FPGA controlled artificial vascular system
Monitoring the oxygen saturation of an unborn child is an invasive procedure, so far. Transabdominal fetal pulse oximetry is a promising method under research, used to estimate the oxygen saturation of a fetus noninvasively. Due to the nature of the method, the fetal information needs to be extracted from a mixed signal. To properly evaluate signal processing algorithms, a phantom modeling fetal and maternal blood circuits and tissue layers is necessary. This paper presents an improved hardware concept for an artificial vascular system, utilizing an FPGA based CompactRIO System from National Instruments. The experimental model to simulate the maternal and fetal blood pressure curve consists of two identical hydraulic circuits. Each of these circuits consists of a pre-pressure system and an artificial vascular system. Pulse curves are generated by proportional valves, separating these two systems. The dilation of the fetal and maternal artificial vessels in tissue substitutes is measured by transmissive and reflective photoplethysmography. The measurement results from the pressure sensors and the transmissive optical sensors are visualized to show the functionality of the pulse generating systems. The trigger frequency for the maternal valve was set to 1 per second, the fetal valve was actuated at 0.7 per second for validation. The reflective curve, capturing pulsations of the fetal and maternal circuit, was obtained with a high power LED (905 nm) as light source. The results show that the system generates pulse curves, similar to its physiological equivalent. Further, the acquired reflective optical signal is modulated by the alternating diameter of the tubes of both circuits, allowing for tests of signal processing algorithms.