Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


It is important for a medical device engineer to have an understanding of the foundations of biomedical instruments and to also make connections between biology, physiology, and electrical engineering. This course will introduce the basic principles and design issues of biomedical sensors and instrumentation that measure quantities related to living biological systems, as well as actuators that can be used to manipulate flows and temperatures. The physical principles of biomedical sensors, analysis of biomedical instrumentation systems, and application specific biomedical sensor and instrumentation design will be considered. Analogue circuits such as high-order active filters, biopotential amplifiers and ADC converters will be discussed in detail. The basic principles required to design and understand drive circuits for commonly used rotary and linear actuators will also be provided. A basic introduction to feedback control is provided to show how measurements can be used to provide regulation via an appropriate actuation. By the end of the course students will be able to analyse and design medical devices capable of measuring and/or interacting with the human body.

Availability2022 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of biomedical instrumentation and its application to physiological and cellular measurements.

2. Analyze and design analog circuits and systems for biomedical sensing.

3. Demonstrate knowledge of real world biomedical sensing problems (e.g. motion artifacts, skin-electrode interface, low signal to noise ratios) and apply strategies for their mitigation.

4. Design and select different actuators and drives for medical pumps, prosthetics and surgical devices.

5. Communicate the design of biomedical sensing systems to a diverse audience of engineers and / or clinicians via written and oral presentation.


  1. Concepts of Biomedical Instrumentation.
  2. Membrane Biophysics, Action Potentials, Biopotential Electrodes.
  3. Electrophysiology.
  4. High-order active filters, Biopotential amplifiers and ADC converters.
  5. Drive circuits for commonly used rotary and linear actuators.
  6. Feedback control in biomedical instrumentation.

Assumed knowledge

ELEC2320, ELEC3240, HUBS2507

Assessment items

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Lab Exercises

Presentation: Presentation

Project: Project

Formal Examination: Exam

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term starting in week 1


Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term starting in week 1


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term starting in week 1

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.