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Bioinstrumentation Instruction Through Hybrid Wet/Circuit Laboratory Activities

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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

Design in the BME Curriculum and ABET Assessment

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Page Count


Page Numbers

11.275.1 - 11.275.11



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Paper Authors

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Jason Bazil Purdue University

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Aaron Kyle Purdue University

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Suneera Bhatia Purdue University

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Brain Moerdyk Purdue University

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Thomas Talavage Purdue University

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Andrew Brightman Purdue University

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Allison Sieving Purdue University

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George Graber Purdue University

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Ann Rundell Purdue University

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

Bioinstrumentation Instruction through Hybrid Wet/Circuit Laboratory Activities Abstract Biomedical Engineering undergraduate programs traditionally consist of a linear circuits course preceding a Bioinstrumentation course. Recently, many undergraduate programs have replaced this sequence with only a measurement principles course that does not require a background in circuit theory. Unfortunately, this consolidation leaves a deficit in the students’ understanding of basic electrical principles. To address these issues, the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University has developed a unique, one semester, two credit junior-level course covering bioinstrumentation, bioelectricity, and measurement principles while only requiring previous courses in differential equations and basic physics. The class consists of a weekly three hour laboratory supplemented by a 50 minute lecture. The lecture portion of this course briefly presents the underlying circuit and theoretical concepts underpinning the laboratory procedure. It is anticipated that the inquiry-based and hands-on laboratory exercises in conjunction with extensive pre- and post-lab assignments teach complex bioinstrumentation, bioelectricity and measurement concepts. Basic circuit design and analysis are incorporated into 13 hybrid wet/circuit labs, ensuring that all circuit and signal topics are explored within the context of a biomedical phenomenon such as axonal membrane models, impedance pneumography, the basilar membrane of the cochlea, and the electrocardiogram. These weekly laboratories and pre- and post-lab exercises help to develop problem solving skills, critical analysis, independent study and life long learning skills. The laboratory component culminates in a two-week design project to solve a bioinstrumentation problem. Students employ a structured design process in problem formulation, brainstorming, research, design evaluation, and implementation. After the initial offering of this course, students learned basic circuit theory and fundamental measurement principles. These laboratory exercises develop the students' understanding of bioelectric phenomena and bioinstrumentation, and their ability to accurately measure physiological events.

1 Introduction Many Biomedical Engineering (BME) programs have implemented a bioinstrumentation course requiring prior linear circuit theory instruction. Such programs often evolved from Electrical Engineering (EE) classes that had been re-configured for BME. This provided the students with a basic understanding of EE concepts, enabling the students to apply circuit concepts to bioinstrumentation. Conversely, some BME departments cover bioinstrumentation through a measurements principles course, neglecting the underlying circuit principles. This approach teaches students how to use measurement devices, but misses an opportunity to expose students to the operating principles of these measurement devices and engineering analysis techniques such as system modeling and time and frequency domain analysis.

To incorporate EE principles into a BME curriculum, the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering has developed a novel, one semester bioinstrumentation laboratory course. The prerequisites for this course are differential equations and basic engineering physics courses. A weekly 50 minute lecture introduces students to relevant circuit and engineering principles while the students apply the concepts and explore their relation to biological systems and physiological measurements during the accompanying 3 hour laboratory. Rather than have students

Bazil, J., & Kyle, A., & Bhatia, S., & Moerdyk, B., & Talavage, T., & Brightman, A., & Sieving, A., & Graber, G., & Rundell, A. (2006, June), Bioinstrumentation Instruction Through Hybrid Wet/Circuit Laboratory Activities Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--887

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