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Course Co-ordinated by IIT Kanpur
Prof. Mainak Das
IIT Kanpur


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The course aims at helping the students to think and appreciate the myriad of bioelectrical phenomenon in the nature. This includes the bio-electrical signals in animal, plants and in several bio-materials. These are not only important in physiological functioning of the system but offers enormous inspiration to develop novel sensors, actuators, energy-harvesting platforms for sustainable developments. The thrust of the course will be to highlight "how we can record the electrical signals from wide range of specimens, analyze them and thinking in an innovative manner to use them for energy harvesting and other bio-engineering applications. The final goal of the course is to empower students to use their conceptual understanding to develop sustainable technologies.

Course Contents:

Animal bio-electricity, plant bio-electricity, bio-electrical measurement techniques, innovative energy harvesting devices.

Sl. No.

Module wise / Lecture wise



Module 1

What is bioelectricity ?
Historical perspective
Examples in nature


Module 2

Bioelectrical phenomenon in mammals, insects, and fishes
1. Bioelectric potentials
2. Ion channels
3. Action potentials
4. Voltage clamp studies
5. Current clamp studies
6. Capacitance measurement
7. Impulse propagation
8. Cardiac electrophysiology
9. Neuromuscular junction
10. Skeletal muscle
11. Brain and memory
12. Sensory circuits


Module 3

Bioelectrical phenomenon in plant system
1. Electrical signaling between plant cells
2. Photosynthetic bioelectricity


Module 4

Measurement of bioelectrical processes
1. Patch clamp electrophysiology
2. Micro-electrode array
3. Field effect transistors
4. Electrometers


Module 5

Exploiting bioelectrical phenomenon to build bio-electronic devices
1. Cyborgs
A. Brain-computer interface
B. Retinal Implants
C. Bionic arm
D. Cochlear implants
E. Artificial heart
2. Energy harvesting devices
A. Synthetic leaf and water splitting cluster: An inspiration from photosynthesis
B. Plant and flower dye sensitized solar cells
C. Suspended-load backpack for energy harvesting
D. Non-conventional, nature inspired bio-electronics, semiconductor materials


Some back ground of basic sciences and engineering

1. I will provide links and suggest necessary reading materials while I will be teaching the course.

I shall add the necessary links with each and every lecture

I shall provide a list of references with each lecture.

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