Title page for ETD etd-11122008-093649

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Griffiths, David John
Author's Email Address dagriff2@vt.edu
URN etd-11122008-093649
Title Development of Ionic Polymer Metallic Composites as sensors
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Leo, Donald Committee Co-Chair
Vlachos, Pavlos P. Committee Co-Chair
Roan, Michael J. Committee Member
  • ionic polymer metallic composite
  • characterization
  • IPMC
  • sensor
Date of Defense 2008-09-26
Availability unrestricted
Ionomeric polymer transducers (IPTs) are an exciting new class of smart materials that can serve a dual purpose in engineering or biomedical applications as sensors or actuators. Most commonly they are used for mechanical actuation, as they have the ability to generate large bending strains and moderate stress under low applied voltages. Although the actuation capabilities of IPTs have been extensively studied, the sensing capabilities of these transducers have yet to be fully explored. The work presented herein aims to investigate the fundamental sensing characteristics of these transducers and apply the acquired knowledge toward the development of an electronic stethoscope for digital auscultation. The sensors were characterized both geometrically and electrically to determine their effectiveness in resolving a signal from sub 1 Hz to 2 kHz. Impedance spectroscopy was used to interrogate the sensing mechanism. Following the characterization of the transducer, a bio‐acoustic sensor was designed and fabricated. The bio‐acoustic sensor was placed over the carotid artery to resolve the arterial pressure waveform in situ and on the thorax to measure the S1 and S2 sounds generated by the heart. The temporal response and spectral content was compared with previously known data and a commercially available electronic stethoscope to prove the acquisition of cardiovascular sounds.
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