Design of a Pressure Sensing and Mapping Infant Head Surrogate System
ulcers are injuries to the skin and underlying tissue that develop from several factors,
including prolonged pressures from contact with relatively hard surfaces. These
unfortunate wounds have been occurring on infant patients while receiving treatments
with ill-fitting respiratory medical devices. The prevalence of these ulcers are often
attributed to the limited size ... read moreselection of these devices. Frequently, extra measures
are taken to secure improperly sized devices by over-tightening, which amplifies the
issue of pressure ulcer development. In this thesis, a pressure mapping surrogate device
with the tactile feel and form of an infantile head is developed to quantitatively
assess pressures from over-tightened respiratory devices. Details are presented on the
development of custom sensing electronics and a mapping algorithm which together
constitute the surrogate head system. The sensing and mapping technologies are tested by
embedding them into a flat surface covered by synthetic soft tissue for indentation
testing. Validation of the flat sensing surface is performed by comparing experimental
indentation pressure maps with predicted pressures from a finite elemental model of
similar setup. Following calibration of the sensing system on a flat surface, a three
dimensional surrogate infant head with embedded sensors is developed and used to
evaluate the pressures from two commercially available nasal masks. The generated
pressure maps prove the concept of a custom pressure mapping apparatus. The quantitative
data collected from the surrogate head can improve both future designs and installation
methods of the tested respiratory device.
Thesis (M.S.)--Tufts University, 2016.
Submitted to the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Advisor: Thomas James.
Committee: Daniel Hannon, Michael Zimmerman, and Donald Lombardi.
Keywords: Mechanical engineering, Biomedical engineering, and Design.read less