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Students entering the rigorous Biomedical Engineering (BME) discipline learn a gamut of separate physiological signals to best study healthcare applications of new technology. Simply put, as new, advanced medical devices make their way into the market, biomedical engineers are on the front lines of discovering how to best utilize these devices and corresponding software to better serve in healthcare. Well-equipped and prepared biomedical engineers study a number of signals, movements, and physiological concepts in their research, including some of the following:

Data Acquisition & Analysis Systems Respiratory System & Pulmonary Function
Spectral Analysis & Histograms Bioimpedance (Cardiac Output & Blood Flow)
Amplifiers, Transducers, and Calibration Biomechanics—Angle, Acceleration, Distance, Velocity
ECG, EDA (GSR), EEG, EGG, EMG, and EOG Physiological Control Systems
Force, Pressure, Strain, Flow, Temperature, Sound, Light Chart, Overlap, Scope, and X/Y Displays
Brain Computer Interface Blood Pressure & Heart Sounds
Signal Analysis & Processing Compartmental Modeling
Filters (FIR & IIR) Gait Analysis
Instrumentation Design

Related scientific citations are available for BME research in nearly all these areas of interest, but for students and educators, simplified practical labs can lay the groundwork for more advanced BME areas of interest, such as Gait Analysis or Brain Computer Interface (BCI). Inherent in the design of BME education is the fusion between virtual software-based analysis and physical laboratory applications—a dichotomy that favors software-based learning and research more and more. Educating students in biomechanics, biomeasurement, and biomaterials is crucial to set them up for success in the BME field, whether they go into research, education, health services, or industry. Trained biomedical engineers utilizing virtual tools in lieu of a larger laboratory instrumentation setup can save upwards of $80,000 in hardware costs for their institution. Skills taught with virtual tools are better suited to the real world “new world” of software-based analysis and signal processing.

Physiological Signal Processing Labs—colloquially known as “breadboards”—are an excellent tool to further biomedical engineering education, through both basic lessons and the physical construction of the signal processing lab device, a foray into the physical engineering side of the BME vocations. Recorded signals are analyzed and processed via Biopac Student Lab Software—a leader in BME education for university laboratories and undergraduate studies.

For example, the Biopac Student Lab Breadboard Lab Set covers lessons on constructing and running the following signal processes:

  1. Square Wave Oscillator
  2. Instrumentation Amplifier
  3. Active Filter: High Pass
  4. Active Gain Block & Low Pass
  5. Notch Filter for 50/60 Hz Rejection
  6. QRS Detection: Band Pass Filter
  7. QRS Detection: Absolute Value Circuit
  8. QRS Detection: Low Pass Filter and Overall System Test

BIOPAC also offers Biomedical Engineering curriculum for EMG-controlled robotic labsmodelingfilteringFFT, as well as a “Best Practices for Good Data” on-demand training series on fundamentals of physiological signal processing and support for an array of BME research applications.

The benefits of this approach to BME Education help “…viscerally engage the student in an inquiry-based learning environment.”¹  Upon construction of their own Signal Processing lab, students verify signal processing models against mathematical simulations and test the models against measured signals sourced on their own bodies.

BIOPAC offers a wide array of wired and wireless equipment that can be used in your research. To find more information on solutions for recording, teaching, and analyzing Biomedical Engineering data, you can visit our product category for BME on the BIOPAC website.


¹ Alan Macy, R&D Director, BIOPAC Systems, Inc.

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