential amplifiers and record and interpret your own bioelectrical data (e.g. heart activity, muscle activity). You will gain insight into the working principles underlying the instrumentation for measuring respiratory and cardiovascular function such as blood pressure, blood flow as well as biochemical sensors and neuro-stimulators.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code BIOMENG 7115
    Course Biomedical Instrumentation
    Coordinating Unit Biomedical Engineering
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge Undergraduate course in electronic engineering.
    Assessment Final exam, mid-Semester quiz, regular tutorials
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Mathias Baumert

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1 Describe the origin of biopotentials and explain the role of biopotential electrodes;
    2 Design and operate biopotential amplifiers;
    3 Inspect common biomedical signals and distinguish characteristic features;
    4 Identify common signal artifacts, their sources and formulate strategies for their suppression;
    5 Outline the design of cardiac pacemakers, neurostimulators and defibrillators;
    6 Explain and contrast measurement principles for blood flow, pressue and volume as well as respiratory variables
    7 Define and discuss biochemical sensors; and
    8 Identify, explain and judge patient safety issues related to biomedical instrumentation.

    The above course learning outcomes are aligned with the Engineers Australia Entry to Practice Competency Standard for the Professional Engineer. The course develops the following EA Elements of Competency to levels of introductory (A), intermediate (B), advanced (C):  

    C C C A B A B C A A B B B B B B
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.

    2, 8

    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    A set of course notes, practice problems and other supporting materials will be available for downloading from the course web site.
    Recommended Resources
    Supporting texts:
    1. Webster, Medical Instrumentation Application and Design, Wiley, 4th edition, 2009
    2. Schreiner, Bronzino, Peterson, Medical Instruments and Devices: Principles and Practices, CRC Press, 1st Edition, 2015
    Online Learning
    This course uses MyUni exclusively for providing electronic resources, such as lecture notes, assignment papers, sample solutions, discussion boards. It is strongly recommended that the students make intensive use of these resources for this course.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course relies on lectures as the primary delivery mechanism for the material. Tutorials supplement the lectures by providing exercises and examples to enhance the understanding obtained through lectures. Practical work is used to provide hands-on experience for students to reinforce the theoretical concepts encountered in lectures. Continuous assessment activities provide the formative assessment opportunities for students to gauge their progress and understanding.


    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary

    Part 1: Bioelectric signals
    • origin of biopotentials
    • biopotential electrode designs
    • biopotential amplifier circuits
    • signal characteristics: electrocardiogram, electroencephalogram, electromyogram, electrooculogram
    • lead systems, artifacts
    Part 2: Blood pressure, flow and volume
    • direct pressure measurement, dynamics properties, system response, waveform distortions
    • indirect pressure measurement (oscillatory method, tonometry, volume clamp method)
    • indicator dilation methods, electromagnetic flow meters, ultrasonic flow meters
    • plethysmographic methods
    Part 3: Respiration
    • model of the respiratory system
    • gas concentration
    • lung volume
    • measurement of gas flow
    Part 4: Implantable devices
    • cardiac pacemakers
    • implantable cardioverter-defibrillators
    • neurostimulators
    Topic 5: Biochemical sensors
    • blood-gas and acid-base physiology
    • electrochemical sensors
    • blood gas monitoring
    The tutorials will foster active learning and provide in-depth coverage of selected topics. (Details to be announced.)

    Practical sessions will provide the students with the opportunity to conduct and interpret measurements of biomedical signals. (Details to be announced)
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Weighting (%) Individual/ Group Formative/ Summative
    Due (week)*
    Learning outcomes
    Tests 25 Individual Summative Weeks 6,10 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
    Workshops 5 Individual Formative Weeks 1-13 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
    Practicals 15 Group Formative Weeks 5, 7, 9 2. 3. 4.
    Tutorials 10 Individual Formative Odd weeks 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
    Essay 5 Individual Formative Week 13 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
    Final Test 40 Individual Summative End of Semester 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
    Total 100
    * The specific due date for each assessment task will be available on MyUni.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    The examination is a hurdle requirement. It is necessary to achieve at least 40% in the exam. If this is not achieved, the total course mark will be limited to a maximum of 49.

    A hurdle requirement is defined by the University's Assessment for Coursework Programs policy as " assessment task mandating a minimum level of performance as a condition of passing the course.

    If a student fails to meet a hurdle requirement (normally no less than 40%),and is assigned a total mark for the course in the range of 45-49, then the student is entitled to an offer of additional assessment of some type. The type of assessment is to be decided by the School Assessment Review Committee when determining final results. The student’s final total mark will be entered at no more than 49% and the offer of an additional assessment will be specified eg. US01. Once the additional assessment has been completed, this mark will be included in the calculation of the total mark for the course and the better of the two results will apply. Note however that the maximum final result for a course in which a student has sat an additional assessment will be a “50 Pass”.

    If a student is unable to meet a hurdle requirement related to an assessment piece (may be throughout semester or at semester’s end) due to medical or compassionate circumstances beyond their control, then the student is entitled to an offer of replacement assessment of some type. An interim result of RP will be entered for the student, and the student will be notified of the offer of a replacement assessment. Once the replacement assessment has been completed, the result of that assessment will be included in the calculation of the total mark for the course.
    Assessment Detail
    Students are required to bring written attempts to selected problems for assessment at the fortnightly tutorial sessions. These formative assessments are based on the quality of attempts. The tutorials are worth 10% to the overall assessment.

    There are two 45-minute closed book tests in the course. The tests will require students to submit short written responses to a set of questions under examination conditions. Each test will be worth 10% to the overall assessment.

    The details of the practical sessions will be announced during the semester. The combined total of in-lab progress marks and the practical report are worth 10% of the final assessment.

    The exam will be a closed book examination. It will be worth 60% of the overall assessment.
    All submissions to in term assessment activities are to be submitted electronically on MyUni by the specified time and date. No late submissions will be accepted. All in term assessments will have a two week turn-around time for provision of feedback to students.

    Full details can be found on the School website:
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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