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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Engineering : Electronics

Undergraduate Course: BioSensor Instrumentation 5 (ELEE11076)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Engineering CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Year 5 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe Biosensor Instrumentation course examines the methods used to interface sensors for biological and biomedical applications with electronics. One focus will be on transducers, meaning devices which convert information from one form of energy to another. In this case the final form for the information will be an electrical signal but the transducers themselves could be optical, mechanical, etc., and operate in a number of different ways (eg., capacitive, potentiometric, photonic). The objective is to build upon the knowledge the students will have gained in the 4th year introductory courses on bioelectronics and biosensors but with more of an electronics and electrical engineering focus. This course will also go beyond sensing to look at methods of actuation for closed loop "smart" systems. Examples from the state of the art in biosensor research will be provided and a number of guest lectures from active researchers in this field will provide context.
Course description There are two lectures each week. The main body of the course will run from weeks 1-10 with the lecture slots taken up with coursework presentations in week 11. 2-3 guest lectures are planned during the semester with timings to be determined. These will cover active research in the field of biosensing and in previous years have looked at: "cantilever based biosensors", "advanced photodetector arrays" and "electrical cell impedance sensing".

The following subjects will be covered during the course, Most of these will take more than one lecture slot:
L1. Transducer Basics: Sensors and Actuators
L2. Sensor Amplification: Op-amps, basic circuits
L3. Instrumentation for Electrochemistry: Potentiostats, impedance measurements, bridge circuits
L4. Temperature measurements
L5. Mechanical sensor instrumentation: Strain gauges, piezoelectric sensors and actuators, capacitive sensor interfaces
L6. FET based sensors: MOSFET revision, FET based biosensors, nano-wire sensors.
L7. Overview of optical biosensors: Fibre-optic sensors, fluorescence
L8. Neural sensors and actuators: Microelectrode arrays, neural implants
L9. Implantable medical devices: Biofouling, materials and regulation
L10. Wireless sensor interfaces: Sensor networks and wireless power
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed:
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 20, Formative Assessment Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 74 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 100 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Exam (100%)
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the concept of transduction and methods of extracting information from biosensors
  2. Analyse sensor outputs through the use of analogue circuit concepts
  3. Understand typical electronic instrumentation for biosensors and important concepts such as calibration and references
  4. Demonstrate knowledge in the state of the art of biological and medical sensors both in research and commercial products
  5. Demonstrate familiarity with a wide range of sensors and instrumentation from electrochemical to optical
Reading List
"Introductory Bioelectronics: for Engineers and Physical Scientists", R. Pethig and S. Smith, Wiley, 2012, ISBN: 978-1119970873

Background reading:
"Instrumental Methods in Electrochemistry", Southampton Electrochemistry Group, Ellis Horwood or Halsted Press.

"Medical Instrumentation: Application and Design", John G. Webster, Wiley, (4th Edition)

"Ultra Low Power Capacitive Sensor Interfaces"; W. Bracke, R. Puers & C. Van Hoof; Springer.

"Biomedical Instruments - Theory and Design"; W. Welkowitz, S. Deutsch, M. Akay; Academic Press Inc.

"Ultra Low Power Bioelectronics"; R. Sarpeshkar; Cambridge University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsBiosensors,transducers,instrumentation,integration,Micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS).
Course organiserDr Stewart Smith
Tel: (0131 6)50 7471
Course secretaryMiss Megan Inch
Tel: (0131 6)51 7079
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