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Ultra Low Power Bioelectronics: Fundamentals, Biomedical Applications, and Bio-Inspired Systems 1st Edition

13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521857277
ISBN-10: 0521857279
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Editorial Reviews


"This truly interdisciplinary book is about much more than circuits. It contains the most comprehensive and deep treatment I have seen of the interplay and parallels between biology and circuits, and of how one discipline can inform the other. The comparisons between analog, digital, and biological implementations are fundamental and highly valuable. The breadth of the book is unique, ranging from feedback and antennas to battery chemistry." --Yannis Tsividis, Columbia University

"Sarpeshkar's focus on modeling cells as analog rather than digital circuits offers a new approach that will expand the frontiers of synthetic biology. Rahul has nicely laid a foundation that many of us in synthetic biology will be able to build on." --James Collins, Boston University

"Professor Sarpeshkar's textbook from MIT provides an excellent overview of ten key fundamental principles related to ultra low power circuit and system design. Examples of many practical, experimental micro-power systems in cardiac, neural, and other medical-electronics applications make the text highly useful. Practitioners in this field will gain insight from his system-level analysis, which is presented at a level deeper than that found in most texts. In fact, the focus on systems thinking and connections made to a diverse set of problems - natural and man-made, from medical implants, to cells, to low-power cars - truly sets this book apart." --Dr. Tim Denison, Medtronic Fellow

Book Description

Learn how to architect ultra low power robust electronics with applications to implantable and non-invasive medicine, and how bio-inspired principles from cell biology and neurobiology can revolutionize low power electronics design, with this all-inclusive guide. Efficient, sustainable energy harvesting is also covered, and a wealth of practical examples and case studies are included.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 910 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (February 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521857279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521857277
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.9 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #823,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rahul Sarpeshkar is a tenured professor at MIT and heads a research group on Analog Circuits and Biological Systems ( He holds over thirty patents, has authored more than 125 publications including one that was featured on the cover of NATURE, and is the winner of several awards including the Packard, ONR, Career, and Indus Technovator award for his interdisciplinary bioengineering research. His book arose out of a highly rated course taught at MIT for over 10 years.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Reid Harrison on March 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I'm a professor who teaches and conducts research in the area of low-power integrated circuit design with biological applications and (sometimes) inspiration. This book is a wonderful resource for circuit designers who want to see their field presented from a fresh, non-traditional perspective. The author goes back to first principles to show the fundamental limits and essential trade-offs in ultra-low-power circuit design, and their (sometimes surprising) connections with neuroscience and biology.

Although this book is valuable for analog and mixed-signal designers who aren't particularly interested in biology, it contains a number of chapters that make for great intellectual entertainment and stimulation, especially as power efficiency becomes the overriding goal in many design spaces. It is truly remarkable to consider the capabilities and robustness of the human brain, considering it operates on 12 Watts from a 100-mV power supply, using failure-prone components having bandwidths of 1 kHz.

Hardcore circuit designers will find great chapters on device physics, noise, feedback, and system-level design, all presented from a point of view several degrees apart from that of mainstream circuits textbooks. I find this different perspective essential for developing a deep understanding of the many complex concepts that underlie circuit design and analysis.

The book is written in a readable, conversational tone, with plenty of clear explanation for the equations. I wish more engineering professors would write books in this style.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sanjoy Mahajan on May 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
As computational devices become smaller and more mobile, low-power electronics is becoming increasingly important. The author has been studying this kind of computation for two decades and is one of the leading researchers in the field. The resulting textbook is plainly a labor of love.

It is a brilliant work, ranging far beyond electronics and engineering as it develops and explains principles common to diverse manmade and natural systems. The high dielectric constant of water (p. 30), for example, is explained as a feedback loop based on polarization. The ease of threading a needle under a microscope (p. 39) is explained as a consequence of the high loop gain provided by the magnification.

The needle example illustrates the greatest strength of the book: throughout, it emphasizes intuition and physical reasoning. First, an issue is described -- here, a model of noise in a feedback loop. Second, it is analyzed mathematically. Third, and most important, the mathematics is interpreted in plain and lively English using a concrete example (here, threading a needle using a microscope). One can even skip the equations and learn a tremendous amount from the insightful explanations.

If you are curious about batteries, information theory, neurons, sensory systems, feedback, energy, or computation -- and about general principles to link these areas -- you will treasure this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Krishna on February 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I am a Professor of Engineering Design at IIT Madras. My background is mechanical engineering, with an interest in biomechanics. When I saw the flyer of this book, I was initially reluctant to buy it. But, I went ahead and read a few papers of Prof Sarpeshkar and they were very interesting. I decided to go ahead and buy this book. Oh boy! What is it that I would have missed! A fascinating journey into the world of biological systems from an engineering perspective. There are some alien concepts of electrical engineering, but not very threatening. In fact they become very friendly right from chapter 2. This book, in my opinion, breaks the narrow barriers into which we divide ourselves, electrical, mechanical and so on. Nature knows no boundaries and if engineers want to exploit nature for design, they should also come out of this barrier.
Of course one may have to pick up some jargon on the way. But as an engineer or a scientist you will thoroughly enjoy this book.
The emphasis throughout the book is on the architecture and principles of low-power systems whether they be filters, ADCs, resonators, biological cochleas, cells, brains or cars. Unifying principles behind energy, information and power that make such a broad outlook possible are explained in Chapter 22. The marriage between electrical and mechanical systems is complete in Chapter 26. I found the circuit interpretation of Newton's third law of motion, the universal principles of energy and energy harvesting, from the locomotion of cheetahs, to piezoelectrics and motors, to digital circuits highly entertaining and stimulating.
In sum, for a world that is getting increasingly specialized such that we all know more and more about less and less, it is refreshing to find a book that is broad and deep at the same time
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jan Korvink on July 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Rahul Sarpeshkar's book is an absolute must for anyone working on modern sensor and actuator electronic interfaces, regardless of their ultimate size or indeed the application area. The principles described in the book are certainly at the back of the mind of almost every engineer: make systems better in performance, more efficient in energy and reduced in complexity, and find a general description of that achievement that can be used the next time round we have to design. Yet to resolve this combination of wishes is always a very elusive happening, and Sarpeshkar has made a major contribution to tidy up the area, and to provide engineers with rational circuit design principles and methodologies that work in theory and practise.

You may find many old friends here, such as feedback, or root-locus plots, or the sixty year old transistor. But I can assure you that there are a number of very interesting and very useful surprises here too, all highly inspiring and due to the "lateral" way that Sarpeshkar views things. My favourite is the cochlea implant, for it shows a culmination of ideas, from nontrivial signal processing, to absolute low power requirements for an implantable device, and of course the robustness that one wants for traumatised patients.

The bottom line of the book is also a challenge to us all: Sarpeshkar shows that hybrid analog-digital circuits are simply more efficient that digital circuits in performing a given task. The challenge is: can you apply this to your own work? If the basic question to a computational scientist is: can you do the given job in O(n) (using Landau's order symbol), then the circuit implementation question is: Can you implement an O(n) algorithm using an O(log(n)) or even O(1) hybrid analog-digital circuit.
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