As well as giving a solid scientific understanding, the course also addresses commercial, ethical, legal and regulatory requirements, aided by extensive industrial contacts.
The MSc programmes in Biomedical Engineering are full-time, one academic year (12 consecutive months). The programmes consist of 4 core taught modules and two optional streams. Biomedical, Genetics and Tissue Engineering stream has 3 modules, all compulsory (individual course pages). The second option, Biomedical, Biomechanics and Bioelectronics Engineering stream consists of 5 modules. Students choosing this option will be required to choose 60 credit worth of modules.
The taught modules are delivered to students over two terms of each academic year. The taught modules are examined at the end of each term, and the students begin working on their dissertations on a part-time basis in term 2, then full-time during the months of May to September.
Biomechanics and Biomaterials (15 credit)
Design and Manufacture (15 credit)
Biomedical Engineering Principles (15 credit)
Innovation, Management and Research Methods (15 credit)
Plus: Dissertation (60 credit)
60 credit to be selected from the following optional modules:
Design of Mechatronic Systems (15 credit)
Biomedical Imaging (15 credit)
Biofluid Mechanics (15 credit)
Artificial Organs and Biomedical Applications (15 credit)
Applied Sensors Instrumentation and Control (30 credit)
Applied Sensors Instrumentation and Control
Sensors and instrumentation – Sensor characteristics and the principles of sensing; electronic interfacing with sensors; sensor technologies – physical, chemical and biosensors; sensor examples – position, displacement, velocity, acceleration, force, strain, pressure, temperature; distributed sensor networks; instrumentation for imaging, spectroscopy and ionising radiation detection; 'lab-on-a-chip'.
Control – Control theory and matrix/vector operations; state-space systems, multi-input, multi-output (MIMO) systems, nonlinear systems and linearization. Recurrence relations, discrete time state-space representation, controllability and observability, pole-placement for both continuous and discrete time systems, Luenberger observer. Optimal control systems, Stochastic systems: random variable theory; recursive estimation; introduction to Kalman filtering (KF); brief look at KF for non-linear systems and new results in KF theory.
Artificial Organs and Biomedical Applications
Main topics include: audiology and cochlear implants; prostheses; artificial limbs and rehabilitation engineering; life support systems; robotic surgical assistance; telemedicine; nanotechnology.
Main topics include: review of the cardiovascular system; the cardiac cycle and cardiac performance, models of the cardiac system, respiratory system and respiratory performance, lung models, physiological effects of exercise, trauma and disease; blood structure and composition, blood gases. oxygenation, effect of implants and prostheses, blood damage and repair, viscometry of blood, measurement of blood pressure and flow; urinary system: anatomy and physiology, fluid and waste transfer mechanisms, urinary performance and control, effects of trauma, ageing and disease; modelling of biofluid systems, review of mass, momentum and energy transfers related to biological flow systems, fluid mechanics in selected topics relating to the cardiovascular and respiratory systems; measurements in biomedical flows.
Biomechanics and Biomaterials
Main topics include: review of biomechanical principles; introduction to biomedical materials; stability of biomedical materials; biocompatibility; materials for adhesion and joining; applications of biomedical materials; implant design.
Biomedical Engineering Principles
Main topics include: bone structure and composition; the mechanical properties of bone, cartilage and tendon; the cardiovascular function and the cardiac cycle; body fluids and organs; organisation of the nervous system; sensory systems; biomechanical principles; biomedical materials; biofluid mechanics principles, the cardiovascular system, blood structure and composition, modelling of biofluid systems.
Principle and applications of medical image processing – Basic image processing operations, Advanced edge-detection techniques and image segmentation, Flexible shape extraction, Image restoration, 3D image reconstruction, image guided surgery
Introduction of modern medical imaging techniques – Computerized tomography imaging (principle, image reconstruction with nondiffracting sources, artifacts, clinical applications)
Magnetic resonance imaging (principle, image contrast and measurement of MR related phenomena, examples of contrast changes with changes of instrumental parameters and medical applications)
Ultrasound imaging (description of ultrasound radiation, transducers, basic imaging techniques: A-scan, B-scan and Doppler technique; clinical application)
Positron emission tomography (PET imaging) (principle, radioactive substance, major clinical applications)
Design and Manufacture
Main topics include: design and materials optimisation; management and manufacturing strategies; improving clinical medical and industrial interaction; meeting product liability, ethical, legal and commercial needs.
Design of Mechatronic Systems
Microcontroller technologies. Data acquisition. Interfacing to power devices. Sensors (Infrared, Ultrasonic, etc.). Optoelectronic devices and signal conditioning circuits. Pulse and timing-control circuits. Drive circuits. Electrical motor types: Stepper, Servo. Electronic Circuits. Power devices. Power conversion and power electronics. Line filters and protective devices. Industrial applications of digital devices.
Innovation and Management and Research Methods
Main topics include: company structure and organisation will be considered (with particular reference to the United Kingdom), together with the interfacing between hospital, clinical and healthcare sectors; review of existing practice: examination of existing equipment and devices; consideration of current procedures for integrating engineering expertise into the biomedical environment. Discussion of management techniques; design of biomedical equipment: statistical Procedures and Data Handling; matching of equipment to biomedical systems; quality assurance requirements in clinical technology; patient safety requirements and protection; sterilisation procedures and infection control; failure criteria and fail-safe design; maintainability and whole life provision; public and environmental considerations: environmental and hygenic topics in the provision of hospital services; legal and ethical requirements; product development: innovation in the company environment, innovation in the clinical environment; cash flow and capital provision; testing and validation; product development criteria and strategies.
The choice of Dissertation topic will be made by the student in consultation with academic staff and (where applicable) with the sponsoring company. The topic agreed is also subject to approval by the Module Co-ordinator. The primary requirement for the topic is that it must have sufficient scope to allow the student to demonstrate his or her ability to conduct a well-founded programme of investigation and research. It is not only the outcome that is important since the topic chosen must be such that the whole process of investigation can be clearly demonstrated throughout the project. In industrially sponsored projects the potential differences between industrial and academic expectations must be clearly understood.