Skip to main content


EEE8116 : Bioelectronics

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Patrick Degenaar
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To develop a deep understanding of the principles of bioelectronics and their increasing importance to modern medical electronics. The course will cover four main domains:
(i)       Cellular Bioelectronics: which covers the principles of the electrochemical operation of cells, how they work and how they communicate with each other.
(ii)       Bioelectronic devices: which covers how biological tissue can be artificially probed, and what kinds of devices can be developed to sense or stimulate biological activity.
(iii)       Bioelectronic circuits: which can be developed to drive or sense devices to which comprise modern and future biomedical interfaces
(iv)       Bioelectronic medical systems: what is their architecture? What kinds of interventions can be made? Key examples in visual prosthesis for the blind and seizure suppression in epilepsy. Finally, the regulatory and ethical constraints to developing medical devices.

Each component will comprise 25% of the course and will have associated practical activities, including bioelectronic circuit design, biosignal acquisition and a problem-based learning exercise centred on developing a concept novel medical system

Outline Of Syllabus

The human bioelectronic system:
The course comprises of 4 main sections:

(i)       Charge flows in Electrochemical Systems and active transport of charge across cell membranes
(ii)       The Neuron Action potential and the Hodgkin Huxeley Theorem
(iii)       Molecular communication between cells and interneuron transmission
(iv)       Cellular “vision” and optogenetics
(v)       Neural coding

(I)       Fundamentals of bio-signal sensing, including noise and linearity
(II)       Electrical neural stimulus and electrode biocompatibility
(III)       Photo-cellular stimulation and fluorescent imaging
(IV)       Device-tissue and tissue-device biocompatibility
(V)       Transistors and operational amplifiers

(I)       Buffers, filtering and ADCs
(II)       Electrical, optoelectronic stimulation circuits and recording amplifiers
(III)       Micro-control systems and Electronic implant control methods
(IV)       Implant power supplies and power management
(V)       Implantable communications

(I)       The human nervous system and clinical neuroprosthetics
(II)       Exemplar neuroprosthetics: Epilepsy and prosthetics to negate seizures
(III)       Exemplar neuroprosthetics: Blindness and visual prosthetics
(IV)       Medical ethics and Medical Device Regulations

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion113:0033:00Group presentation exercise at the end of the module.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion162:1062:10General self study and self reading to review the module
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion119:0019:00Preparation for the exam.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture62:0012:006x2hr inspirational live lectures including introduction and course review.
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials400:2013:20Non-synchronous recordings to support lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion141:0014:00Students review the video narrations and lecture notes to create their own comments.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion33:3010:30Assessed activity where students writeup their lab activity
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion100:305:00Regular homeworks to help connect students with daily reflection
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion20:301:00Student peer review of homework’s for relative reflection compared to each others work.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical22:004:00Problem based learning exercise to provide group work experience on a specific bioelectronic problem
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical13:003:00Group presentation exercise at the end of the module.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical33:009:00Laboratory activities to provide practical understanding of the course
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching42:008:00Tutorials to go through potential exam questions in detail.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery32:006:00Open office period to allow students to come and ask any questions they may have
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide core material and guidance for further reading.
Tutorials are to provide a small group problem solving environment and support preparation for the course examination.
Problem solving exercises will be presented to the students in class sessions to help the students explore the target problem and a third session to allow them to present the outcome of their efforts

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A26N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises2M25Assignment (2000 words)
Practical/lab report2M93x virtual labs
Prob solv exercises1M1515 x online homeworks
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination provides the opportunity for the student to demonstrate their understanding of the course material. The problem solving aspects of the assessment enable students to demonstrate that they are able to apply this understanding and their analysis and synthesis skills to novel situations. The in course assessments provide opportunity for students to demonstrate their abilities under open book conditions. Laboratories provide the opportunity to assess practical skills and the application of theoretical knowledge.

Reading Lists