Higher education teachers: Gajšek Peter

Higher education teachers: , Kotnik Tadej
Collaborators: Kos Bor
Credits: 6
Semester: winter
Subject code: 64281

Subject description


A prerequisite for attending the course is the enrollment into the 2nd year of the 2nd cycle university study programme Electrical Engineering – Biomedical Engineering

Content (Syllabus outline):

  • Electromagnetic spectrum and an overview of biological effects: non-ionizing radiation and physics of their interactions, non-thermal effects, thermal effects; ionizing radiation and its biological effects
  • Sources of electromagnetic fields (EMF): static magnetic field, low-frequency EMF (0-100 kHz), high-frequency EMF and radiation (100 kHz-300 GHz).
  • Measurements and dosimetry: an overview of measuring methods and standards, experimental dosimetry, nume­rical dosimetry, microdosimetry.
  • Biological matter in EMF: static electric and magnetic fields, low-frequency fields (dissociation and solutions, electric conductvity, electrolysis and polarization, electrical properties of cells and tissues), high-frequency fields and radiation (frequency dependence of electrical properties of cells and tissues, near and far field, penetration depth, energy absorption, heating).
  • Interaction mechanisms: electric properties of cells and tissues, interactions with weak fields (microelectrophoresis, resonance models), interactions with strong fields (forces on charged particles, interactions with excitable cells and tissues, thermal effects, membrane electroporation).
  • Overview of experimental and epidemiological studies: research in vitro, research on plants and animals in vivo, epidemiological studies, current state of research and scientific position.
  • Health risk assessment, prevention and development strategies: analysis of risks due to EMF, control of experimental conditions, reproducibility of experimental fields, precautionary principle, protection from EMF.
  • Use of electric currents and EMF in medicine: pacemakers and defibrillators, functional and analgesic electrical stimulation, electroporation, electrosurgery, electrothermy.
  • Standards and expousre limits: fundamentals, international recommendations, regulations.

Objectives and competences:

To describe the scientifically recognized interaction mechanisms of EMF with biological system, to present the sources of EMF, their measurements and dosimetry, the most important experimental and epidemiological studies, and scientifically based exposure limits.

Intended learning outcomes:

Knowledge and understanding: Combination of theoretical assessment of scientifically recognized interaction mechanisms, lab and outdoor measurements, and numerical dosimetry of EMF will offer the students both broad and thorough understanding of EMF interactions with living organisms.

Application: Understanding the scientifically recognized interaction mechanisms, ability to use modern devices and methods in both experimental and numerical dosimetry, familiarity with health risks, standards and exposure limits.

Reflection: The student will acquire the ability to assess critically the existence (or lack) of scientific basis for claims and proposed hypotheses on effects of EMF, as well as to plan and perform dosimetric measurements and/or computations.

Transferrable skills: Numerical modeling of physical quantities using the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) and finite-element (FE) methods. Critical assessment of results of own, as well as other authors’ work and conclusions.

Learning and teaching methods:

Lectures, laboratory work for acquisition of individual practical experience with methods and devices for experimental and numerical dosimetry and modeling, for measurements of electrical properties of biological tissues, individual seminars for improved familiarity with epidemiological studies and their critical scientific assessment.

Study materials

  1. C. Furse, D. A. Christensen, C. H. Durney. Basic Introduction to Bioelectromagnetics,
  2. 2nd ed. CRC Press, 2009.
  3. D. Miklavčič, P. Gajšek. Vpliv neionizirnih elektromagnetnih sevanj na biološke sisteme. Založba FE in FRI, 1999.
  4. Bonner P, et al. Establishing a dialogue on risks from electromagnetic fields. WHO, 2002.
  5. Adair RK. Biophysical limits on athermal effects of RF and microwave radiation. Bioelectromagnetics 24: 39-48, 2003.
  6. Gajšek P (ur.). Abstract book of the International conference on electromagnetic fields: From bioeffects to legislation, INIS, Ljubljana, 2004.

Study in which the course is carried out

  • 2 year - 2nd cycle - Electrical Engineering - Biomedical Engineering