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A Biomedical Microsystems Course For Electrical Engineers

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

ECE Poster Session

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.7.1 - 11.7.8



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Paper Authors


Erik Peterson University of Cincinnati

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ERIK T. K. PETERSON is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in electrical engineering at the University of Cincinnati. His research interests include microfluidics and MEMS for chemical and biological analyses. He was the teaching assistant for the Biomedical Microsystems course discussed in this paper.

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Ian Papautsky University of Cincinnati

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IAN PAPAUTSKY received his Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of Utah in 1999. He is currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor of in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Cincinnati. His research and teaching interests include application of MEMS and microfluidics to biology and medicine.

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

A Biomedical Microsystems Course for Electrical Engineers


Micromachining or Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technologies are considered an enabling technology having revolutionary impact on many areas of science and engineering. MEMS technologies are now being applied to health monitoring, diagnosis and therapeutic applications, which are frequently referred to as BioMEMS or Biomedical Microsystems. Biomedical Microsystems research includes biological, biomedical, biochemical, and pharmaceutical analysis and synthesis using MEMS-based microsensors and microsystems.

To expose our undergraduate seniors and first-year graduate students to the emerging area of Biomedical Microsystems, ECES607: Introduction to Biomedical Microsystems course was offered at the University of Cincinnati. The course focused on the basic principles of MEMS and microsensors, and their applications in biology and medicine. Topics covered included biochips and lab-on-a-chip devices, microfluidics, biosensors, material biocompatibility, cell and tissue engineering, and point-of-care medicine, including discussions of commercially-available systems. Following last year’s course offering, surveys were conducted to assess student’s opinions on the course content, delivery, and structure. We reported our preliminary results last year.1 Now, in this recent offering, the course has been modified to address student feedback. This paper reports on modifications to the course and draws comparisons with the last year’s student feedback and course evaluations.

The Course

The “Introduction to Biomedical Microsystems” course introduces electrical engineers to the rapidly emerging area of BioMEMS, and was described in detail previously.1 Briefly, the course was designed to be ten weeks long, three hours per week, consisting of twenty 75 min lectures. As a 600-level course it was dual-level, intended for the undergraduate seniors and first year graduate students in the Electrical Engineering program. There were no prerequisites other than senior class standing. Also, no background in MEMS or biomedical instrumentation was assumed or required.

The objective of the course was to expose students to biomedical microsystems and to teach them fundamental principles of MEMS applications in biology and medicine. Topics covered included BioMEMS fabrication, microsensors for medical applications, biochips and lab-on-a- chip (LOC) devices, microfluidics, biosensors, material biocompatibility, and cell/tissue engineering. These topics are listed in Table 1.

The course was offered in parallel with the ECES608: Fundaments of MEMS, and thus was a first exposure to MEMS for many of our students. Although topics of this course cover microsystem design and fabrication, we did attempt to provide students with brief background in

Peterson, E., & Papautsky, I. (2006, June), A Biomedical Microsystems Course For Electrical Engineers Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--316

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