Measurements and Sensors in Biomedicine

Subject description

Planning and performing of experiments and measurements in medicine and biotechnology. Basic concepts: sources of biomedical signals, types of signals, noise characteristics of the measuring system. Physical and physiological quantities that are measured in medicine and related units. Interesting ways of signals acquisition in nature.

The basic physical principles of sensors: resistive, inductive, capacitive, piezoelectric, chemical, optical, ….

Measurement of pressure (direct and indirect measurements, the use of catheters).

Measurement of blood flow and respiration (electromagnetic, ultrasound, Doppler, plethysmography, indicator dilution techniques and other methods).

Measuring of movement, speed, acceleration, force and torque.

Measurement of temperature, humidity and heat flow (contact and non-contact measurements, infrared meters).

The measurement of bioelectric potentials (electrocardiography, electroencephalography, electromyography), bioimpedance, electrodes.

Laboratory and clinical biochemical measuring methods (pH, pO2, blood gas analysis), biosensors.

Sources of light and light sensors, sensors based on optical fibres, optical measuring methods (pulse oximetry, laser-Doppler method, near-infrared spectroscopy, etc.).

The subject is taught in programs

Objectives and competences

Overview of physical and physiological variables that are most commonly measured in clinical and medical research environment with a strong focus on the specific purposes of their measurement. Understanding of the physical principles, methods of measurement as well as sensors for measuring these quantities in medical diagnostic and research.

Acquisition of knowledge and practical experience of qualitative and safe capture of the most common bioelectrical signals that can be captured on the surface of the body (ECG, EMG and EEG) and various types of nonelectric biological signals (eg. optical measurement methods). Basic knowledge of the concepts for  measuring chemical parameters and biosensors. Practical experience with measuring methods in the laboratory. Knowledge of the advantages and limitations of the existing measuring methods with the aim of selecting the most appropriate method for a specifical use.

Teaching and learning methods

At the lectures, students learn the theoretical basis and the physical background of the existing measuring methods and sensors along with the purposes and application examples. Familiarization with the procedures for the proper planning, implementation and evaluation of the measuring experiments.

At laboratory work, students use sensors that are based on different physical principles, they calibrate them in the selected measurement regions and incorporate them in a simple measurement systems. Gain hands-on experience with the implementation of some selected non-invasive methods of measurement of physiological variables and the use of biochemical measurement methods. Students attend one or more excursions to medical institutions, where practical demonstrations of the use of biomedical measurement instrumentation are held.

Expected study results

After successful completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • describe various measurement methods and sensors in medicine and biotechnology
  • describe some of the more important and often used measurement methods and procedures and explain their advantages and limitations
  • explain the physical background of the measurement methods
  • plan and perform biomedical measurements in other areas
  • to critically defend the obtained measurement results.

Basic sources and literature

  1. Wang P, Liu Q. Biomedical Sensors and measurement. Zhejiang University Press, Springer, 201
  2. Togawa T, Tamura T, Ake Oberg P. Biomedical Transducers and Instruments. CRC Press, 2011.
  3. Khandpur RS. Biomedical Instrumentation: Technology and Applications. McGraw-Hill, 2004.
  4. Bronzino JD (editor). The Biomedical Engineering Handbook (3rd edition). CRC Press, 2006.
  5. Barth FG, Humphrey JAC, Secomb TW. Sensors and sensing in biology and enginnering. Springer, 2003.

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