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Unit of study_

BMET5995: Advanced Bionics

Semester 1, 2023 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

The field of 'bionics' is one of the primary embodiments of biomedical engineering. In the context of this unit, bionics is defined as a collection of therapeutic devices implanted into the body to restore or enhance functions lost through disease, developmental anomaly, or injury. Most typically, bionic devices intervene with the nervous system and aim to control neural activity through the delivery of electrical impulses. An example of this is a cochlear implant which delivers electrical impulses to physiologically excite surviving neurons of the auditory system, providing the capacity to elicit the psychological perception of sound. This unit primarily focuses upon the replacement of human senses, the nature and transduction of signals acquired, and how these ultimately effect neural activity.

Unit details and rules

Unit code BMET5995
Academic unit Biomedical Engineering
Credit points 6
AMME5995 OR AMME5951 OR BMET5951
Assumed knowledge

(ELEC1103 or BMET2902) and (BMET2922 or BMET9922)

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Gregg Suaning,
Lecturer(s) Gregg Suaning,
Tutor(s) Sidharth Aravind,
Mingxuan Zhang,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Supervised exam
Final Exam
45% Formal exam period 80 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO8
Tutorial quiz Quizzes
On-line quiz
5% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO7 LO2
Tutorial quiz hurdle task Quiz 1
Alignment of Expectations Quiz
0% Week 01
Due date: 24 Feb 2023 at 23:59
On-line quiz
Outcomes assessed: LO7 LO2 LO1
Assignment Printed Circuit Board layout (for Neuro stimulator project)
Design of a printed circuit board and submission to vendor for manufacture
0% Week 04
Due date: 31 Mar 2023 at 23:59
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4
Assignment Major Assignment - Bionic Eye Neuromodulation
Topic to be described during the semester
25% Week 10
Due date: 05 May 2023 at 23:59
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Presentation group assignment Poster presentation
Presentation of findings from Major Assignment
15% Week 12
Due date: 19 May 2023 at 23:59
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Assignment Neuro stimulator lab project
Produce, test and report on a functional neurostimulator.
10% Week 13
Due date: 26 May 2023 at 23:59
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
hurdle task = hurdle task ?
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • Quizzes: The first quiz must be completed in order to pass the unit of study. The subsequent quizzes may contain questions relating to any aspect of the unit up to and including the week prior to the quiz. Of the n quizzes, only the best n-1 will be counted towards the final mark.
  • Assignments: Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

Information on late penalties can be found on Canvas,

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction and Sensory Neuroprostheses: (a) Auditory transduction and the bionic ear (b) Phototransduction and the bionic eye Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 02 (a) Sensory Neuroprostheses: The Bionic Eye (cont'd). (b) Neuroprosthesis Design Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO7
BMET Neurostimulator Fabrication and Intro to Assignment 1: Power PCB design Practical (3 hr) LO3 LO4
Week 03 Fundamentals of Electrical Stimulation Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO7
Exploring inductive power and data transfer Practical (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO6
Week 04 Cochlear Implants Sound Processing Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO7
Open Laboratory (PCB Design Due) Practical (3 hr) LO4
Week 05 Neurostimulation Circuits I Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO7
Cochlear Implant Sound Processing Practical (3 hr) LO5
Week 06 Deep Brain Stimulation Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO7
Bionic Eye Image Processing (Assignment 2 Start) Practical (3 hr) LO5
Week 07 Electrical Stimulation for Alleviating Pain Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO7
Digital to Analogue Converters Practical (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 08 Neuromodulation Circuits II / Functional Electrical Stimulation Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO7
PCB Workshop Practical (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 09 Electrochemistry of Biological Electrodes Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO7
Neuromodulator integration Practical (3 hr) LO4
Week 10 Evoked Potentials and Reverse Telemetry Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO7
Exploring Electrodes Practical (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 11 Overcoming Facial Paralysis / Clinical Issues in Bionics Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO7
Neuromodulator Testing I Practical (3 hr) LO6
Week 12 Group Presentations Presentation (2 hr) LO1 LO3 LO7
Neuromodulator Testing II Practical (3 hr) LO6
Week 13 Semester Review Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Topics in Neuromodulation and Bionics Practical (3 hr) LO1 LO2

Attendance and class requirements

Students are expected to attend a minimum of 90% of all timetabled activities.

See the Faculty resolutions for more information:

Attendance in labs (practical sessions) is required and will be assessed.


Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. understand and communicate the principles of operation of therapeutic neuromodulation (bionic) devices.
  • LO2. understand and communicate the application of bionic devices in a clinical context.
  • LO3. work together in small groups to carry out a prescribed task and present the outcomes in an oral, written or video format
  • LO4. create a printed circuit board with broad guidelines in the project definition thus allowing the student broad scope to include problem solving and inventiveness
  • LO5. produce functional software to serve a purpose in sensory or motor neuroprosthesis
  • LO6. design and construct a means of transferring energy across tissue without wires in the form of a printed circuit board and inductively-coupled circuitry to drive and assess a neurostimulation circuit
  • LO7. apply engineering principles to answer questions relating to implantable bionics in a quiz format
  • LO8. apply engineering principles to answer questions relating to implantable bionics in an examination format.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

In 2023, the in-class quiz weighting is reduced based on feedback provided in the 2022 unit.

Please note that this course includes labs and assignments involving

  1. Electronics construction and test and
  2. Simulation of a cochlear implant sound processor

Online resources, lab support and detailed lab/assignment notes will be available for these activities.

Work, health and safety

Safety glasses, closed-toe shoes, and laboratory coats will be required for most laboratories. Please ensure that these are brought with you each week.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.