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Optimization of novel melt-extruded polymer optical fibers designed for pressure sensor applications


Quandt, Brit M; Hufenus, Rudolf; Weisse, Bernhard; Braun, Fabian; Wolf, Martin; Scheel-Sailer, Anke; Bona, Gian-Luca; Rossi, René M; Boesel, Luciano F (2017). Optimization of novel melt-extruded polymer optical fibers designed for pressure sensor applications. European Polymer Journal, 88:44-55.

Abstract

We report on the production, characterization, and textile integration of polymer optical fibers (POF) to develop a flexible photonic sensor. Mono-component POFs were produced continuously by melt-extrusion. Advantageously for pressure sensing, the un-clad fibers are more susceptible to macro-bending.
The fibers’ mechanical and optical properties and their dependence on production parameters were investigated, allowing for tuning of the pressure sensitivity. The fibers also withstood cyclic loading with a linear, quick response.
We produced and successfully tested a demonstrator with a matrix of intersecting fibers secured on a textile substrate.
A possible application of this textile pressure sensor would be supervision of pressure on tissue as part of pressure ulcer prevention. Pressure ulcers are prevalent in paraplegics and bedbound sick. The lack of data at skin level still makes prevention difficult. Novel flexible sensors could deliver data while preventing further injury. When combined with a photoplethysmograph, the discussed matrix is foreseen to give information on the relationship between pressure and ceasing oxygen supply in the skin.

Abstract

We report on the production, characterization, and textile integration of polymer optical fibers (POF) to develop a flexible photonic sensor. Mono-component POFs were produced continuously by melt-extrusion. Advantageously for pressure sensing, the un-clad fibers are more susceptible to macro-bending.
The fibers’ mechanical and optical properties and their dependence on production parameters were investigated, allowing for tuning of the pressure sensitivity. The fibers also withstood cyclic loading with a linear, quick response.
We produced and successfully tested a demonstrator with a matrix of intersecting fibers secured on a textile substrate.
A possible application of this textile pressure sensor would be supervision of pressure on tissue as part of pressure ulcer prevention. Pressure ulcers are prevalent in paraplegics and bedbound sick. The lack of data at skin level still makes prevention difficult. Novel flexible sensors could deliver data while preventing further injury. When combined with a photoplethysmograph, the discussed matrix is foreseen to give information on the relationship between pressure and ceasing oxygen supply in the skin.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neonatology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:24 Jan 2017 13:38
Last Modified:24 Jan 2017 13:45
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0014-3057
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eurpolymj.2016.12.032

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