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Understanding the Human Machine : A primer for Bioengineering




World Scientific, Singapore



Max E. Valentinuzzi



Understanding the Human Machine : A primer for Bioengineering

Year of Publication











Krishna B. Misra



Review published in IJPE, Vol. 8, No. 1, January 2012, p. 48.



The book consists of the following 8 chapters followed by Dedication, Preface and Acknowledgements:



01 Page


02 Pages


02 Pages

Chapter 1


12 Pages

Chapter 2

Source: Physiological Systems and Levels

204 Pages

Chapter 3

Signals: What they are ?

53 Pages

Chapter 4

Signal Pick up

28 Pages

Chapter 5

Biological Amplifier

38 Pages

Chapter 6

The Interpreter: Reading the signals

11 Pages

Chapter 7

Feedback: The Need of Mathematical Models

09 Pages

Chapter 8

Rounding up and looking Ahead

06 Pages


18 Pages


10 Pages

List of Figures

04 Pages

Author’s Biographical Note

01 Page


Most complex and reliable machine ever existed is the human machine. Modern technological system can only approach to compete with the performance of human machine in all its facets. Realizing the fact that 21st Century belongs to the two important technologies, viz., biotechnology and nanotechnology, which eventually 981238930X-Understanding The Human Machine A Primer for Bioengineeringwould succeed in replicating systems that will compete and interface with human machine, the book serves considerably well in providing an excellent introduction to bioengineering. The reviewer also feels that every engineering graduate must learn basics of bioengineering to supplement his knowledge in specialized discipline of engineering. This book would serve that purpose. Engineers are used to dealing with systems through block diagram approach and then building their mathematical modelling. The author who has taught the subject for over 35 years uses the same approach to introduce bioengineering systems of human machine. The second chapter of the book, which is the bulkiest of all chapters (204 pages out of a total of 397 pages) discusses the physiology and describes the structure and functions of important systems, such as cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, endocrine, nervous and muscular systems of a human machine in addition to describing briefly a cell which is the building block of all tissues and organs. The remaining chapters provide details of how and where biological signals are produced, picked up, transmitted, amplified and interpreted or measured in a human machine. A reader is introduced to bioelectric signals such as coming from eye, skin or lungs, heart brain or muscles. Also related to these are biomagneto signals, bioimpedancimetric signals, signals produced by biomechanical systems, biohydraulic signals, etc. The signals, as usual, are not without noise and interference, therefore signal processing is considered necessary before they can be meaningfully interpreted. Of course computer algorithms do help considerably in this task. The last chapter of this book projects what is possible by way of new developments in the applications of bioengineering the near future for the longevity and good upkeep of human machine. Examples such as cochlear implants to restore impaired hearing and applications such as optoretinal implants for blinds, artificial skin, tissue reconstruction and artificially grown organs will be possible in near future. Nanotechnology can augment many more new areas of applications. Research and applications in bioinformatics, tissue engineering, cell engineering would eventually emerge as we widen our knowledge base. This excellent primer surely serves to ignite curiosity and interest in the mind of a beginner to the field.


- Krishna B. Misra

Review published in the International Journal of Performability Engineering, Vol. 8, No. 1, January 2012, p. 48.


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