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Unit Overview


In this unit, students will primarily apply knowledge of electronic engineering principles to the design and development of bioinstrumentation. A main focus of the unit will be to combine knowledge of bioinstrumentation with lab-based learning, ensuring students gain practical experience of bioinstrumentation, focussed in the area of biophotonics. Students will take a hands-on approach to explore each step in the development and implementation of bioinstrumentation from the physiological parameter measured and the mechanism used to interpret the measured data, to how the physician uses this information. Key aspects of the unit include:

1. A detailed analysis of how light is applied for diagnosis and therapy in bioinstrumentation, including the underlying physics of how light propagates in tissue and how this interaction assists in the treatment of various diseases and medical conditions.

2. An analysis of biopotentials and how they are used in techniques such as electrocardiography.

3. Analogue and digital circuitry used to condition detected biomedical signals.

4. Core aspects of biomedical signal processing.

5. A detailed description and analysis of specific bioinstruments, including noise and safety considerations.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) identify measurable physiological parameters relevant to human health; (2) evaluate suitable biomedical sensors to measure physiological parameters, in particular, using light and biopotentials; (3) apply knowledge of analogue and digital electronics to acquire biomedical sensor data; (4) apply knowledge of signal processing to design mechanisms for appropriate enhancement of detected biomedically-derived signals; (5) explain the theory, operation and limitations of specific bioinstruments; and (6) design a bioinstrument for a specific clinical application.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) laboratories; (2) a project; and (3) examinations. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Brendan Kennedy
Unit rules
Enrolment in 62550 Master of Professional Engineering (Biomedical Engineering specialisation
or Electrical & Electronic Engineering specialisation
or Mechanical Engineering specialisation)
Enrolment in
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) or an associated Combined Degree
and MECH3424 Measurement and Instrumentation
Advisable prior study
ENSC3015 Signals and Systems
or ELEC3015 Signal and Systems
or MECH4424 Measurment and Noise
or MECH3424 Measurement and Instrumentation
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
activities: 2 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.