June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.1397.1 - 22.1397.20
Teaching Medical Electronics to Biomedical Engineering Students: A Problem Oriented ApproachA significant number of graduates from Biomedical Engineering (BME) enter industry or enrollin graduate programs and are confronted with the challenge of developing electronic medicaldevice prototypes. These prototypes requires the integration of very diverse technical skillsincluding analog and digital electronics, microcontroller hardware and software,telecommunications, power electronics and signal processing. The course investmenttraditionally used to foster and hone these skills is not practical in a four-year BME program,which has to cover all aspects of the discipline. In order to accommodate the broad nature of thecurriculum, and still equip BME students with the skills they will need in electronic medicaldevice prototyping, our program implements a problem oriented, top town approach to teachingmedical electronics. Two senior level courses are taught: Microcomputer Based MedicalInstrumentation and Medical Electronics Laboratory functioning as co-requisites. The firstcourse (3 Cr) is lecture based, while the second (2 Cr) is a hands-on laboratory.A problem oriented methodology has been adapted to help the students integrate the very diverseand complex topics. The development of a realistic biomedical prototype is used as a pathway tointegrate the many concepts. The teaching methodology incorporates previously taught basicconcepts (instrumentation, signal processing, and logic design, for example) and introduces anew set of skills (such as power electronics, microcontrollers, and wireless communication). Thecourse begins by presenting the students with an electronic device that will guide the learningprocess. The device is then broken down into the disparate structures common among allelectronic devices enabling the instructor to address the topics in a broader fashion. Toaccomplish the concept integration, the lectures and laboratory sessions follow the same logicalpathway mimicking the signal treatment in the device: Analog electronics (instrumentationamplifiers, protection circuits, amplifiers, filters and isolation amplifiers), analog to digitalconversion, power supplies (linear, switching and isolated), microcontroller hardware,microcontroller software, data communication and high level signal display and processing.Professional literature, in the form of application notes and datasheets is extensively used. Thestudents are trained about the interpretation of quantitative data presented in the datasheets and inthe difficult process of component selection. Hardware and software modules were developed forthe course; a detailed description of these modules and laboratory sessions will be presented inthe paper. In the last 4 weeks teams of students integrate and test an architectural alternative ofthe prototype. The instructors give specific roles and responsibilities to each team member inagreement with his/her individual strengths, revealed during the course. Thus far, the coursework has culminated in students developing a wireless electrophysiological device, but otherdevices, such as an optical coherence tomography device are being considered as alternative finalprojects for future students.The course objectives are assessed by student surveys at the end of the semester, by analysis ofthe final product and by its documentation. The courses have been available for two years withsatisfactory results as assessed by student and industry representative evaluations, exit interviewsand employment records. Figure 1: Conceptual Block Diagram – Simplified diagram of the disparate structures in electronic devices.Lectures and labs are designed around addressing function and implementation of the different blocks. In this example, taken from an actual lab, the focus (as outlined) is Power Electronics.
Bohorquez, J. E., & Ozdamar, O., & Toft-Nielsen, J. A. (2011, June), Teaching Medical Electronics to Biomedical Engineering Students: A Problem Oriented Approach Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18356
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