ENGR/CSEE/ELEE/MCHE 4790: Applied Biomedical Instrumentation


This course Web page is not actively maintained. Up-to-date information can be found on the eLC course page.


Lab-based design and realization of electronic devices with a biomedical emphasis. Multidisciplinary teams select a biomedical application as semester project and plan, design, then build a prototype that typically combines elements of sensors, controls, and mechatronics with embedded software. A lecture component complements this problem-based learning course.
Prerequisites: ENGR 2170 (Electric Circuits)
In addition, major-specific prerequisites are:

Class schedule Spring 2020:
Lecture: Monday 11:40 -- 12:55 (double period)
Lab: Friday 11:40 -- 12:55 (double period)
Driftmier, Room 1275 (formerly 314).



So you have had Circuits and Linear Systems. You have had Sensors & Transducers and Feedback Controls. Perhaps you also had Electronics I/II or Mechatronics. But... how do you actually build a device?

This will be the focus of this lab-based course on Instrumentation. This course is open to BSBE, BSCSE, BSEE, and MCHE, and your expertise will be combined to realize in practice a device with biomedical focus, for example, a blood pressure cuff, a ECG monitor, or a pulse oxymeter. Teams will be composed of students from the different disciplines, and each team can select their own project (approval required). The two-hour lecture covers practical aspects of electronic device development, and during the lab session, you receive assistence in building the prototype device.

By the end of this course, you will have:


This table is tenatative and will be updated as we go.
Block Topic
1 Overview: From
design goals to prototype
2 Measuring biomedical signals
3 Analog components
4 Digital components
5 ADC and DAC
6 Microcontrollers
7 Interfacing microcontrollers
with analog and digital systems
8 Interfacing microcontrollers
with sensors and actuators
9 Prototype Realization:
Breadboards and circuits boards
10 Prototype Realization:
Mechanics and electromechanics
11 Troubleshooting
12 Electrical hazards and
electrical safety
13 Reducing EMI sensitivity and noise
14-15 Presentation of student projects


Photocopies of selected sections from several books will be provided.

Suggested reading:


Labs take place in Driftmier 1275.


The grade will be based about equally on the homeworks, the midterm exam, the final exam, and the semester project. You will receive score points based on the fill-the-bucket principle, i.e. for each homework assignment and for each test, you accrue score points. Your final grade will be determined from the score you achieved relative to the maximum score achievable.

We use a fixed grading system. There will be no adjustment based on the overall class performance. To get a passing grade, you will have to achieve an overall score of at least 45%. The following table shows the percentage of your score you need to reach for a specific grade:

GradeMinimum percentage GradeMinimum percentage GradeMinimum percentage
A95% A-90%   
B+85% B80% B-75%
C+70% C65% C-60%
D+50% D45%   



Homework assignments

HW No. Topic Date assigned Date due Max Score
HW 1        

Semester projects

Semester project milestones

HW No. Milestone Date assigned Date due Max Score
Step 1 Team nomination and project proposal 1-10-20 1-17-20 ?