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nanoHUB-U: Bioelectricity


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Offering: 01a
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About the Instructor

Pedro Irazoqui's photo

Pedro Irazoqui

Purdue University

Dr. Irazoqui received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire, Durham in 1997 and 1999 respectively, and the Ph.D. in Neuroengineering from the University of California at Los Angeles in 2003 for work on the design, manufacture, and packaging, of implantable integrated-circuits for wireless neural recording.

He is director of Purdue’s Center for Implantable Devices, associate head for research and associate professor in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, and associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. His group develops wireless implantable devices for various potential applications including monitoring and suppression of epileptic seizures; prosthesis control for injured military personnel; modulation of cardiac arrhythmias; treatment of depression, and gastroparesis, a partial paralysis of the stomach; and monitoring and therapeutic modulation of intraocular pressure for glaucoma.

He has been named Showalter Faculty Scholar, and Purdue University Faculty Scholar, both in 2013. He is a senior member of IEEE. He has received the Best Teacher Award from the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering (2006 & 2009), the Early Career Award from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation (2007 & Phase II in 2009), the Marion B. Scott Excellence in Teaching Award from Tau Beta Pi (2008), and the Outstanding Faculty Member Award from the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering (2009), as well as the Excellence in Research Award from Purdue in 2010, 2012 and 2013. He has been serving as Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering since late 2006.

Bioelectricity – Professor Pedro Irazoqui

A self-paced course brought to you by nanoHUB-U.

The text for this course is “Neuroscience” by Purves, et al. The text is available through the following link:

This five-week short course aims to introduce students to bioelectricity using a unique, “bottom up” approach.


Scientific Overview Video

(non-YouTube version)

Course Description

Fundamentals of bioelectricity of the mammalian nervous system. Passive and active forms of electric signaling in both intra and inter-cellular communication at the atomic, molecular, and engineered device level. Mathematical analysis including the Nernst equation, core conductors, cable theory, and the Hodgkin-Huxley Model of the action potential. Neuromodulation with nano-engineered sensors and actuators.

Course Outline

All course materials are available by selecting "Go to Course" on the right.

Week 1: Introduction to the Nervous System by Pedro Irazoqui

Week 2: Chemical Basis of Electrical Signals by Pedro Irazoqui

Week 3: Models of Biological Conductors by Pedro Irazoqui

Week 4: The Hodgkin-Huxley Model by Pedro Irazoqui

Week 5: Applications of Bioelectricity by Pedro Irazoqui

Course Objective

The objective of this course is to establish a background and to dig deeper into some of the applications of bioelectricity to medicine. Students will learn about how bioelectricity can be used to record and control the way the body electric behaves.

Who Should Take the Course?

Students who are interested in learning about relating the systems of the human body that involve or communicate with bioelectrical systems, including the heart, brain, muscles, and the neuromuscular system that connects them all together.


The prerequisites of this course are freshmen physics to understand the basics of circuits, resistors and capacitors, and differential equations to follow along with the mathematics and the derivations of the core conductor cable and the Hodgkin-Huxley equations., a resource for nanoscience and nanotechnology, is supported by the National Science Foundation and other funding agencies. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.