Possible BIOMEDE 458 assignments

From an upcoming draft of my BIOMEDE 458 syllabus. I’m trying to balance team-work with individual accountability. I’ve got a few different ways in which

  • the class interacts with itself/builds up its own knowledge base (Big List of Medical Devices, Share outs, 3 individual Presentations, Proposals, and Demonstrations),
  • I have a few ways I can assess understanding/competence (Big List, Share outs, 3 individual Presentations, Notebook checks, and Homework),
  • there are concise and precise module-team deliverables (Notebook checks, Share outs, Lab manuals), and
  • there are regular term-long project-team deliverables (shared tour, idea generation, idea selection, Project article, Proposals, Demonstration, Share out, Write up).

Module-teams change each module and no two people are ever in the same team. Project-teams are chosen February 7 and are kept for the remainder of the semester. Project-teams may be required to meet outside of class.



Lab (30%)

  • Notebook checks (one each module, 10%)
    • 01/31 & 02/28 & 03/26 & 04/23
    • Team-based lab notebooks will be kept by all members of each team. For each lab module each member of the team will be required to make a personal (i.e., verifiable) and non-trivial contribution to the lab notebook. One notebook will be submit for each team at the end of each module.
  • Share outs (one each module, 10%)
    • 01/31 & 02/28 & 03/26 & 04/23
    • Team-based short presentations (10-20 minutes) at the conclusion of each lab module in which the hypotheses, methods, and results of teams are presented to the rest of the lab section. Every member is accountable for the information shared out, such that were one questioned on the subject an honest and competent answer was elicited.
  • Lab manuals (one each module, 10%)
    • 02/14 & 03/21 & 04/09
    • Team-based lab “how-to” write ups which improve upon the materials given. New written descriptions, steps, procedures, images, etc., should be added to a revised presentation of the lab protocol for a given module. In addition to the bettered lab manuscript, concise reasoning should be giving for what makes your team’s lab manual “better” than the one given to you all.


Presentations (30%)

  • Reading (individual, sign up in advance, 10%)
    • 01/10 | 01/16 | 01/23 | 01/30 | 02/20 | 02/27
    • Of its total offering, 48 sections of our textbook are required to be read for this class. In addition to reading each of these 48 sections, you must present a short (3-5 minute) summary of its overall message. You must sign up to present on the very first day of class (or before).
  • Big List of Medical Devices (individual, six mini-assignments, 10% overall)
    • 01/24 | 02/07 | 02/21 | 03/14 | 03/28 | 04/04
    • Every other week of the semester (on 01/16, 0130, 02/13, 02/27, 03/20, 04/03), you will be required to submit a short (100-200 word) summary of some medical device, it may not be the same as any other person’s medical device. This process will generate our class’s Big List of Medical Devices. On one of 6 dates (listed in the above bullet-point), 8 people will each present a short (3-5 minute) summary of one of the medical devices of that list. The mini-assignments will each count for 1%, the presentation will be for 4%.
  • Project article (as part of project team, individual assignment, 10%)
    • 02/14 & 02/21
    • For the project, each person must find at least one article somewhat related to their proposed medical instrument. Said at least one article must be submitted to me by February 14 and a roundtable article discussion/presentation will be held in lab on February 21.


Homework (20%)

  • Lecture-based (one difficult, one more difficult, each worth 10%)
    • 02/06 & 03/13
    • Material will deal with theoretical, practical, and applicable aspects of current medical instrumentation (and technology). Technical skills in both foundational medical physiology (cardiac, cardiovascular, renal, and respiratory) and its coupled clinical monitoring (via, e.g., electrocardiography, pulse oximetry, and spirometry) will be assessed through individual out-of-class performance. As the topic is broad, homework assignments will be significant (10% each) and thus sufficient time (10-20 hours) should be budgeted for their completion.


Project (20%)

  • Proposals (two, one good, one better, together 5%)
    • 03/14 & 03/28
    • On our first lab session (01/10) we will take a tour of the hospital. From this we will get to see current instrumentation, hear some clinical gripes, and assess the situation from our own perspectives. A couple weeks after that (01/24), we will all share some of our ideas for possible projects we could do as a class. On February 7, we will whittle down our possible projects and form into our actual teams. Teams will then propose an idea for the murderboard discussion (03/14) and will present a hopefully revised idea shortly thereafter (03/28).
  • Demonstration (one shot, 5%)
    • 04/23
    • A demonstration of the medical instrument/system proposed for the project (03/28) in its current working form. (Fully working = 5%, semi-working = 4%, working-in-theory(-or-in-parts)-only = 3%, not really working = 2%, definitely not working = 1%)
  • Share out (possibly filmed, shared, IP-generating, requires individual contribution, 5%)
    • 04/23
    • An explanation of what was done on the project, why it was done, what the team achieved, what the participants learned, what would be done differently next time or could be improved for the future, and a tidy summary of what you got out of the class will be required of each individual for a final share-out of the semester on April 23. Depending on how we as a class feel, the presentation may be filmed and/or shared out more publicly.
  • Write up (must be replicable by others, 5%)
    • 04/25
    • A written description of what your medical device is in the context of current medical instrumentation will be required. While the experimental nature of the device will be especially emphasized in this class (this is, after all, a laboratory course), certain wider-scoped perspectives will be asked of the team (possibly including but not limited to regulatory science, privacy concerns, medical benefits, etc.). In general, the purpose of the document is to explain to another smart human being what it is that was done by the team that said team thinks we should pass on down to posterity.



List of readings from The 48 Sections of The Textbook We are Required to Read. Must sign up on (or before) the first day of class to present one of these sections on one of these days

  1. 1.2, Generalized Medical Instrumentation System, 10-Jan

  2. 1.4, Medical Measurement Constraints, 10-Jan

  3. 1.5, Classifications of Biomedical Instruments, 10-Jan

  4. 1.9, Generalized Static Characteristics, 10-Jan

  5. 1.10, Generalized Dynamic Characteristics, 10-Jan

  6. 1.13, Regulation of Medical Devices, 10-Jan

  7. 3.1, Ideal Op Amps, 16-Jan

  8. 3.2, Inverting Amplifiers, 16-Jan

  9. 3.3, Noninverting Amplifiers, 16-Jan

  10. 3.4, Differential Amplifiers, 16-Jan

  11. 3.8, Integrators, 16-Jan

  12. 3.9, Differentiators, 16-Jan

  13. 3.10, Active Filters, 16-Jan

  14. 3.11, Frequency Response, 16-Jan

  15. 4.1, Electrical Activity of Excitable Cells, 16-Jan

  16. 4.6, The Electrocardiogram, 16-Jan

  17. 5.1, The Electrode-Electrolyte Interface, 23-Jan

  18. 5.2, Polarization, 23-Jan

  19. 5.3, Polarizatable and Nonpolarizable Electrodes, 23-Jan

  20. 5.4, Electrode Behavior and Circuit Models, 23-Jan

  21. 5.5, The Electrode-Skin Interface and Motion Artifact, 23-Jan

  22. 5.11, Practical Hints in Uising Electrodes, 23-Jan

  23. 6.1, Basic Requirements, 23-Jan

  24. 6.2, The Electrocardiogtraph, 23-Jan

  25. 6.3, Problems Frequently Encountered, 23-Jan

  26. 6.6, Amplifiers for Other Biopotential Signals, 23-Jan

  27. 6.7, Example of a Biopotential Preamplifier, 23-Jan

  28. 6.8, Other Biopotential Signal Processors, 23-Jan

  29. 7.2, Harmonic Analysis of Blood-Pressure Waveforms, 30-Jan

  30. 7.6, Bandwidth Requirements for Measuring Blood Pressure, 30-Jan

  31. 7.7, Typical Pressure-Waveform Distortion, 30-Jan

  32. 7.8, Systems for Measuring Venous Pressure, 30-Jan

  33. 7.13, Indirect Measurements of Blood Pressure, 30-Jan

  34. 8.8, Photoplethysmography, 30-Jan

  35. 14.1, Physiological Effects of Electricity, 20-Feb

  36. 14.2, Important Susceptibility Parameters, 20-Feb

  37. 14.3, Distribution of Electric Power, 20-Feb

  38. 14.4, Macroshock Hazards, 20-Feb

  39. 14.5, Microshock Hazards, 20-Feb

  40. 14.6, Electrical-Safety Codes and Standards, 20-Feb

  41. 14.7, Basic Approaches to Protection Against Shock, 20-Fe

  42. A.1, Physical Constants, 20-Feb

  43. 9.1, Modeling Respiratory System, 27-Feb

  44. 9.2, Measurement of Pressure, 27-Feb

  45. 9.3, Measurement of Gas-Flow, 27-Feb

  46. 9.4, Lung Volume, 27-Feb

  47. 9.5, Respiratory Plethysmography, 27-Feb

  48. 9.6, Some Tests of Respiratory Mechanics, 27-Feb