Edema of the lower extremities, nerve damage and circulatory dysfunction, are common symptoms in diabetes and other chronic diseases. These symptoms must be addressed early in the disease process before permanent nerve damages occur. To provide a better understanding of such symptoms and to avoid unnecessary nerve damages, we aim at developing and testing a wearable edema monitoring system. This study addresses a novel method of foot edema simulation and monitoring. Two prototypes based on an artificial foot covered with latex are developed to simulate edema. Dielectric electro-active polymer (DEAP) stretch sensors are employed for continuous monitoring of edema. National Instruments device and LabVIEW are used for data acquisition and analysis. The experimental results indicate that the DEAP sensors are suitable in this application. The edema simulation system provides an efficient method for testing new sensors or techniques, especially in preclinical studies.
- Dielectric electro-active polymer
- Peripheral edema