American Journal of Physics
Physics -- Study and teaching, Bioelectric impedance, Water in the body
We present a novel laboratory activity on RC circuits aimed at introductory physics students in life-science majors. The activity teaches principles of RC circuits by connecting ac-circuit concepts to bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) using a custom-designed educational BIA device. The activity shows how a BIA device works and how current, voltage, and impedance measurements relate to bioelectrical characteristics of the human body. From this, useful observations can be made including body water, fat-free mass, and body fat percentage. The laboratory is engaging to pre-health and life-science students, as well as engineering students who are given the opportunity to observe electrical components and construction of a commonly used biomedical device. Electrical concepts investigated include alternating current, electrical potential, resistance, capacitance, impedance, frequency, phase shift, device design, and the use of such topics in biomedical analysis.
Mylott, E., Kutschera, E., & Widenhorn, R. (2014). Bioelectrical impedance analysis as a laboratory activity: At the interface of physics and the body. American Journal Of Physics, 82(5), 521-528.