12.09.2014

FBGS International NV

An optical fiber Bragg grating force sensor for monitoring sub-bandage pressure during compression therapy

Photograph of the in-vivo sub-bandage pressure measurement. The sensor array sits on top of the first layer, while the compression bandage was being applied
Graduated compression bandaging of the lower limbs is the primary therapy for venous leg ulcers with its efficacy believed to be predominantly dependent on the amount and the distribution of the compressive pressure applied. There has been on-going demand for an ideal sensor to facilitate in-vivo monitoring of the sub-bandage pressure. Several methods and devices have been reported but each has its limitations, such as bulkiness, low tolerance to movement, susceptible to thermal noise and single point sensing. An optical fiber force sensor is demonstrated, consisting of two arrays of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) entwined in a double helix form and packaged with contact-force sensitivity. This sensor array has inherent temperature immunity and is capable of real-time, distributed sensing of sub-bandage pressure. The calibration results of the sensor array, as well as the validation human trial results, are presented.