Semester of Graduation

Spring 2021

Degree

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

Department

Mechanical & Industrial Engineering

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Bioimpedance analysis (BIA) is a method of detecting lymphedema- a debilitating medical condition involving swelling of the extremities. Pneumatic compression devices are frequently used in the compression treatment of lymphedema. Although existing compression technology provides relief of symptoms, it has limitations in terms of ease-of-use, portability, and monitoring of treatment progress. Currently, there are no BIA analyzers in the market that run on a low-power microcontroller and a rechargeable battery. Moreover, no such device currently exists that integrate the BIA analysis with pneumatic compression system to offer a feedback-based solution for lymphedema treatment. This work represents the first steps towards a complete system and describes the pneumatic compression and circuit designs for a portable BIA analyzer. The study proposes a lightweight, battery operated pneumatic compression device that can apply a pressure of 50 mmHg in a four-chamber compression garment. A microcontroller-based BIA system that can provide accurate indication of swelling based on a Nyquist plot was introduced. The envisioned mechatronic system features programmable compression sequences and operates with the human-in-the-loop using bioimpedance spectroscopy as control feedback. Performance of the compression system is verified by measurement of applied pressures and the BIA circuits are validated for single frequency and multi frequency impedance analysis of a phantom test load. With further development in the future, the system has the potential to serve as a quantitative source of valuable diagnostic information for clinicians, and in the long run may enable the smart management of lymphedema with the device essentially prescribing the course of treatment in response to measured conditions. This kind of human-in-the-loop control system may be a breakthrough in treatment of chronic conditions.

Committee Chair

Gilbert, Hunter

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