Soft Sensors

Pressure ulcers (PU), more commonly known as bedsores, affect around 2.5 million people each year in the United States. Pressure and Shear are among the top external causes concerning PU formation. The two aims of this proposal are: To determine the adequacy of Hall-effect sensing in the context of PU research and probe the link between interface and interstitial pressure and shear. For the first objective, a custom-made soft sensor will be manufactured, calibrated and evaluated against other sensing modalities (e.g. capacitive and resistive) to measure interface pressures at the bed interface. In the second objective, a multi-layer phantom of the Ischial Tuberosity (IT) will be manufactured and equipped with embedded sensors to study possible relationships between external and internal pressure and shear. All sensors will be assessed using three load and angle variations. The results of this work can be used to introduce a novel and cost-effective alternative to traditionally available capacitive and resistive systems in PU research. Lastly, a predictable relationship between external and internal pressures will introduce the possibility of quantifying interstitial pressures with minimally-invasive procedures.