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A Biomedical Engineering Startup Kit For Labview

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

BME Laboratories and Skills-Based Projects

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

13.7.1 - 13.7.10



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Paper Authors

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Shekhar Sharad National Instruments

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract



Biomedical Engineering is one of the fastest evolving fields in engineering today. LabVIEW, a graphical programming tool from National Instruments has been used across multiple classes to teach Bioinstrumentation, circuit design, biological signal processing and image processing concepts in biomedical engineering. However, with the increase in number of functions in LabVlEW, it is difficult for a novice biomedical engineering student to find the functions that most apply to their course and hence a better organization is needed to help teach and understand concepts. In this paper, we will explore a new Startup kit that has been developed to address this concern. We will explore the current environment and the areas that can be improved upon and present the free biomedical startup kit and discuss the pros and cons of this approach


Biomedical Engineering education has evolved significantly in the recent years to encompass advanced areas from the life sciences, as well as electrical and mechanical engineering such as advanced signal and image processing, data acquisition and instrumentation. With the inclusion of such areas in the curriculum comes the challenge of being able to teach biomedical engineering concepts with the help of intuitive, powerful tools that do not require a steep learning curve from the students. National Instruments LabVIEW[1], a graphical programming language, has been used by biomedical engineers for a variety of tasks from data acquisition to instrumentation [2,3,4,5]. Additionally, LabVIEW has evolved to offer educators powerful extensions for signal processing, image processing and control[6,7]. However, since LabVIEW is also a general purpose programming language, the functions and palettes are not necessarily organized in a “biomedical-friendly” way. As a result, students and educators have to navigate the sophisticated menus to get to the most appropriate functions for the tasks that they would like to tackle leading to confusion and a higher learning curve that diminishes the usability that a graphical programming environment provides.

In order to address this concern, we present a biomedical engineering startup kit that we developed that takes advantage of the customizability that the LabVIEW environment offers. By using this startup kit, which is available as a free download online, we add a customized “Biomedical Applications” palette to the LabVIEW environment that has been customized to address a wide variety of tasks in Biomedical engineering including, instrumentation, imaging, signal processing and data acquisition. Additionally, since this startup kit is based on LabVIEW, it can be further extended and customized and we have created supporting documents that can guide educators and students to help customized the biomedical startup kit. We have also taken advantage of some of the lesser known but powerful features in the LabVIEW environment to create pedagogy-oriented Virtual Instruments or VIs as it is commonly referred to in the

Sharad, S. (2008, June), A Biomedical Engineering Startup Kit For Labview Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4138

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