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Proceedings Paper

Noninvasive fiber optic sensor for fetal heart rate monitoring
Author(s): Sacharia Albin; Jianli Zheng; Arnel C. Lavarias; Stephen A. Zahorian
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Paper Abstract

In recent years, a significant amount of clinical research has been devoted to establish relationship between variations in fetal heart rate and abnormal prenatal conditions. For example, it has been shown that the progression of fetal asphyxia is closely linked to recognizable changes in fetal heart rate patterns. Currently, fetal heart rate monitoring is done using either an external ultrasound device, or internal fetal electrocardiogram taken from a scalp electrode placed directly on top of the fetus’ head. Both of these techniques are considered to be invasive, and are therefore not acceptable in situations where long term monitoring of the fetal heart rate is required. Further, the sensors used in these techniques are susceptible to electrical noise and interference. Many noninvasive acoustic sensors lack the sensitivity and frequency response for operation at peak pressures of approximately 50 Pascals between 10 and 60 Hz range suitable for fetal heart rate monitoring. We have developed a fiber optic coupler sensor which is passive, and therefore totally non-invasive. A 2x2 biconical coupler is made by fusion in a microfumace and mounted on an elastic membrane. The light input to the coupler produces two outputs which depend on the coupling coefficient at the fused region. The sensor outputs when it is placed at the chest and the neck of an adult are shown as examples. The sensor output closely resembles a normal electrocardiogram. The sensor is shown to be useful to detect a fetus’ heart-beat; however, a proper filtering technique is needed to eliminate acoustic background produced by other fetal activities such as breathing and movement.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 January 1998
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 3211, International Conference on Fiber Optics and Photonics: Selected Papers from Photonics India '96, (2 January 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.345568
Show Author Affiliations
Sacharia Albin, Old Dominion Univ. (United States)
Jianli Zheng, Old Dominion Univ. (United States)
Arnel C. Lavarias, Old Dominion Univ. (United States)
Stephen A. Zahorian, Old Dominion Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3211:
International Conference on Fiber Optics and Photonics: Selected Papers from Photonics India '96
J. P. Raina; P. R. Vaya, Editor(s)

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