Fundamentals of Neuromodulation (AMME5951)


Implantable microelectronic devices functioning either as nerve stimulators or nerve blockers comprise one of the largest markets in the global medical device industry. The aim of this unit of study is to give students a complete overview of the underlying technology (microelectronics, encapsulation biomaterials, electrode biomaterials, electrode-neural interactions, inductive power systems and data links, signal processing) and an expert review of the major technological applications on the market, which include Cochlear implants, pacemakers and implantable defibrillators, deep brain stimulators, pain control nerve blockers, bionic eye implants, functional electrical stimulation systems. The unit will also review emerging applications such as gastrointestinal disorders, obesity; vagal nerve stimulation - epilepsy, depression, carotid artery stimulation - hypertension, spinal cord stimulation - ischemic disorders, angina, peripheral vascular disease, incontinence, erectile dysfunction. The unit will conclude with a snapshot of the future: "brain on a chip" progress, nerve regrowth, neurotropins, drug/device combinations. This is a Master of Professional Engineering Unit of Study intended for biomedical engineering students with an interest in working in the medical device industry in the large market sector area of implantable electronic devices.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Lecture 3 hrs/week.


Through semester assessment (100%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Assumed knowledge

Basic electronics at the junior or intermediate level, junior biology and chemistry, intermediate materials science, anatomy and physiology, senior engineering design practice, and biomedical engineering: BIOL1003 or 6 credit points of junior biology; CHEM1101 or 6 credit points of junior chemistry; AMME2302 or 6 credit points of materials science; ELEC2004 or 6 credit points of general electronics; MECH2901 or 6 credit points of intermediate physiology or equivalent.

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.