34807 - Biomedical Instrumentation (2nd cycle)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being Quality education

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The teaching aims at providing the operational and design principles of the commonly-used diagnostic and therapeutic instrumentation (instrumentation for bio-potentials, piezoelectric devices, bio-imaging instrumentation, devices and techniques for measurement of body flows and volumes, pacemaker, defibrillators). At the end of the classes, the student knows – for each described device/instrumentation - the underlying physical phenomena, architecture, design problems, employed materials and technologies, operational modes, human body interaction, future developments. The student is also able to analyze and solve problems for designing biomedical instruments.

Course contents

Electronic circuits, amplifiers and filters for biomedical signals

operational amplifier

negative feedback amplifiers

instrumentation amplifier

active filters

other analogic feedback circuits (adder circuit, peak/amplitude detector circuits)

Measurement of electroencephalographic potentials

origin of surface EEG

electrodes for EEG; international standard for electrode positioning

digital electroencephalograph

Piezoelectric materials

constitutive equations

signal processing circuits for piezoelectric sensors (voltage amplifier, charge amplifier)


Ultrasound systems for clinical diagnosis

ultrasound physics

ultrasound transducers


blood flowmeters (transit time, phase shift, doppler)







monophasic trapezoidal

biphasic trapezoidal

Laboratory experiences

Characterization of an operational amplifier

Realization of a peak/amplitude detector with operational amplifier

Design and realization of a second-order filter

Acquisition and analysis of EEG signal

Relaxation oscillator with operational amplifier

Realization of a charge amplifier for piezoelectric pressure sensor



G. Avanzolini and E. Magosso, Strumentazione biomedica: progetto e impiego dei sistemi di misura, Pàtron Editore, Bologna, 2015, terza edizione

Further books for in-depth analysis of specific aspects:

J.G. Webster, Medical Instrumentation: application and design, Wiley and Sons, NY, 2009, 4th edition.

W. Welkowitz, S. Deutsch, Biomedical Instruments: Teory and design, Academic Press, NY, 1992, 2th edition.

J.J. Carr, J.M. Brown, Introduction to Biomedical Equipment Technology, Wiley &Sons, NY, 4th Edition, 2000.

R.S. Khandpur, Biomedical Instrumentation: Technology and Applications, McGraw-Hill Professional, 2004

Teaching methods

The course consists of lessons in classroom. The classes aim at furnishing the theoretical knowledge on operational principles and design elements of the presented biomedical instrumentation. The theoretical concepts will be accompanied by exempla and exercises on analysis and design of biomedical systems. Laboratory practice will be performed at the Biomedical Engineering Laboratory and at the Electronic and Telecommunication Laboratory.

Assessment methods

Student learning assessment will be performed through a final examination consisting of a written test, lasting 2 hours, followed by an oral examination (in the same day or the day after). During the written test, the students are not allowed to use books, notes, or informatic tools. The written test consists in questions and exercises; through the written test, the students demonstrate acquisition of the tools and methodologies to face problems concerning design and analysis of electromedical devices. The oral examination ascertains the theoretical skills and competences of the student, correctness of language, clearness of concepts and exposition.

Examination dates will be fixed on the basis of School calendar and will be published on Almaesami (https://almaesami.unibo.it/almaesami/welcome.htm ). Students can register to the examination only through the Almaesami service (https://almaesami.unibo.it/almaesami/welcome.htm ).

Teaching tools

Blackboard, notebook, projector, lecture notes, Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, Electronic and Telecommunication Laboratory

Office hours

See the website of Elisa Magosso