Postgraduate taught 

Medical Devices Engineering MSc

Biosensors and Diagnostics M ENG5288

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Engineering
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

The aim of the course is to give participants the confidence and skills to obtain a detailed understanding of advanced in vivo and in vitro diagnostic sensor technologies associated with optical and electrical biological sensors.


2 lectures per week

Excluded Courses

ENG4036 Biosensors and Diagnostics 4




70% Written Examination

20% Written Assignment

10% Report

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

The aims of this course are to:

■ introduce students to the opportunities for advanced measurement techniques in in vivo and in vitro biosensing and Lab-on-Chip techniques;

■ describe the measurement principles including those of instrumentation design and signal generation for optical and electrical sensor technologies;

■ introduce students to the design of biosensors, including techniques to control mass transfer and biocompatibility at the sensory interface;

■ introduce students to techniques of micro and nanotechnologies for sensor miniaturization;

■ describe opportunities for both in vitro and in vivo biosensing, including in contributing to sustainability.

■ describe the market opportunities and ethical considerations for both biosensing and Lab-on-Chip technologies.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ evaluate the biomedical opportunities for the use of advanced biosensors and Lab-on-a-Chip technologies in a variety of different clinical scenarios associated with both in vivo and in-vitro measurements;

■ apply measurement principles, including those of instrumentation design and signal generation, underlying the design of both electrical and optical biosensor systems, in order to evaluate the methodologies for developing biomedical sensors;

■ apply the basic principles underlying biosensor design, including biomolecule immobilization as well as the use of matrices and membranes to alter mass transfer characteristics and biocompatibility, in order to evaluate techniques associated with the design of biosensing interfaces;

■ explain the principles of fabrication methods, using the tools of micro and nanotechnology, in order evaluate practical solutions to problems associated with the miniaturization of biomedical sensors;

■ evaluate the challenges for developing in vivo and in vitro diagnostic sensors for use as point of care diagnostics, including within the context of solutions sustainability and ethical considerations;

■ evaluate practical solutions to the development of methods for producing hand held electric sensors for DNA and glucose sensing, as well as optical immunosensors as consumer diagnostics;

■ evaluate the role of Lab-on-a-Chip devices in providing practical solutions in integrated sensing, in the field of biomedical engineering;

■ make valid comparisons between different biosensing and Lab-on-a-Chip devices, based upon their ease of manufacture, cost, sensitivity, reproducibility, as well as sustainability and ethical considerations, in order to understand the market forces driving the development of these new sensors.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must attend the degree examination and submit at least 75% by weight of the other components of the course's summative assessment.


Students must attend the timetabled laboratory classes.


Students should attend at least 75% of the timetabled classes of the course.


Note that these are minimum requirements: good students will achieve far higher participation/submission rates. Any student who misses an assessment or a significant number of classes because of illness or other good cause should report this by completing a MyCampus absence report.