Biosignal Properties

The term Biosignal refers to all the signals that are being generated in the human body or any other living organism or more specifically it is used to represent all those signals from living organisms that are monitored to obtain certain useful information. Primarily, the term refers to signals that are electrical in nature but, some non-electric signals are monitored as well. Typically, the changes in potential difference across a certain tissue in the body are measured in case of bio-electric signals. Let us have a look at few of the properties of biosignals generated by the human body that are analysed to obtain information: In case of Electroencephalography, the activity of the human brain is monitored. Usually, at a synapse (junctions between the cells of the nervous system), flow of ions takes place. This results in the formation of various signals that are used by the body to transfer information. The voltage variations that are caused by these signals are recorded and thus, the activity of the brain is measured.

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Modelling different types of Biomedical Devices

Biomedical devices are those electrical devices that are used in medicine to carry out various tests on the human body. A lot of research has been performed in this field and as a result, these devices have become indispensable as far as medicine is concerned. Let us have a look at some of the tasks that are performed by making use of these devices: For diagnosis of various diseases or abnormalities. In prevention of these diseases, their cure, mitigation etc. In many cases, some parts of the human body malfunction and are no longer able to perform their respective tasks. In such cases, these devices may be used as a replacement for those body parts. For example, a pace maker is used for a person who has a weak heart. Based on the type of function that they perform and on other characteristics, these devices have been classified into the following three types: The devices in the first class relatively cause less amount of harm to the user and have been designed using simple techniques. These devices include ordinary items such as surgical gloves, tongue depressors, other hand held instruments used in surgery etc. The devices that belong to the…

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Contact lenses with circuits for superhuman vision

Can you imagine having screen directly on your eye like movie characters from the Terminator or Bionic Woman? Maybe not for having virtual crosshairs or zoom in on far-off scenes, but for more practical use like having virtual displays for visual aids to help vision-impaired people, holographic driving control panels and even as a way to surf the Web on the go. The device to make this happen may be familiar. Engineers at the University of Washington have for the first time used manufacturing techniques at microscopic scales to combine a flexible, biologically safe contact lens with an imprinted electronic circuit and lights. There are many possible uses for virtual displays. Drivers or pilots could see a vehicle’s speed projected onto the windshield. Video-game companies could use the contact lenses to completely immerse players in a virtual world without restricting their range of motion. And for communications, people on the go could surf the Internet on a midair virtual display screen that only they would be able to see. The prototype device contains an electric circuit as well as red light-emitting diodes for a display, though it does not yet light up. The lenses were tested on rabbits for up…

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Intestinal Robots

Intestinal robots are artificial electromechanical systems – robots – that were designed for exploring the inner cavities and organs of the body, particularly the intestines and other parts of the digestive tract.  Built to replace or provide an alternative to colonoscopy, currently the only option for taking a look inside the human body (this is done by inserting a tube through a convenient orifice), intestinal robots have gained much attention from the medical community.  Due to the minute size of the circuitry that has to be used in intestinal robots, they are seen as a field for technological development and as an application of Moore’s Law. First-Generation Robots The first wave of intestinal robots was mostly designed to pass through the body passively.  The primary component of these robots was a miniaturized camera that took still images or video as it passed through the patient’s body.  An early example of this kind of robot was the camera that was integrated into a pill, which could then be swallowed (and consequently passed out) by the patient.

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Robotic Assistance for the Disabled

Embedded devices – particularly digital ones – that are specially designed to assist individuals with disabilities are often seen as the next step in that particular field of technology.  Such embedded devices generally have several advantages over the previous wave of embedded devices that have monitoring functions, control capabilities and the ability to access and use communication protocols like the internet.  The modern embedded applications devices do not stop at monitoring, tracking and relaying information; they almost always directly assist the user, such as in the form of a prosthetic limb or a personal transport assistance vehicle. Advancements in Embedded Devices Although research on embedded devices – especially  programmed computer systems designed to do a limited number of tasks – has been ongoing since the creation of the computer itself, great advances have only been achieved in recent years as a consequence of the developments in computing and computer chip-making technologies.  Embedded devices are currently used in a variety of implements ranging from sensors to networking devices to mini computers for simple computing and calculating tasks. Embedded Devices in Prosthetics

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Embedded Electronics in Space and Medicine

Embedded medical and space systems make use of miniaturized computers that are designed and programmed to do only one or a very limited number of functions. Their minute size and very low energy demands allow them to be used in several environments. Combined with other systems, they can be used to create any number of new devices. Embedded Systems in Medicine Because of their small size and their specificity in function, embedded systems have been widely used in medicine, especially when used as a relatively large component. Current computer tomography (CT) scanners use application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) that span a few square inches; this is quite big in comparison to other implementations of embedded systems which cover a mere fraction of an inch. Photodiodes are yet another embedded system that is critical to CT scanners. Photodiode arrays (photodiodes arranged in a linear fashion on an integrated chip) are responsible for detecting different wavelengths of light, a fundamental function in CT technology.

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The BrainSUITE neuro-imaging

Brain tumors are one of the most difficult medical conditions to diagnose and treat. Brain surgery, for obvious reasons, is complicated and very risky. Luckily, modern day developments in the field of medicine can make performing brain tumor diagnosis and, more importantly, brain surgery easier and less risky. With a combination of advanced electronic tools and a doctor’s skills as well as technical knowledge, there can be better prognosis for brain cancer patients.

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