Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Biomedical Instrumentation

Biomedical Instrumentation
First semester
Main language of instruction: Spanish

Other languages of instruction: Catalan, English

Teaching staff

A face-to-face meeting with the teacher can be arranged by writing an email.


This subject will provide the principles of operation of the most frequently used electronic instruments in the medical field, whether in a hospital environment, dental clinic and physiotherapy rehabilitation room.

Notions of the general safety standards for equipment used in medical practice will also be given, in addition to the particular standards of each equipment.

Pre-course requirements

Be studying fundamentals and electronic systems


  • Obtain an overview of the principles and measurement methods used in biomedical equipment.
  • Estimate uncertainty in the measurement of physiological variables.
  • Provide examples of monitoring, diagnosis, therapy and replacement equipment in different medical areas (medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, dentistry ..).
  • Give criteria to understand and critically analyze the specifications of biomedical equipment.
  • Know how to value different technological alternatives and be able to develop ideas of new electronic instruments with medical application.


  • CB1 - Students must demonstrate that they have and understand knowledge in an area of study based on general secondary education. This knowledge should be of a level that, although based on advanced textbooks, also includes some of the cutting-edge elements from their field of study.
  • CB2 - Students must know how to apply their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional way and have the competences that are demonstrated through the creation and defence of arguments and the resolution of problems within their field of study.
  • CB3 - Students must have the ability to bring together and interpret significant data (normally within their area of study) and to issue judgements that include a reflection on important issues that are social, scientific or ethical in nature.
  • CE13 - To identify, understand and use the principles behind electronics, sensors, air conditioners and systems that acquire biomedical signals
  • CE17 - To be able to identify the engineering concepts that can be applied in the fields of biology and health.
  • CG3 - To be able to learn new methods and theories and be versatile so as to adapt to new situations.
  • CG4 - To resolve problems based on initiative, be good at decision-making, creativity, critical reasoning and communication, as well as the transmission of knowledge, skills and prowess in the field of Bioengineering
  • CT3 - To know how to communicate learning results to other people both verbally and in writing, and well as thought processes and decision-making; to participate in debates in each particular specialist areas.
  • CT5 - To use information sources in a reliable manner. To manage the acquisition, structuring, analysis and visualisation of data and information in your specialist area and critically evaluate the results of this management.

Learning outcomes

Students at the end of the course may:

  • Understand all the areas where a biomedical engineer can work
  • From these areas, see which electronic devices can be found and their basic functionalities
  • Be able to calculate the basic parameters of the measuring instruments as well as to be able to make a classification of these devices
  • Understand the health risks that these devices behave and be able, at the time of designing, to take into account all the requirements to be safety to public health.


Block 1: Basic concepts of biomedical instrumentation.

- Basic definitions

- General structure of a measurement system

- Main human physiological parameters: range and typical values

- Historical review-Classification of biomedical instrumentation

Block 2: Basic sensors and transducers in biomedicine.

- Electrobiological phenomena

- Biomedical electrodes: Equivalent circuit and electrode behavior

Block 3: Diagnostic equipment, monitoring and replacement. Classification by systems

- Cardiovascular system

  • Blood pressure measurements
  • Measures of flow, flow and cardiac output
  • Auscultation and sonocardiography
  • ECG
  • Blood gas measurements
  • Defibrillator and / or cardioverter
  • Cardiac stimulation, pacemaker

- Respiratory system

  • Respiratory flow and respiratory volume
  • Spirometry, rhinometry, impedance plethysmography and impedance cardiography
  • Oximetry, capnographers
  • Temporary replacement systems: Respirators

- Neurological system

  • Brain biopotentials: EEG
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Brain stimulation: electroshock

 - Renal System

  • Hemodialysis: block diagram
  • Ultrafiltration
  • Safety systems: hemoglobin and air detection
  • Dialysis system, reverse osmosis

- Muscular system

  • EMG

- Digestive system and excretor

  • Electrogastrogram
  • Esophageal Motility Analyzers
  • Urodynamic analyzers

Block 4: Surgery and Therapy Equipment

 - Anesthesiology

  • Anesthesia and analgesia
  • Deputy Minister Modes
  • Control parameters
  • Anesthetic gases and supply by respirators
  • Open, closed and semi-closed systems
  • Monitoring of anesthetized gases and brain planes
  • Intravenous anesthesia
  • Anesthetic gas evacuation systems

 - Surgery

  • Scalping vs electro-scalpel, ultrasonic scalpel
  • Electrocautery
  • Cardiac ablation
  • Laser applications
  • Lithotripsy
  • Return failures
  • Isolated output vs ground reference output
  • Electromagnetic interference
  • Flammable or explosive substances

 - Neonatology

  • Premature baby
  • Controlled environment
  • Incubators, servocunas and radiant incubators
  • Typical circuits

 - Clinical analysis

  • Generalities: concept, processes, samples that are analyzed
  • Minimum equipment according to the specialty
  • accessories
  • Minimum personal protection equipment

 - Physiotherapy

  • Electromagnetic field effects in the human body
  • Shortwave and microwave equipment
  • Electromagnetoreapia
  • Ultrasound effects on the human body
  • Phototherapy: laser equipment
  • Energy dosimetry
  • Electrostimulation: iontophoresis, electroanalgesia, other uses and equipment

 - Odontology

  • Instrumental endodontics and periodontics: Apical locator, Micromotor, Electronic periodontal probe
  • General dentistry: Intraoral photography, Turbine, contra-angle and handpiece, Cavitrón
  • X-ray instruments: Sensor, Orthopantomography, Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT)
  • Implants and prostheses: Osstell, Intraoral Scanner
  • Surgeries: Electric scalpel, Micromotor

Block 5: Safety of electrical equipment

- Physiological effects of electric current

- Macroshock, microshock

- Associated risks, factors that increase the risks

- Standards, general concepts

- Applicable standards according to measurement system (respiratory, cardiovascular, anesthesia, renal, neonatology ...)

Teaching and learning activities

In person

Apart from the theory necessary to acquire the basic concepts of electronic instrumentation, a group work will be carried out focused on working on the concepts given in class.

Compulsory practices will also be carried out, in which different biomedical equipment explained in class will be discussed, and they will learn to use them.

Interdisciplinary practices with dentistry, nursing and physiotherapy will be carried out.

A mandatory course with DEA certification will be held and will also be included in the evaluation.

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

The student's grade will be:

First call

Final grade = 0.4 Final exam + 0.3 Partial exam + 0.3 Practices

Second call

Final grade = 0.6 Second call exam + 0.3 Practices + 0.1 Final work course



- The minimum score of the partial exam will be a 4 to average with the rest of the continuous evaluation.

- The minimum score of the final exam (both 1st and 2nd call) will be 4.5 to average with the rest of the evaluation.

- Repeater students will have to do all the activities again.

- Foreign and exchange students (Erasmus and others) will be subject to the same conditions as the rest of the students. This is especially relevant regarding the calendar, exam dates and the evaluation system.


Important considerations:

  1. Plagiarism, copying or any other action that may be considered cheating will be zero in that evaluation section. Besides, plagiarism during exams will mean the immediate failing of the whole subject.
  2. In the second-sitting exams, the maximum grade students will be able to obtain is "Excellent" (grade with honors distinction will not be posible).
  3. Changes of the calendar, exam dates or the evaluation system will not be accepted.
  4. Exchange students (Erasmus and others) or repeaters will be subjected to the same conditions as the rest of the students.

Bibliography and resources




Evaluation period

E: exam date | R: revision date | 1: first session | 2: second session:
  • E1 16/01/2023 P2A03 12:00h
  • E1 16/01/2023 P2A01 12:00h