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The University of Southampton

ELEC6208 Bio/Micro/Nano Systems

Module Overview

The aim of this module is to provide an overview of a range of biomolecular, microscale and nanoscale systems and devices, including sensors. The module consists of practical work on three different systems, involving construction and characterisation with a variety of methodologies, and is supported by lectures. The assessment is in the form of three laboratory reports. The semester 1 module ELEC6203 Microsensor Technologies is a prerequisite for ELEC6208.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Key features of a range of bio/micro/nano systems
  • Electrical and optical characterisation of such systems
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Explaining the working principle of several classes of bio/micro/nano systems
  • Define characterisation strategies for such systems
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Structure and write technical reports
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Package and evaluate a piezoelectric sensor
  • Characterise a nanoresonator system
  • Perform measurements with an enzymatic biosensor


Piezo/capacitive systems - Thick-film and piezoelectric systems - Sensor actuators - Piezoresistive and Capacitive sensing - Pressure sensors - Accelerometers - Gyroscopes Nanoscale systems - Nano Electro Mechanical Systems - Nanotube and nanowire devices - Nano resonators Biomolecular devices - Optical - Mechanical - Electrical Laboratory - Packaging and characterisation of piezoelectric sensor - Nanoresonator characterisation - Enzymatic glucose sensors

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Note that a laboratory report will not be marked if the student has not attended the associated laboratory sessions.

Preparation for scheduled sessions15
Completion of assessment task50
Follow-up work15
Wider reading or practice25
Supervised time in studio/workshop18
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Senturia, S.D (2001). Microsystem Design. 

Hector de Los Santos (2004). Introduction to Microelectromechanical Microwave Systems. 

Eggins BR (2002). Chemical Sensors and Biosensors. 

Khanna VK (2011). Nanosensors: physical, chemical, and biological. 

Hames D and Hooper NM (2011). Biochemistry (BIOS Instant Notes series), 4th Ed.. 

Biosensors and Bioelectronics.

Sensors and Actuators A: Physical.

Gaura, E (2006). Smart MEMS and Sensor Systems. 

Pethig RR and Smith S (2012). Introductory Bioelectronics: for Engineers and Physical Scientists. 

Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems.

Maluf N and Williams K (2004). An Introduction to Microelectromechanical Systems Engineering. 

Comprehensive lecture notes will be provided. 

Biosensors and Modern Biospecific Analytical Techniques.

Kovacs GTA (1998). Micromachined Transducers Sourcebook. 

Kaajakari V (2009). Practical MEMS: Design of microsystems, accelerometers, gyroscopes, RF MEMS, optical MEMS, and microfluidic systems. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Continuous Assessment 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: ELEC6203

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