Helsinki BEM library


General Information

Helsinki BEM library is a Matlab source code library for Boundary Element modeling of bioelectromagnetic phenomena and any (quasi)static potential problems that obey the Laplace or Poisson equation. The source code is simple and easy-to-read. The library is suitable both for hands-on learning of the Boundary Element Method and common modeling tasks in, for example, electro- and magnetocardiography or electro- and magnetoencephalography.

Theory and implementation of the library is described in: M. Stenroos, V. Mäntynen, and J. Nenonen: A Matlab library for solving quasi-static volume conduction problems using the boundary element method, Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine, 88:256-263, 2007.


The source code of the library is open, but the library is not free software. Some key points in the license are

The complete license text (with definitions) is here.

The second condition in the list above may feel a bit strict. It is valid for any part of the library (see the complete license): If you write your own Matlab code that uses any part of the library, the third party user of your code will have to obtain the license for the library from us. If you, however, are planning to distribute your own Matlab library, in which you would like to include something from our BEM library, contact us! I believe we can reach an agreement.

How to Get the Library?

The library is available from Matti Stenroos. Send email to with following information: After receiving the necessary information from you, we will email you the license file and ask you to accept that. After knowing that you have read, understood, and accepted the license, we will email you the library in one zip file of about 200 kilobytes.


Here we have some example scripts, which utilize the BEM library in various problems

References and Examples

Here we will list publications, in which the library has been used. If you use the library for something that you publish, please send us information so that we can link/refer to your work here!
The pre-release versions of our BEM library has so far been used in following papers:


Department of Biomedical Engineering and Computational Science at Helsinki University of Technology, BioMag-laboratory: our institutions.
BrainStorm: a free Matlab toolkit for magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG) analysis.
FieldTrip: another Matlab toolkit for MEG and EEG analysis.
ECGSIM: a nice tool for studying the genesis of the ECG, created by Prof. Adriaan van Oosterom and Thom Oostendorp.
Rob MacLeod's links to research groups related to bioelectromagnetism.
The Boundary Element Method: a web resource on BEM, contains some Fortran codes.
Mesh generation software: a link list by Robert Schneiders
GiD: The personal pre and postprocessor: a program for mesh generation, contains free evaluation version (up to 1000 nodes per mesh).
QTriplot: an interactive program for displaying triangle meshes and data on them by Thom Oostendorp.
Comments are welcome!
Last modified: Aug 18 2008 by Matti Stenroos,