Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Quantitative Physiology

BME 41100 / 3 Cr.

This course applies systems theory and explores feedforward and feedback control in the context of physiological systems.  Control, frequency response, and linear systems concepts are applied to action potential generation, motor control, heart rate regulation, and other physiological processes.


Dorf, Bishop, Modern Control Systems 11/e, Prentice Hall, ISBN: 978-0-13-227028-1 or 12/e, ISBN: 978-0-13-602458-3. Boron & Boulpaep, Medical Physiology 2/e, Saunders, ISBN: 978-1-4160-3115-4.


Matlab & Simulink Student Version


After completion of this course the successful student should be able to:

  • Describe major physiological features of the peripheral nervous system, skeletal muscle, and other physiological systems. [l]
  • Analyze and model dynamic physiological systems from the literature using linear systems techniques. [a,b,c,l,m]
  • Design feedback controllers for linear systems.[a,e]
  • Analyze the stability of a system that relies on feedback.[a,e]
  • Analyze frequency response and construct Bode plots.[a,k]
  • Work in teams to understand and implement a model of a physiological system. [d]

(roughly by lectures, order may vary)

  • Review of Linear Systems (C)
  • Resting Membrane Potentials (P)
  • Poles and Zeros (C)
  • Action Potentials (P)
  • Time Domain Specifications (C)
  • Peripheral Nervous System (P)
  • Skeletal Muscles (P)
  • Dynamic Response, Stability (C)
  • Synaptic Transmission, Neuromuscular Junction (P)
  • Feedback Controllers (C)
  • Muscle Afferents (P)
  • Frequency Domain Analysis, Bode Plots, Root Locus (C)
  • Smoot and Cardiac Muscles (P)
  • System Identification (C)
  • Somatosensory System (P)
  • Special Systems (P)
  • Physiological Control Systems
  • Homework (5%)
  • Exam 1 (15%)
  • Exam 2 (15%)
  • Group Project (25%)
  • Presentations (10%)
  • Final Exam (30%)