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Non-intrusive monitoring of blood flow parameters is vital for obtaining physiological and pathophysiological information pertaining to dynamic cardiovascular events and is feasible to achieve via non-invasive, conformal, wearable technologies. Here, we present a proof-of-concept of a fully integrated, high frequency (bandwidth 40 MHz), electromagnetic sensing device for monitoring limb hemodynamics and morphology associated with blood flow. The sensing architecture integrates a novel radio frequency (RF) skin patch resonator embedded with a coplanar outer loop antenna and a scalable, standalone wireless readout hardware based on standing wave ratio (SWR) bridge. The resonator itself is a copper-based open circuit planar Archimedean spiral with a rectangular cross-sectional area, chemically etched on a flexible polyimide substrate. The readout hardware is developed exploiting off-the-shelf components, fabricated on the top of a rigid FR4 substrate. The proposed readout circuit can measure resonant frequency of an RLC network. When energized by the external oscillating RF field via loop antenna, the resonator produces an electromagnetic field response which can be perturbed by dielectric variation inside its field boundary. Through leveraging this principle, the in-vitro experimental results from the benchtop models suggest that the resonator's RF attributes such as resonant frequency shift and magnitude variation of reflection coefficient due to fluid volume displacement can be successfully detected through the proposed hardware architecture. Hence, the system could be an alternative to the conventional, multimodal, non-invasive wearable sensing with an unprecedented capability of ubiquitous fluid phenomena detection from multiple sites of the human body.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: IEEE transactions on biomedical circuits and systems
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