Development of a bio-impedance measurement system for bladder monitoring

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Behrouzirad, Ardeshir
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University College Cork
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The occurrence of disturbance in the control of urine flow and voiding, which leads to involuntary leakage, is called Urinary Incontinence (UI), and it may happen due to several factors such as pregnancy, family background, neurological disorders, etc. It has a negative impact on the social life and also the physical health of patients, highlighting the need for a mechanism to monitor the patient’s bladder and warn them during their routine daily activities. For this purpose, the development of a low cost bio-impedance measurement system as a method for bladder monitoring is investigated in this thesis. Prior to this thesis, the trend in the literature was to identify the correlation between the change of the impedance and the accumulation of urine in the bladder. Categorizing the current challenges and designing a bioimpedance measurement system, this thesis employs a vertical monitoring method, as a feasibility study, to increase the sensitivity of the measurement of impedance variation related to bladder fullness. Also, it employs a separate mechanism with extra sets of electrodes to address the issue of bladder relocation and its impact on the monitoring. The findings of the vertical monitoring method, with around 400 experiments performed on a phantom mimicking the abdomen and bladder, indicated the increased sensitivity of 45% and 52% in the measured impedance for two different urine conductivities, 1 and 2 S/m, respectively, after reaching 60 ml of volume, compared to the conventional horizontal monitoring in bio-impedance measurement. For the extra monitoring mechanism, when the target was relocated, with more than 500 experiments on the phantom, the sensitivity was increased between 1.43 to 4.61 times compared to the conventional horizontal method, depending on the urine conductivity and location of the target. The location of the target was found to be a key factor as the distance of the target to the electrodes recording the impedance change can vary and lead to erroneous outcomes, especially in the case where the bladder is far from the electrodes, due to individual parameters such as the weight or even posture. In summary, the thesis made an impact towards a non-invasive, wearable bio-impedance measurement system for bladder monitoring, by identifying and addressing important issues related to the areas that are still at their early stages.
Bladder monitoring , Urinary incontinence , Bioimpedance measurement system
Behrouziradr, A. 2022. Development of a bio-impedance measurement system for bladder monitoring. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.