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SYSC 3203 - Bioelectronics


Biomedical transducers, sensors, and biomedical actuators. Biomaterials and biocompatibility. Amplifier designs: inverting, noninverting, differential, and bioinstrumentation. Amplifier analysis: gain, sensitivity, distortion and stability. Filter design. Sampling and quantization. Electrical machines. Biomedical electrical safety and standards.


Prerequisite(s): MATH 3705 and (ELEC 2507 or ELEC 3605) and enrolment in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering or Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering programs.

It is assumed that students

  • Understand linear circuit components
  • Are proficient with linear circuit techniques, including KCL, KVL, and phasor analysis
  • Understand the operation of analog components, including transistors
  • Understand operational amplifier circuits


Andy Adler
Office: Canal 6204
Phone: +1-613-520-2600 x 8785
Office Hours: Mon 10h00–11h00 & Thurs 13h00—14h00

Teaching Assistant

  Emma Farago

Times and Locations

Section  Activity  Day  Time  Location
SYSC3203    LEC 1    Mon    8:35−9:55    Canal 3101
   LEC 2    Wed    8:35−9:55    Canal 3101
   LAB A1    Tue    14:35−17:25    Minto Centre 6070
   LAB A2    Wed    14:35−17:25    Minto Centre 6070

Course Objectives, Learning Outcomes and Graduate Attributes

  • Course Objectives: This course will introduce simple bioelectric sensors, transducers, amplifiers, filters and other rudimentary electronic circuits used in a typical bioelectric system, develop fundamentals required for design and analysis of amplifier and filtering circuits, develop skills to analyze a given amplifier/filter design, learn to shape signals, understand fundamental principles of electric motors and understand biomedical safety and associated standards.
  • Learning Outomes By the end of this semester, students should be able to:
    • Understand specifications for design of simple bioelectric systems such as amplifier systems, filtering systems
    • Design amplifiers and filters for given specifications
    • Analyze a simple amplifer circuit, filter circuit and provide specifications from the circuit
    • Understand effects of sampling and quantization in a bioelectric system
    • Understand biomedical safety and standards
  • Graduate Attributes Biomedical Systems, Biomedical Instrumentation
    Graduate Attribute   Learning Outcome   Measurement

    1.7 (Discipline-specific concept SCE-4) Electronics and circuits b,c Final
    1.10 (Discipline-specific concept SCE-7) Biomedical instrumentation b,c,e Final
    1.11 (Discipline-specific concept SCE-8) Biomedical systems a,d,e Lab#1
    2.1 Problem definition a,b Lab#3
    2.2 Approach to the problem a,b Lab#4
    2.3 Use of assumptions a,b Lab#1
    2.4 Interpreting the solution - validity of results b,c Lab#5
    4.1 Clear design goals a Lab#5
    4.2 Detailed design specifications and requirements a,d Lab#1
    4.4 Design solution(s) b,c Final
    4.5 Design implementation / task(s) definition a Lab#5
    4.6 Alternate Solutions Definition a,c Lab#3
    4.7 Evaluation Based on Engineering Principles a,c Final
    5.4 Information from relevant publications a Lab#1
    6.1 Personal and group time management a Lab#5
    6.2 Group culture, group dynamics a Lab#5
    6.3 Leadership: initiative and mentoring, areas of expertise, and interdisciplinary teams a Lab#5
    7.2 Professional documents: writing, design notes, drawings, attributions, and references a,b Lab#5
    9.4 Health, safety, and risk e Final


Work  Value
Labs    20%
Quiz #1/#2/#3/#4    20%
Midterm Exam    10%
Final Exam    50%


The course text will be the course notes.

An optional text will be: Sedra&Smith, Microelectronic Circuits (Any edition will be suitable) ISBN: 978-0195116632

Exams (Quizzes, Midterm and Final)

  • The Midterm exam is Oct 28 (80 minutes, in class).
  • The Final exam date will be set by the university
  • For all exams and quizzes, you will be permitted a calculator and one (1) 8.5"×11" paper sheet containing any information you choose (double sided).

Marks Policies

  • If you have a question about a mark you have received, please fill out, sign and submit this form.
  • Academic fraud will be taken very seriously. Cooperation between students for assignments is expected and encouraged, however, copying of another's work is not. You should not be leaving a discussion with copies of another student's work.

General Regulations

  • Attendance: Students are expected to attend all lectures and lab periods. The University requires students to have a conflict-free timetable. For more information, see the current Undergraduate Calendar, Academic Regulations of the University, Section 2.1.3, Course Selection and Registration and Section 2.1.7, Deregistration.
  • Health and Safety: Every student should have a copy of our Health and Safety Manual. A PDF copy of this manual is available online.
  • Deferred Term Work: Students who claim illness, injury or other extraordinary circumstances beyond their control as a reason for missed term work are held responsible for immediately informing the instructor concerned and for making alternate arrangements with the instructor and in all cases this must occur no later than three (3.0) working days after the term work was due. The alternate arrangement must be made before the last day of classes in the term as published in the academic schedule. For more information, see the current Undergraduate Calendar, Academic Regulations of the University, Section 4.4, Deferred Term Work.
  • Appeal of Grades: The processes for dealing with questions or concerns regarding grades assigned during the term and final grades is described in the Undergraduate Calendar, Academic Regulations of the University, Section 3.3.4, Informal Appeal of Grade and Section 3.3.5, Formal Appeal of Grade.
  • Academic Integrity: Students should be aware of their obligations with regards to academic integrity. Please review the information about academic integrity online. This site also contains a link to the complete Academic Integrity Policy that was approved by the University's Senate.
  • Plagiarism: Plagiarism (copying and handing in for credit someone else's work) is a serious instructional offense that will not be tolerated.

Academic Accommodation

You may need special arrangements to meet your academic obligations during the term. You can visit the Equity Services website to view the policies and to obtain more detailed information on academic accommodation online. For an accommodation request, the processes are as follows:
  • Pregnancy or Religious obligation: Please contact your instructor with any requests for academic accommodation during the first two weeks of class, or as soon as possible after the need for accommodation is known to exist. For more details see
  • Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: The Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities (PMC) provides services to students with Learning Disabilities (LD), psychiatric/mental health disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), chronic medical conditions, and impairments in mobility, hearing, and vision. If you have a disability requiring academic accommodations in this course, please contact PMC at 613-520-6608 or for a formal evaluation. If you are already registered with the PMC, contact your PMC coordinator to send me your Letter of Accommodation at the beginning of the term, and no later than two weeks before the first in-class scheduled test or exam requiring accommodation (if applicable). Requests made within two weeks will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. After requesting accommodation from PMC, meet with me to ensure accommodation arrangements are made. Please consult the PMC website ( for the deadline to request accommodations for the formally-scheduled exam (if applicable).
  • Survivors of Sexual Violence: As a community, Carleton University is committed to maintaining a positive learning, working and living environment where sexual violence will not be tolerated, and where survivors are supported through academic accommodations as per Carleton’s Sexual Violence Policy. For more information about the services available at the university and to obtain information about sexual violence and/or support, visit:
  • Accommodation for Student Activities: Carleton University recognizes the substantial benefits, both to the individual student and for the university, that result from a student participating in activities beyond the classroom experience. Reasonable accommodation must be provided to students who compete or perform at the national or international level. Please contact your instructor with any requests for academic accommodation during the first two weeks of class, or as soon as possible after the need for accommodation is known to exist. For more details, see


  • Labs take the form of deliverables as part of a single project
  • Completed labs must be submitted to the assignment drop box (4th floor ME) on the Monday following the lab.
  • A lab write up includes:
    • A schematic of the circuit (including chip layouts)
    • Answers to Questions (in the indicated boxes)
    • Print-outs of measured waveforms (labelled!!) as requried.
  • To get your kit, visit the SCE Office (4456, Mackenzie), bringing a signed Sign out form (page 1) and $99 payment (between each group of two) via Credit/Debit card.
  • Kit return instructions
    • Note #1: tech office is closed for kit return until 16 Dec.
    • Note #2: can sign off on kit returns at the final exam
    • Students will perform the last lab test. This process will test all components of the kits
    • Print the Sign out form (page 2); and ask the TA to sign off on the return sheet. (The TA will note that test has been done and all is working with the kit)
    • Students will then come to the technical office ME4224a with the signed sheet for a member of the technical staff to process the inventory of the kit.
    • Once a technical staff member has completed the inventory of the kit the technical staff member will sign off on the second sheet that the deposit can be refunded.
    • Students should note that if there are deficiencies in the kits there may be deductions in the deposited amount.
    • All wires are to be coiled neatly as they were handed out. If wires are not coiled students will have to wait until these wires are processed.
    • All items that were originally in the kit must be returned. Students are to ensure that there is no garbage left in the kit as this will delay the inventorying of the kits.
    • Once a member of the technical staff has inventoried the kit students will be directed to the department office, ME4456, to have their refund processed.
    • ALL kits must be returned by the end of the term. Groups that do not return kits will be reported to the department office.
    • Kits must be returned during tech staff office hours. These are Monday to Friday from 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm. No kits will be taken outside of these hours.
  • In the lab, sign the Student Safety Contract and hand to the TA.
  • Images of final product: Construction, Lab Project Movie, (HD)
  • Floppybird links: Regular Version, Easy Version, (source)
No.   Lab / Questions     Dates
0   Milestone #0: #0: Instructions + Report, Equations
    Sep 10, Sep 11,  

1   Milestone #1A: #1A: Instructions, #1A: Report
Milestone #1B: #1B: Instructions, #1B: Report
    Sep 17, Sep 18
Sep 24, Sep 25

2   Milestone #2: #2: Instructions, #2: Report     Oct 1, Oct 2
Oct 8, Oct 9

3   Milestone #3A: #3A: Instructions, #3A: Report (Example of Measured filter performance)
Milestone #3B: #3B: Instructions, #3B: Report
    Oct 15, Oct 16
Oct 29, Oct 30

4   Milestone #4A: #4A: Instructions, #4A: Report
Milestone #4B: #4B: Instructions, #4B: Report
    Nov  5, Nov  6
Nov 12, Nov 13

5   Milestone #5: #5: Instructions, #5: Report     Nov 19, Nov 20
Nov 26, Nov 27
Dec 3, Dec 4

Course Outline

Date   Activity   Questions
Sep 4,   Introduction, Review of linear ciruits, time-constants   Q01:a, b, c

Sep  9, Sep 11   Bioelectrical safety and standards Isolation circuits, Opto-isolators, Relays
  Q02: MT'15 (Q2),
F'15 (Q1)

Sep 16,   Op-amps, review   Q03: MT'17 (Q3),

Sep 18,   Review and Quiz #1
Quiz topics: RC circuits, H(ω) and step response, Electrical safety, Relays and opto-isolators, op-amps
  Quiz #1

Sep 23, Sep 25, Sep 30   Amplifier limitations: static and dynamic, Instrumentation amplifiers (AD620)   Q5:MT'17, Q4:MT'17, Q6,7:MT'09

Oct 2   Review and Quiz #2
Quiz topics: Op-amps, op-amp circuits, instrumentation amplifiers, input and output impedances, amplifier limitations: CMRR, VOS, IB, fT, SR.
  Quiz #2

Oct 7, Oct 9   Filter design (see code examples, below) 04A-filter-design,

Oct 14   Thanksgiving (No Classes)

Oct 16,   Rectifiers, Super-diodes

Oct 21, Oct 23   Fall Break (No Classes)

Oct 27   Midterm Review, 2−2:40pm: (

Oct 28   Midterm (Class layout)
Midterm topics: Electrical safety, Relays and opto-isolators, op-amps RC circuits, H(ω) and step response, Op-amps, op-amp circuits, instrumentation amplifiers, input and output impedances, amplifier limitations: Passive and active 1st and 2nd order circuits. Filter Design. Super Diodes.

Oct 30,   Comparators and Triggers

Nov 4 Nov 6,   Mono- and Bistable circuits

Nov 11   Review and Quiz #3
Quiz topics: Rectifiers, super-diodes, Comparators and Triggers Mono- and Bistable circuits.
Examples: 2017F (Q5), 2017MT2 (Q2), 2017MT2 (Q4), 2016F (Q5b,c), 2016MT2 (Q3B), 2015MT3 (5b,c), 2015F (5a,b)
  Quiz #3

Nov 13, Nov 18   Oscillators
Wien Bridge Results, Design of op amp sine wave oscillators [],

Nov. 20, Nov 25   Electrodes and sensors
slides07A-electrodes, slides07B-sensors
  (Electrodes: 17F1a,b, 16F1a, F151b) (Sensors: 17F3a,b,c, 16F3a, F153a,b)

Nov 27,   Review and Quiz #4
Quiz topics: Oscillators (square- and sine-wave), Electrodes, Sensors
  Quiz #4

Dec 2   ADCs and Sampling The Loudness War [Youtube],   17F7a,b, 16F3b, 15F2a,b)

Dec 4   Electrical Machines

Dec. 16   Exam Office hours: 13h00−15h00

Dec. 17, 9h00−12h00   Final Exam,

For study:


Last Updated: $Date: 2019-12-20 11:18:59 -0500 (Fri, 20 Dec 2019) $