Teaching plan for the course unit



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General information


Course unit name: Biomedical Instruments and Equipment

Course unit code: 364595

Academic year: 2021-2022

Coordinator: Jordi Colomer Farrarons

Department: Department of Electronic and Biomedical Engineering

Credits: 3

Single program: S



Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 75


Face-to-face and/or online activities



-  Lecture

Face-to-face and online




-  Lecture with practical component

Face-to-face and online




-  Laboratory session

Face-to-face and online



Independent learning




Competences to be gained during study



To use IT tools to search for reference resources or information related to medical technologies and bioengineering (Personal).


To be able to work independently (Personal).


To gain knowledge of basic and technological subjects required to learn new methods and technologies and ensure versatility and the ability to adapt to new situations (Personal).


To be able to take further studies and to develop a positive attitude in order to keep knowledge up-to-date in a process of lifelong learning. To have sufficient depth of knowledge to start postgraduate studies in the field of advanced biomedical engineering.


- Ability to understand the bsic modular structure of an electronic equipment.

- Ability to understand datasheets from comercial products.

- Ability to create prototypes using hardware and software elements.



Learning objectives


Referring to knowledge

Electronic equipment is a key factor in modern medicine and the term “Medical Electronics” is growing in popularity and becoming an interesting area in Biomedical Engineering. Nowadays, medical electronics and medical systems cover a wide range of applications, including medical diagnosis and therapy devices, research equipment and bioanalytical investigation modules. To enable students to understand medical electronic equipment, the course presents its important aspects from a system point of view and in greater detail.

During the course, students are introduced to EEG, ECG and other devices, as well as instruments like the oximeter. In addition, the theoretical aspects of the course are supported by a laboratory project involving hardware and software development to design a complete medical system.


Referring to abilities, skills

The course teaches the schematic and system-level identification of medical instruments. Students understand the considerations for medical instrument design. Students gain knowledge to understand the equipment designed for physiological systems, cardiovascular or respiratory systems and for use in surgery. Students increase their hands-on skills in circuit design, electronic circuit implementation and testing, and laboratory skills. The course teaches basic guidelines for medical product implementation in terms of reliability, safety design, regulations and standards, and other product-related issues. The course increases students’ background in visual programming environments, basically LabVIEW and other hardware tools like DAQ acquisition systems, Arduino or STM32-NUCLEO processors or for fast prototyping.

This is mainly a practical course where students create their own instruments from the very initial idea until a final preliminary prototype. During the process, students find the idea, plan their time, define the specifications, buy components (mainly electronic components), simulate (if necessary), join all parts and test the instrument to validate it. There is also the possibility to use 3D impression to create the appropriate package for their instrument. Finally, they report a technical datasheet, commercial documentation and an advertising video of their product.



Teaching blocks


1. Introduction to biosignal measurements, biomedical instruments, equipment and systems

2. (Bio)electrodes-based instruments: overview

3. ECG device

4. Blood glucose measurement

5. Light-based instruments: pulse oximeter

6. Insights in magnetic resonance equipment

7. Electronic substrate: printed circuit board (PCB) concepts

8. Patient and electrical safety in biomedical instruments



Teaching methods and general organization


The course is based on practical sessions and theoretical capsules to develop the skills described in the objectives. 

In lectures, basic concepts are introduced, and active learning is promoted through discussions, debates, and exercises. Although the theoretical syllabus of the course is clearly defined, it can be adapted depending on how it develops. Through video capsules, the theory is taught by establishing a mixed learning process with flipped-classroom concepts, face-to-face classes, and laboratory experimentation. (Only initial lectures are taught in regular classes; all other sessions will be carried out in the laboratory. Part of the theoretical content is developed during the execution of the practical laboratory.)

 Students carry out a practical activity (called LAB Project) to develop a small application. 

This practical activity is carried out in groups of two and consists of: A) Main Activity (Compulsory) -> develop a Front-End instrument such as an ECG, EMG, Pulse Oximeter ... from some basic indications. B) Secondary Activity (Optional) -> develop a small application based on the instrument chosen by the group.

A fully equipped laboratory will be available to carry out the practical activity. In addition, a set of components is assigned individually to each student... This kit consists of a set of electronic components such as resistors, amplifiers, breadboard, wires ... and individual acquisition and measurement equipment such as an Analog Discovery 2 and/or a myDAQ.

Despite the health situation arising from the pandemic caused by COVID-19, the coordination of the subject and the teaching staff and university authorities will actively work to maintain teaching and interaction with students in the most effective way circumstances allow. In this sense, the different resources of the university are used to facilitate learning and meet the course’s objectives. At all times, the main tool for teacher-student communication will be the Virtual Campus of the subject.

If necessary and depending on the number of students enrolled, the capacity of the classroom, and whether it has transmission systems (streaming), the teaching activities and methodologies will be adapted to the needs, combining face-to-face and online classes/activities in percentages that will be detailed as required by the circumstances.



Official assessment of learning outcomes


Continuous assessment

— Part 1: homework, class activities and discussions (30%);

— Part 2: project to be delivered at the end of the course (LAB Project) (70%).

Repeat assessment

— The mark for the LAB Project is kept (50%)

— There is a short multiple-choice test (50%)

A minimum mark of 5 out of 10 must be obtained in each part to pass the subject. A minimum average mark of 5 is required to pass the subject. That is, a student will pass with scores of 5 and 6, but NOT with scores of 4 and 7.

Attendance to 80% of the sessions (face-to-face or online) is mandatory. Otherwise, students will not be eligible to pass the curse.


Examination-based assessment

Single assessment procedure follows the same structure as the continuous assessment.