A collaboration of scientists from different countries (China, Pakistan, and Hong Kong) have developed new 3D printed FBG sensors that can help in creating the ‘smart beds’. Scientists have worked to determine the main advantages of the innovative 3D printed FBG sensors and their applications in different spheres.
3D printing has demonstrated enormous results in different scientific fields. It helps to reduce the costs and makes the production process much easier for the developers. The university scientists have already applied it in their different devices with potential healthcare applications.
The main goal of this development based on the fiber Bragg grating sensors was to track sleeping patterns with high precision. First, the research team hopes that this fiber optic solution can be helpful for hospitals to monitor the well being of patients. Moreover, these fiber Bragg grating sensors are temperature-insensitive, lightweight, and high-accurate. That increases their chances to be installed in more hospitals and improves the quality of care because the staff could respond more quickly when the patients’ condition deteriorates.
Usually, FBGs are a microstructure that length is a few millimeters. It is implemented into a short optical fiber that can transform the light in response to temperature, strain, or vibration. FBG sensors are highly applied in mechanical engineering, textile, and medical spheres, thanks to their high thermal sensitivity.
Nowadays, the production of FBG sensors for healthcare still remains a time-consuming and equipment-intensive process that is hard to replicate. While 3D printing is an advanced technology that allows the creation of complex FBG sensing devices. Moreover, fiber Bragg grating sensors have never been applied to sleep-monitoring.
During the first experiments, the 3D printed FBG sensors were tested while putting under pressure loads. Each device demonstrated a number of consistent wavelengths which leads to the possibility of providing reliable readings. The final tests on fiber Bragg grating sensors were held by placing them under the mattress of a bed. A person demonstrated several sleeping positions while the FBG sensors were tracking his changes in posture.
According to the results, the FBG sensors’ readings were almost precise and had an error rate of less than 1%. Nevertheless, the research team considers that this fiber optic technology still has potential in the future. They could, for example, track a patient’s breathing and identify when the heart rate has begun to fall. And that is not the first time that fiber optic technology can prove beneficial to medicine.
Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) product line such as fiber Bragg grating sensors, for example, FBG strain sensors, FBG interrogators and multiplexers, Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) systems, Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) systems. The company creates and supplies a broad variety of fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. If you are interested in structural health monitoring systems and want to learn more, please contact us at email@example.com