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Module I



INSTRUMENTATION: It includes measuring instruments that used to monitor and control.

BIOMEDICAL INSTRUMENTATION: It is the field of creating instruments that helps to

measure, record and transmit data from or to the human body.
Basic objectives of instrumentation system generally fall into one of the major categories:
1. Information Gathering: In this system, instrumentation is used to measure natural
phenomena and other variables to aid man in his quest for knowledge about himself and the
universe in which he lives.
2. Diagnosis: Measurements are made to help in the detection and, hopefully, the correction of
some malfunction of the system being measured.
3. Evaluation: Measurements are used to determine the ability of a system to meet its functional
4. Monitoring: Instrumentation is used to monitor some process or operation in order to obtain
continuous or periodic information about the state of the system being measured.
5. Control: Instrumentation is sometimes used to automatically control the operation of a system
based on changes in one or more of the internal parameters or in the output of the system.

 The measurement of physiological variables and parameters is known as biometrics.
 Biomedical instrumentation provides tools by which their measurements can be achieved.
 While designing medical instrumentation system, following factors should be considered:
1. Range: The range of an instrument is generally considered to include all levels of input
amplitude and frequency over which the device is expected to operate.
2. Sensitivity: It determines how small a variation of a variable or parameter can be reliably
measured. It also determines the resolution of the device, which is the minimum variation that
can accurately be read.
3. Linearity: The degree to which variations in the output of an instrument follow input
variation is referred to as the linearity of the device.
4. Hysteresis: It is a characteristic of some instruments whereby a given value of the measured
variable results in a different reading when reached in an ascending direction from that
obtained when it is reached in a descending direction.
5. Frequency response: The frequency response of an instrument is its variation in sensitivity
over the frequency range of the measurement.
6. Accuracy: Accuracy is a measure of systemic error.
7. Signal to noise ratio: This ratio should be as high as possible. It is important to know and
control the SNR in the actual environment in which the measurements are to be made.
8. Stability: It is the ability of a system to resume a steady state condition following a
disturbance at the input rather than be driven into uncontrollable oscillation.
9. Isolation: Measurements made on patients done by instrument, must not produce a direct
electrical connection between the subject and ground. Electrical isolation is provided using
magnetic and optical coupling techniques.
10. Simplicity: All systems and instruments should be as simple as possible to eliminate the
change of component or human error.


 A system which includes human and the instrumentation required for measurement of the
human is called man-instrument system.

Figure 1: Block diagram – the man-instrument system

1. Subject:
 Subject is the human being on which the measurement is carried out.

2. Stimulus:
 In many measurements, the response to some form of external stimulus is required.
 The instrumentation used to generate and present this stimulus to the subject is a vital part of
the man instrument system.
 The stimulus may be visual (e.g. a flash of light), auditory (e.g. a tone), or direct electrical
stimulation of some part of nervous system.

3. Transducers:
 In general transducer is defined as a device capable of converting one form of energy or signal
to another.
 In the man-instrument system, each transducer is used to produce an electric signal that is an
analog of the phenomenon being measured.
 The transducer may measure temperature, pressure, flow, or any of the other variables that can
be found in the body, but its output is always an electrical signal.
 As indicated in fig 1, two or more transducers may be used simultaneously to obtain relative
variations between phenomena.

4. Signal Conditioning Unit:

 It amplifies, modifies the signal obtained from transducer into a suitable form that can be easy
to understand and process by the rest of the devices that follows.
 It is also used to combine or relate the outputs of two or more transducers.
5. Display Equipment:
 It is used to display the result we obtain from the process.
 Its output is some form of visual, audible or tactile information.

6. Recording, Data Processing And Data Transmission Equipment:

 To record the measured information for possible later use or to transmit it from one location to
 Equipment for these functions is often a vital part of the man-instrument system.
 Where automatic storage or processing of data is required, so an online analog or digital
computer may be part of instrumentation system.

7. Control Feedback:
 It is used to give feedback to the system for obtaining efficient output.


 Physiology: The science deals with the normal function of the organs of the body.
 Human body contains various systems such as electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic,
chemical and thermal etc.
 Systems communicate internally with each other and with external environment.
 With this, enable to perform useful tasks, sustain life and reproduce itself.


 Cardio means “heart” and Vascular means “vessels”.
 It performs the essential service of transportation of oxygen, carbon dioxide numerous
chemical compounds and the blood cells.
 System made up of “heart”, “vessels and “blood”.

Figure 2: Internal structure of human heart


 Delivering materials to cells
 Carrying wastes away
 In addition, blood contains cells that fight disease.

 Heart is divided into two parts right and Left-each part has two chambers called atrium and
 Heart has four valves:
1. Tricuspid valve or Right Ventricle valve: The tricuspid valve, or right atrioventricular
valve, is on the right dorsal side of the heart, between the right atrium and the right
ventricle. The function of the valve is to prevent back flow of blood into the right atrium.

2. Bicuspid Mitral or Left Ventricle Valve: This valve is situated between the left atrium
and the left ventricle. It permits blood to flow one way only, from the left atrium into the
left ventricle. This valve is more commonly called the mitral valve because it has two
flaps (cusps) and looks like a bishop's miter or headdress.

3. Pulmonary Valve: A semilunar valve between the pulmonary artery and the right
ventricle of the heart that prevents the blood from flowing back into the right ventricle.

4. Aortic Valve: The aortic valve is a valve in the human heart between the left
ventricle and the aorta. It is one of the two semilunar valves of the heart, the other being
the pulmonary valve.

 Heart wall consist of three layers:

1. Pericardium: The membrane enclosing the heart, consisting of an outer fibrous layer and
an inner double layer of serous membrane.
2. Myocardium: The middle muscular layer of the heart wall.
3. Endocardium: The endocardium is the innermost layer of tissue that lines the chambers
of the heart.

 3 types of blood vessels:

1. Arteries:
 Move blood away from the heart
 Most arteries carry oxygen-rich blood
 The largest artery in the body is the Aaorta have thick walls that are both strong and
2. Veins: move blood toward the heart
3. Capillaries:
 Tiny blood vessels that connect arteries and veins
 Branching from the smallest arteries are capillaries, the smallest blood vessels in your
 As blood flows through the capillaries, oxygen and dissolved nutrients diffuse through
the capillary walls and into your body’s cells.
 Capillaries are involved in temperature regulation.

Functions of Blood
 Carries oxygen from lungs to all body cells and removes carbon dioxide from the cells
 Carries waste products of cell activity to the kidneys to be removed from the body
 Transports nutrients from the digestive system to body cells
 The human respiratory system is a series of organs responsible for taking in oxygen and
expelling carbon dioxide.
 The primary organs of the respiratory system are lungs, which carry out this exchange of gases
as we breathe.
 The lungs are a pair of respiratory organs situated in the thoracic cavity.
 Red blood cells collect the oxygen from the lungs and carry it to the parts of the body where it
is needed.
 During the process, the red blood cells collect the carbon dioxide and transport it back to the
lungs, where it leaves the body when we exhale.
 The lungs are spongy in texture.
 In the young, the lungs are brown or grey in colour. Gradually, they become mottled black
because of the deposition of inhaled carbon particles.
 Your right lung has three lobes and your left lung only has two.
 The right lung is a little larger than the left lung.
 The right lung weighs about 625 gms. It is about 50 gms heavier than left lung.
 The exhaling rate is faster in kids than in adults.
 It is healthier to breathe through your nose than your mouth, because your nose hairs and
mucus clean the air.

Figure 3: Respiratory system

 The pharynx is a wide muscular tube situated behind the nose, mouth and larynx. It is a part of
the upper respiratory passages where infections are common.
 The larynx is the organ that produces of voice. It is also an air passage.
 The trachea, colloquially called the windpipe, is a cartilaginous tube that connects the pharynx
and larynx to the lungs, allowing the passage of air.
 A bronchus is a passage of airway in the respiratory tract that conducts air into the lungs.
 Alveoli are the many tiny air sacs of the lungs which allow for rapid gaseous exchange.
 The nervous system is a complex network of nerves and cells that carry messages to and from
the brain and spinal cord to various parts of the body.
 Functions:
1. Gathers information from both inside and outside the body - Sensory Function
2. Transmits information to the processing areas of the brain and spine
3. Processes the information in the brain and spine – Integration Function
4. Sends information to the muscles, glands, and organs so they can respond appropriately –
Motor Function
 The nervous system can be divided into two major regions:
1. Central nervous system: It includes the brain and spinal cord
2. Peripheral nervous systems: The nervous system outside the brain and spinal cord.

Figure 4: Nervous system

 Brain: A mass of 100 billion neurons located inside the skull.

 Cerebrum: Largest part of human brain.
 Cerebellum: At base of brain. Important for coordination, precision and timing of movement
 Brain Stem: Connects brain to spinal cord. Regulates heart rate, breathing, sleep cycles and
 Spinal Cord : Column of nerves from brain to tailbone – protected by vertebrae of spine
 Responsible for: Conducting impulses between the brain and the rest of the body
 Impulses may travel as fast at 268 miles/hr.
 Basic Cells of the Nervous System: Neuron
 Neuron transmits impulses (up to 250 mph)
 Three types of Neurons;
1. Sensory neurons: bring messages to CNS
2. Motor neurons: carry messages from CNS
3. Interneurons: between sensory & motor neurons in the CNS

Nervous System

Central Nervous Peripheral Nervous

System System

Somatic Nervous System Automatic Nervous System

(Voluntary) (Involuntary)

Relays information to and from Relays information to internal

skin and skeletal muscles organs

Sympathetic Nervous system Parasympathetic Nervous System

Controls organs in times of Controls organs when body is at

stress rest

Figure 5: Classes of nervous system

Figure 6: Structure of neuron


1. Inaccessibility of variables to measurement: One of the greatest problems in attempting
measurements from a living system is the difficulty in gaining access to the variable being

2. Variability of the data: measurements take under a fixed set of conditions at one time will
not necessarily be the same as similar measurements made under the same conditions at
another time. The variability from one subject to another is even greater.

3. Lack of knowledge about interrelationship: The foregoing variability in measured values

could be better explained if more were known and understood about the interrelationships
within the body. Physiological measurements with large tolerances are often accepted by the
physician because of a lack of this knowledge and the resultant in-ability to control variations.

4. Interaction among physiological systems: Because of the large number of feedback loops
involved in the major physiological systems, a severe degree of interaction exists both within a
given system and among the major systems. The result is that stimulation of one part of a
given system generally affects all other parts of that system in some way (sometimes in an
unpredictable fashion) and often affects other systems as well.

5. Effect of the transducer on the measurement: Almost any kind of measurement is affected
in some way by the presence of the measuring transducer. If the used transducer is a faulty
one, then the entire measurements will give wrong data.

6. Artifacts: In medicine and biology, the term artifact refers to any component of a signal that is
extraneous to the variable represented by the signal. Thus, random noise generated within the
measuring instrument, electrical interference, cross talk, and all other unwanted variations in
the signal are considered artifacts.

7. Energy limitations: Many physiological measurement techniques require that a certain

amount of energy be applied to the living system in order to obtain a measurement. In most
cases, this energy level is so low that its effect is insignificant. However, in dealing with living
cells, care must continually be taken to avoid the possibility of energy concentrations that
might damage cells or affect the measurements.

8. Safety considerations: As previously mentioned, the methods employed in measuring

variables in a living human subject must in no way endanger the life or normal functioning of
the subject.


 The body system generates its own monitoring signals while carrying out various functions.
 Such signals convey useful information about the functions they represent.
 These signals are bioelectric potentials associated with nerve conduction, brain activity,
heartbeat, muscle activity etc.
 Bioelectric potentials are actually ionic voltages produced as a result of electrochemical
activity of certain special types of cells.
 Special type of cells, like nerve and muscle cells, in the body are encased in semipermeable
membrane that permits some substance to pass through the membrane while others are kept

Figure 7: Normal semipermeable membrane

 The ions outside the membrane are called as ECF, and the ions inside the membrane are called
as ICF, as shown in fig 7.
 In normal condition when the semipermeable membranes are in polarized state, the ions,
Sodium (Na+) will be outside the membrane.
 Since the size of Na+ ions is more than the size of holes in semipermeable membrane, they
cannot enter inside.
 Whereas other ions like potassium (K+) and chloride (Cl-) can enter the membranes, and
exhibit resting potential.
 The sodium ions can enter the membrane when the holes are increased by stimulation
(excitation) as shown in fig 8.

Figure 8: Excited semipermeable membrane

 After stimulation of the membrane, all sodium ions can enter inside due to the increased
diameter of pores or holes.
 It constitutes depolarization and gives action potential.

 Some fluids are surrounding the cells of the body, which are conductive.
 These conductive solutions contain atoms known as ions.
 Principal ions present are: Sodium (Na+), Potassium (K+) and Chloride (Cl-).
 The membrane of cells readily permits entry of K+ and Cl-, but effectively blocks Na+ ions.
 According to concentration and electric charge, various ions seek a balance between inside
and outside of cell.

Figure 9: Polarized cell with resting potential

 Due to inability of Na+, to penetrate the membrane there results two conditions:
1. The Na+ ions inside the cell become much lower in concentration than in the intercellular
fluid outside. Sodium ions are +ve, it tends to make outside of cell more +ve than inside.
2. In an attempt to balance the electric charge, additional potassium ions, which are also
+ve, enter the cell causing a higher concentration of potassium on the inside than the
outside. But, the charge balance cannot be achieved, due to imbalance concentrate of K+
 Equilibrium is reached with a potential difference across the membrane, -ve on inside and +ve
on the outside, and this membrane potential is known as resting potential of cell.
 This potential is maintained until some disturbance upsets the equilibrium.
 The membrane potential is made from inside the cell with respect to the body fluids.
 Therefore, the resting potential is –ve, rating from -60 mV to -100 mV.
 Fig 10 shows the cross section of a cell with resting potential and the state is said to

 Due to some external energy or by the flow of ionic current, a section of cell membrane
changes its characteristics and begins to allow some of sodium ions to enter.

Figure 10: Depolarization of cell

 This movement of sodium ions into the cell constitutes an ionic current flow that further
reduces the balance of membrane to sodium ions.
 The net result is avalanche effect and tries to balance with ions outside.
 At the same time, potassium ions, in higher concentration inside the cell during resting state,
try to leave the cell, but are unable to move as fast as sodium ions.
 The result is that the cell always attains small +ve potential on the inside due to imbalance of
potassium ions, known as action potential, which is nearly +20 mV.
 When a cell is excited and displays an action potential, it is said to be “depolarized” and the
process of charging resting state to action potential, is called as depolarization as shown in
figure 10 and figure 11 shows cross-section of depolarized cell, that is action potential.
 New equilibrium state is achieved, once the rush of sodium ions through the cell membrane
has stopped.
 Ionic currents that lowered the barrier sodium ions are no longer present and membrane
reverts back to original selectivity permeable condition.
 Now passage of sodium ions from the outside to inside of the cell is again blocked.
 Time taken to develop back resting potential would be more, but by an active process, the
sodium ions are quickly transported to outside of the cell.

Figure 11: Cross-section of depolarized cell

 The cell again becomes polarized and assumes its resting potential, the process now is called
 The rate of pumping is directly proportional to the sodium concentration in the cell.
 Figure 12 depicts a typical transmission of impulse or action potential waveform, beginning at
resting potential depolarization and returning to resting potential after repolarization.

Figure 12: A typical action potential waveform


 If a cell is excited and generates an action potential, an ionic current flows.
 Such process excites the neighbouring cell or adjacent areas of the same cell.
 In case of nerve at any instant, only a small portion of the fiber undergoes a transition.
 Now figure 13 shows the charge distribution in the vicinity of the action region of an
unmyelinated and myelinated nerve fiber, as propagation of action potential.
 The membrane lying ahead of the active region is polarized, as in the resting state and the
active region is depolarized and membrane behind the active region is repolarized membrane.
 Such charge distribution constitutes closed path currents (solenoidal currents).
 These currents flow in such a way that their effect is to depolarize the membrane in the region
ahead of the active region that it becomes active.
 The membrane is in active state, only for a short duration of time.
 After depolarization the membrane repolarizes completely. In this way the action potential
propagates along the length of the fiber.
 In the case of myelinated nerve fiber, the myelin sheath is interrupted at regular intervals by
nodes called nodes of Ranvier.

Figure 13: Propagation of action potential

 To measure a bioelectric potential, we need a transducer for converting ionic potentials into
electric potentials.
 The waveforms obtained in bioelectric potential measurements, generally ends in the suffix
 For example, electrocardiogram is the waveform resulting from the heart’s electrical activity.
 That waveform measured by an instrument is called electrocardiograph.
 The bio-potentials generated by the muscles of the heart result in the electrocardiogram.
Abbreviated as ECG.
 The contraction of the heart muscles depends upon the impulse generated by the specialised
cells in the SA node (sino-atrial).
 SA node is situated in the upper part of right atrium.
 The generated impulse spread out both the right and left atria.
 Through AV node (atrio-ventricular) the impulse reaches the starting of right ventricle.
 There is a time delay occurs because AV node is very narrow in structure.
 In ventricles we have specialised cells called “Bundle of His”, it contains a cluster of fibers
called “Purkinje fiber”.
 These structures help to spread the impulse throughout the ventricles.
 According to this impulse, the ventricular and atrial contraction and relaxation occurs.
 With a person in a sitting position, the heart beats (or contracts) about 70 times per minute.
 With each beat, a quantity of blood is driven through the heart.
 Between the beats, the heart mechanically rests and this is known as the period of “diastole”.
 During diastole the heart assumes its maximum size and fills with oxygenated blood returning
from the lungs and the venous blood returning from the body.
 The heart’s period of mechanical activity is known as “systole”.
 The systoles are initiated by the contraction of both atria and ventricles.
 The electrocardiogram (ECG) waveform can be represented as;

Figure 14: Representation of ECG waveform

P Depolarization of arterial muscles

QRS complex Repolarization of atria and depolarization of ventricles.
T Repolarization of ventricles.
U After potential in the ventricle muscles.

 For representing prominent features, some alphabetic designations have been given.
 These can be identified with events related to the action potential propagation pattern.
 In which the horizontal segment on this wave form preceding the ‘P’ wave is designated as the
base line or isopotential line.
 The P wave represents depolarization of the arterial muscles.
 The QRS complex is the combined results of the repolarization of the arterial muscles and
depolarization of ventricles, which occurs almost simultaneously.
 The T-wave is the wave of ventricular repolarization.
 The U-wave if present is generally believed to be the result of after potentials in the
ventricular muscles.
 The P-Q interval represents the time during which the excitation wave is delayed in the fiber
near the AV node.

 The recorded representation of bioelectric potentials generated by the neuronal activity of the
brain is called electroencephalogram.
 The EEG has a very complex pattern, which is much more difficult to recognize than the ECG.

Figure 15: Typical EEG signals

 The waveform varies greatly with the location of the measuring electrodes on the surface of
the scalp.
 EEG potentials measured at the surface of scalp, actually represent the combined effect of
potentials from a fairly wide region of ‘cerebral cortex’ and from various points beneath.
 The various frequency ranges of the EEG have been given Greek letter designations because
frequency seems to be the most prominent feature of an EEG pattern.
 Below 31/2 Hz Delta Testing during deep sleep
 From 31/2 Hz to about 8 Hz Theta Testing during normal sleep
 From 8 Hz to about 13 Hz Alpha Testing during relaxed state with closing
 Above 13 Hz Beta Testing during anxious state
 These frequency ranges are the key characteristics used to define normal or abnormal EEG
 Most human seem to develop EEG pattern in ‘alpha range’ when they are relaxed with their
eyes closed.
 Then we get a synchronised pattern shows idling or natural frequency of brain.
 When the person becomes alert, or begins thinking the alpha rhythm disappears ant it is
replaced with a desynchronised pattern, generally in the ‘beta range’.
 Another form of EEG measurement is the ‘evoked response’. This is a measure of the
disturbance in the EEG pattern that results from external stimuli such as flash of light or a
click of sound.

 The bioelectric potentials associated with skeletal muscle activity constitute electromyogram,
 These potentials may be measured at the surface of the body near a skeletal muscle of interest,
or directly from the muscle by penetrating the skin with the needle electrodes.
 Like EEG, EMG electrodes pickup potentials from all muscles within the range of the
 This means that potentials from nearby large muscles may interfere with attempts to measure
the EMG from smaller muscles, even though the electrodes are placed directly over the small
 So it is required to interest needle electrodes directly into the muscles.
 The amplitude of the measured EMG waveform is the instantaneous sum of all the action
potentials generated in that given time.
 The EMG waveform appears very much like a random noise waveform, because the electrode
experience both positive and negative polarities by the action potentials.

Figure 16: Typical EMG signals

 The recording of potential changes produced by the eye when the retina is exposed to a flash
of light is called electroretinogram.

 The potential changes due to eye movement are called electrooculogram. The potentials are
mainly taken from cornea.
 The EOG provide information on the orientation of the eye.

 The waveform pattern associated with electric potentials generated by the stomach muscles.