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The University of Southampton

ELEC6251 Medical Sensors and Instrumentation

Module Overview

This module will be first offered in the 2020/21 academic year. This module provides an overview of current medical diagnostic systems focussing on imaging (ionising, MRI and ultrasound), cardio (ECG) and vital signs monitoring. It also outlines the principles of lab analytical techniques such as GC and MS and the development of new biophotonic tools for imaging, in-situ diagnostics and surgery. The module also introduces ethical considerations and regulatory requirement. New developments in non-invasive sensing and monitoring will be described including remote patient monitoring, and new developments in technology such as smart plasters and bandages. In the practical laboratory sessions you will investigate the physical properties of various tissue (or tissue-mimicking) samples using ultrasound, and design algorithms to create images from the raw ultrasound data.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To provide an overview of medical sensors and instrumentation

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • Medical imaging techniques and how they are applied in clinical practice.
  • Non and minimally invasive patient monitoring systems.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Describe the interactions of ionising radiation with biological material
  • Explain the principle of analysis and imaging using ultrasonic and optical techniques
  • Explain the use of electrical measurement and stimulus techniques in cardiology.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Describe the regulations and standard that apply to medical technologies.
  • Explain the ethical framework governing medical technologies.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Quantify the physical properties of various tissue (or tissue-mimicking) samples using ultrasound.


Medical imaging techniques - MRI - CT - Ultrasonics - Optical spectroscopy - Applications and new technologies in clinical practice Vital signs monitoring - Pulse oximetry -Plethysmography - Blood gas analysis - Smart plasters Electrical measurement and stimulus techniques - ECG - EEG - Pacemakers - TMS Ethics CE marking and regulatory compliance Ultrasound imaging practical laboratory

Learning and Teaching

Specialist Laboratory8
Total study time44

Resources & Reading list

C. R. Hill, J. C. Bamber, and G. R. ter Haar (eds.) (2004). Physical Principles of Medical Ultrasonics. 

G. J. Webster (2009). Medical instrumentation: Application and Design. 

K. Shung (2005). Diagnostic Ultrasound: Imaging and Blood Flow Measurements. 

J. D. Enderle (2012). Introduction to Biomedical Engineering. 

R. Cobbold (2007). Foundations of Biomedical Ultrasound. 

T. Szabo (2013). Diagnostic Ultrasound Imaging: Inside Out. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 50%
Examination  (2 hours) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination 50%
Technical report 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 50%
Technical report 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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