Biomedical Engineering Education Portal

Publish Date: Mar 29, 2016 | 4 Ratings | 3.00 out of 5 | Print

Overview

The National Instruments Biomedical Engineering Education Portal is your free resource for biomedical engineering knowledge and courseware on the Web. It presents technical content through theory, real-world examples, and interactive audiovisual tutorials. This portal is designed for a broad range of audiences, from experts who want to review a specific topic to new users who need easy-to-understand documentation for their projects.

Table of Contents

  1. Biomedical Engineering Description
  2. Typical Measurements in Bioinstrumentation Classes
  3. Data Acquisition and Signal Processing
  4. User Solutions
  5. Training Options
  6. Bioinstrumentation Courseware Repository
  7. Virtual Instrumentation in Biomedical Engineering Publications
  8. Related Products
  9. Related Links
  10. Example Programs and Tutorials

1. Biomedical Engineering Description

“Biomedical engineering is a discipline concerned with the development and manufacture of prostheses, medical devices, diagnostic devices, drugs,, and other therapies. It is a field that combines the expertise of engineering with medical needs for the progress of health care. It is more concerned with biological, safety, and regulatory issues than other forms of engineering. It may be defined as "The application of engineering principles and techniques to the medical field.””
-en.Wikipedia.org

The job market for biomedical engineering is rapidly growing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of biomedical engineers is projected to grow more than twice as fast as the overall employment increase in all sectors during the 2004–2014 period – 30.7 percent, compared with 13 percent.

Biomedical engineering can be segmented in two major fields – physiological and industrial automation. The physiological field concentrates more on measuring, simulating, and analyzing bioelectrical signals as well as modeling body parts and processes. The industrial automation field focuses on the automation of labs and production lines along with the design and testing of medical devices.

The physiological interest comes mainly from academia. Some of the typical BME courses are bioinstrumentation, biomechanics, biomaterials, and bioimaging. Although this document concentrates on bioinstrumentation, material for other bioengineering classes will be added in the future.

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2. Typical Measurements in Bioinstrumentation Classes

Laboratory exercises often include, but are not limited to, bioelectrical signal measurements from the heart (electrocardiogram/ECG); muscles (electromyograph/EMG); skin (Galvanic skin response/GSR); scalp (electroencephalograph/EEG); eyes (electrooculogram/EOG); pulse (plethysmograph/PPG); and lungs (pneumotachometer). These bioelectrical signals are typically very small in amplitude and require amplification to accurately record, display and analyze the signals. Depending on the hardware and software used, the biological amplifier serves not only to amplify the signal but also to apply a range of filtering options for the removal of unwanted signal artifacts. Table 1 shows the amplitude and frequency ranges for ECG, EEG, EOG, and EMG.

Signal Frequency range (Hz) Amplitude range(mV)
ECG 0.01 – 300 0.05 – 3
EEG 0.1 – 100 0.001 – 1
EOG 0.1 – 10 0.001 – 0.3
EMG 50 – 3000 0.001 – 100

Table 1. Frequency and amplitude ranges for ECG, EEG, EOG, and EMG

See also: Measurement Fundamentals

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3. Data Acquisition and Signal Processing

One of the most efficient ways to acquire and analyze bioelectrical signals is through highly integrated software and hardware such as National Instruments LabVIEW and data acquisition devices. LabVIEW includes a comprehensive, powerful library with more than 500 functions for mathematics, signal processing, and analysis. Moreover, with the release of LabVIEW 8, you have freedom to choose the most effective syntax for technical computing, whether you are developing algorithms, exploring DSP concepts, or analyzing results. In LabVIEW 8 and later, you can combine the intuitive LabVIEW graphical dataflow programming with MathScript, a math-oriented textual programming language that includes more than 500 commonly used functions.

Generally, sensors and amplifiers for bioelectrical measurements need to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Once the bioelectrical signal is amplified it can be digitized by any NI data acquisition device, and then analyzed and displayed in LabVIEW. Some of the biological sensors and amplifiers manufacturers are Vernier Software & Technology, Biosemi, ADInstruments, and CleveMed.

For infinite teaching possibilities use NI ELVIS. It is the most versatile and popular academic product.

If you already have traditional data acquisition instruments such as oscilloscopes, follow the link on Instrument Control to learn how you can control your instruments from your computer and analyze your data with a powerful graphical programming environment such as LabVIEW.

See also: NI LabVIEW
NI ELVIS
Instrument Control Fundamentals

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4. User Solutions

NI products can be used to create the key to a wide array of biomedical engineering problems.

See also: Life Science User Solutions

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5. Training Options

Numerous tutorials, application notes, examples, and self-paced study guides are available on the National Instruments Web site. Instructor-led courses are also offered throughout the world.

See also: Teach Yourself LabVIEW, Test-Drive LabVIEW, Customer Education

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6. Bioinstrumentation Courseware Repository

According to Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), as of October 2005 there are only 39 accredited biomedical engineering programs across the United States. National Instruments offers a complete chain of tools that help new programs obtain accreditation. National Instruments is driving an initiative among well established Biomedical Engineering programs to exchange courseware in an attempt to better prepare students for the demands of the biomedical industry and research institutions. All materials in the repository are submitted directly by universities. National Instruments reserves the right to review all courseware before it is officially made available for downloading.

Guidelines for courseware deposit. Please include the following in one zipped folder:

  1. A “Readme.txt” file which contains university name, course description, contact information, and the included files.
  2. PowerPoint presentations, lab exercises, lab manuals, and VIs in separate folders.
  3. A “Painpoints.txt” file which includes any difficulties you and your students are experiencing with the course. Make any suggestions on how National Instruments can help.

See also: Biomedical Engineering Instrumentation Courseware
ABET Accredited Programs Statistics 2004-2005
Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Accreditation Corner

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7. Virtual Instrumentation in Biomedical Engineering Publications

Trumbower, R.D., and Enderle, J.D., Virtual Instruments in Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering Laboratories, IEEE EMB Magazine, Vol. 22, No. 4, 101-110, 2003

Smith, W. D., Williams, G. B., Berguer R., and Anderson, J. T., LabVIEW Facilitates Interdisciplinary Team Projects in Graduate Biomedical Engineering Courses, International Journal of Engineering Education, Vol. 16, No. 3, 2000

Olanson, J.B., Ghorbel, F., Clark,J.W., and Bidani, A., Using Virtual Instrumentation to Develop a Modern Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, International Journal of Engineering Education, Vol. 16, No. 3, 2000

Grinstead B., and Parten, M.E., Biomedical Signal Acquisition Using "LabVIEW", 11th IEEE Symposium on Computer Based Medical Systems, Lubbock, TX, June 12-14, 1998

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8. Related Products

NI ELVIS
Design all your lab exercises around most versatile and popular academic product.

LabVIEW for Embedded System Design
Design your algorithm, prototype on off-the-shelf hardware, and deploy your medical device using NI LabVIEW.

CompactRIO Reconfigurable Embedded Hardware Platform
Build your embedded system with a real-time controller, reconfigurable FPGA, and measurement quality I/O modules.

Data Acquisition Solutions for PC-Based Medical Devices
Review medical device solutions from National Instruments, a leading worldwide OEM supplier of PC-based data acquisition products.

Medical Device Testing with Modular Instruments
Integrate test into your design process with NI modular instruments.

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9. Related Links

NI Academia

NI Life Sciences

NI LabVIEW MathScript

Biomedical Engineering Society

Biomedical Engineering Curriculum Database

US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Projections to 2014

Vernier Software & Technology

Biosemi

ADInstruments

CleveMed

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10. Example Programs and Tutorials

The NI Electronics Education Platform: A Case Study

All Academic Courseware

All Biomedical Engineering Tutorials and Application Notes

Example Programs Search

Biological Monitoring and Data Logging with NI Tools

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