Advanced Physiological Monitoring and Data Analysis (UG)

Module aims

 The course will be an advanced level course that will focus on three core aspects of biological and clinical measurement.The measurement topics will principally be supported using selected papers from the recent literature that illustrate the benefits of using time domain data to understand physiological and pathological processes. 

  • Data handling and fitness for purpose (Statistics of measurement)
  • Chemical measurement in cells and in vivo: Sensors and Biosensors + detection methods
    • a. Electrochemical sensors
    • b. Bioassays
  • Challanges of chemical monitoring of human tissue (Blood, urine, sweat)
  • Apporaches to invasive monitoring of tissue (Microdialysis, implated sensors and Biosensors)

Learning outcomes

Learning Outcomes - Knowledge and Understanding

  • Understand the concepts of fitness for purpose, calibration and reliability of measurement as applied to physiological monitoring.
  • Be able to apply the principles of bioanalytical science to the analysis of cells, isolated tissue and in vivo measurement
  • Have an appreciation of the importance of temporally resolved data in the understanding of complex physiological systems
  • Be able to understand, and review critically research papers in the area of physiological monitoring and bioanalysis

Learning Outcomes - Intellectual Skills

  • Assess whether measurement methods used in a study are fit for purpose.
  • To explain features of experimental data using knowledge and understanding obtained during the course.
  • To assess whether conclusions are justified by measured data.
  • To be able to read scientific papers critically.

Learning Outcomes - Practical Skills

  • Calculation of measurement statistics 2 Practice in reading research papers efficiently and critically.

Learning Outcomes - Transferable Skills

  • Rapid overview reading of research papers

Module syllabus

Introduction Lecture (MGB, 1 Lecture)

Data handling and fitness for purpose(DOH, 5 Lectures) Normality of experimental data, types of error, error propagation, precision and accuracy significance testing.  parametric, non-parametric, rejection of outlier data, limit of detection, calibration, fitness of purpose of a bioanalytical method Supported by problem classes

Physiological monitoring - molecular detection methods

IElectrochemical sensors (DOH, 8 Lectures)

Electroanalysis, potentiometric methods, amperometric methods, microelectrodes and nanoscale surfaces, surface coatings, biosensors fast cyclic volammetry, excocytosis, in vivo voltammetry.

Measurement in tissue - problem(MGB, 3 Lecture) Indirect measurement of tissue - blood, urine, sweat. Advantages and challanges if indirect measurement. Invasive tissue monitoring - the extracellular space - structure, diffusion, factors effecting extracelular concentration, delivery and removal fluxes

Journal Reviews  - tissue measurement (MGB - 2 slot)

Measurement in tissue - methods(MGB, 6 Lectures) Tissue sampling with Microdialysis: Microdialysis general principles, factors effecting recovery in vitro and in vivo, zero net flux methods, typical microdialysis protocol, tissue damage, rapid sampling, multimodal monitoring of tissue, need for smaller dialysis probes. Microfluidics.

Direct tissue measurement with in vivo electrodes - fast cyclic voltammetry, biosensors. Comparison bewteen implanted electrochemical sensors, and sampling methods

Journal Review - In vivo measurement (MGB - 2 slot)


None Simple algebra / calculus only for the statistics of measurement part.

Teaching methods

Students will be taught over one term using a combination of lectures, journal clubs and study groups. Lecture sessions will be made available on Panopto for review and supplemented with technologies as apprpriate to promote active engagement during the lecture such as 'learning catalytics'. Journal clubs will involve presentation and discussion of academic papers. Study groups will be based on taught content from lectures to reinforce these topics and allow students to test their understanding. 

Lectures: 15 hours



Written exam: The course will be assessed 100% by exam taken in May/June examination period; 100% weighting

Rubrics: Exam in May and 2.5 h long; Students choose 4 from 4 questions; two sections. A Dr O'Hare, B Prof Boutelle
No type of previous exam answers or solutions will be available

Feedback : Feedback to data handling problems given in catch-up session Feedback to Journal clubs given during each session

Reading list

Module leaders

Professor Martyn Boutelle