Date Approved

8-29-2019

Embargo Period

8-29-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. Mechanical Engineering

Department

Mechanical Engineering

College

Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering

First Advisor

Xue, Wei

Second Advisor

Haas, Francis M.

Third Advisor

Amadoro, Melanie

Subject(s)

Fetal monitoring; Prototypes, Engineering

Disciplines

Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Mechanical Engineering

Abstract

The objective of this research is to design and manufacture a device that exhibits some of the bio-physiological signals relevant to fetal health monitoring. Currently, limited options exist for testing the performance of monitoring devices such as the tocodynamometer (TOCO) and electrocardiograph (ECG) that measure the bio-physiological signals of a woman and her fetus. Sensor designers need ways of generating and acquiring signals that do not carry the ethical burden of human testing. The development of such a device, as considered in this work, may involve using muscle wire or an inflatable tube as prospective foundations for simulating uterine contraction. After testing the muscle wire, it was evident this approach would not lead to a successful uterine contraction design. Alternatively, an inflatable tube provided a more suitable design to create signals that, to a degree, mimic the contraction of the uterus. The relative intensity of the contraction created by the inflatable tube design discussed here is well-matched to the pressure range of a commercial TOCO. The project also discusses an ECG signal-generation design that can simulate skin measured electrical activity of simultaneous fetal and maternal heartbeats using various equipment. The equipment produces the maternal and fetal electrical signals of 1 and 2 Hz, respectively. Overall, this project resulted in prototypes of the devices that exhibit the required electrical and mechanical signals. These prototypes can be used in ongoing development of a sensor testbed for fetal monitoring.

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