Introduction to Bioelectricity: Online Course by Purdue University

Introduction to Bioelectricity is a free online course conducted by the Purdue University. In this course, you will understand how biological systems generate electrical signals, and how they can be recorded and induced with manufactured devices.

About the course

In this course you will use fundamental engineering and mathematical tools to understand and analyze basic bioelectricity and circuit theory in the context of the mammalian nervous system.

This course is for 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.


This course is offered by the nanoHUB-U project, which is jointly funded by Purdue and NSF with the goal of transcending disciplines through short courses accessible to students in any branch of science or engineering. These courses focus on cutting-edge topics distilled into short lectures with quizzes, homework, and practice exams.

What you'll learn

  • Fundamentals of bioelectricity of the mammalian nervous system and other excitable tissues
  • Passive and active forms of electric signals in both the single cell and cell-cell communication
  • Tissue and systemic bioelectricity
  • Mathematical analysis including Nernst equation, Goldman equation, linear cable theory, and Hodgkin-Huxley Model of action potential generation and propagation
  • To design and build a wireless bioelectric recording device to control a prosthetic limb

Introduction to Bioelectricity: Online Course

Course Syllabus

  • Weeks 1 & 2: Introduction to the Nervous System
  • Weeks 3 - 5: Chemical Signaling
  • Weeks 6 & 7: Models of Conductors
  • Weeks 8 - 10: Hodgkin - Huxley
  • Weeks 11 - 12: Numerical Methods
  • Weeks 13 - 15: Applications of Bioelectricity

Course Begins

August 24, 2015

Course Length

16 weeks

For further information and to register, click here.

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