Biomedical Instrumentation

Module aims

To develop and shape the students’ ability to translate a set of bioengineering/biomedical specifications into a practical and robust  instrumentation architecture.

Learning outcomes

 Learning Outcomes - Knowledge and Understanding

  • Know and understand the operation and limitations of a library of linear and non-linear signal conditioning circuits (e.g. HWR, FWR, detectors, diff.amplifiers, instrumentation amplifiers, filters etc.)
  • Understand how individual block choices and limitations affect system-level performance.
  • Appreciate the role of noise in a practical system.

Learning Outcomes - Intellectual Skills

At the end of the course the student should:

  • Be able to analyse, dissect and solve a basic instrumentation problem by proposing a practical system-level architecture with appropriately tailored building blocks whose limitations are well-understood
  • Understand how building-block non-idealities affect system level performance. 

Learning Outcomes - Practical Skills

  • Assembly of an instrument prototype
  • Debugging of a prototype board

·         Effective use of measurement equipment.

Module syllabus

  • Non-idealities of Op-Amps
  • Filters: theory, op-amp-based active-RC filter realisation, first-order filters and their properties, second-order filters and their properties, higher-order filters and their properties.
  • Linear Circuits for instrumentation: differential amplifiers and conditions for optimal performance, instrumentation amplifiers and applications, bridge amplifiers.
  • Non-linear Circuits for instrumentation: half-wave-rectifier, full-wave-rectifier, peak-detector, voltage-level detector with independent adjustment of hysteresis & center voltage; comparators: application to ECG, AC-DC converters; log-antilog amplifiers
  • Noise: its nature and properties; basic calculations; noise of electronic components; linearity assessment of a gain stage and concept of distortion; dynamic range.


BE1-HEE1 Electrical Engineering 1 BE1-HEBP Electronic Build Project BE1-HVAW Vibrations and Waves BE2-HEE2 - Electrical Engineering II

Teaching methods

Lectures: 10 hours
Labs: 20 hours



Written exam: worth 50%, Open Book

Exam rubric: One design question. Open book exam. 75 min duration.


Item 1: Written report Title: Impedometric Respirometer Lab Report Description: lab report; Weighting: 50 %

Outline answers to past papers will be available

Feedback : Written comments on the hardcopy of submitted Lab Report (worth 50% of the mark).

Reading list

Module leaders

Professor Emm Mic Drakakis