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University of Pittsburgh Senior Design - BioE1160. The Redesigning of a Pulse Oximeter. Jeffrey James Sam Audia. Ted Askar Thomas Christophel. Pulse Oximeter. Processor/ Monitor. Background. What is a pulse oximeter? Non-invasive tool for monitoring the percent concentration of

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the redesigning of a pulse oximeter

University of Pittsburgh

Senior Design - BioE1160

The Redesigning of a Pulse Oximeter

Jeffrey James

Sam Audia

Ted Askar

Thomas Christophel


Pulse Oximeter

Processor/ Monitor

  • What is a pulse oximeter?
    • Non-invasive tool for monitoring the percent concentration of
    • hemoglobin (Hb) saturated with oxygen.

Light to




Digital Display


How does a pulse oximeter work?

  • Source sends two wavelengths of light (red, 600-700nm, and infrared 850-1000nm) through an appendage
  • The Hb absorbs red light while O2Hb absorbs infrared light
  • Photodiode measures LED intensities
  • A processor calculates the absorbance ratio which is then used to determine oxygen saturation








LED Driver

Townsend et al.

specific aims
Specific Aims
  • Develop a design and a prototype pulse oximeter sensor with disposable hypoallergenic adhesive(s) that can be shown to be more cost effective than current fully disposable models.
  • Test ability of prototype to adhere to surfaces under different conditions via volunteer based testing.
existing design problems
Existing design problems
  • Current competitor disposable pulse oximeters
    • are too costly
  • Current competitor reusable pulse oximeters
    • have a clip or rubber slip which are very unstable attachments
    • require repair labor costs
    • are very expensive
  • Product
    • A pulse oximeter with replaceable adhesive.
    • Alleviate problems involved with maintaining proper positioning of the device.
  • Intended solution
    • Design will be based upon current disposable pulse oximeters, but will incorporate a reusable sensor and replaceable adhesive.
  • Audience
    • Intended for patients using current pulse oximetry devices, specifically those who experience difficulties keeping the device positioned properly.

Pulse oximeter

Design Sketch


features benefits
Features & Benefits
  • Replaceable Adhesive
    • Cost effective alternative to current disposable models
    • Maintains ability of disposable adhesive models to stay in place
  • Reusable sensor
    • Low cost replaceable sensor
sbir experimental design
SBIR Experimental Design
  • 1. Prototype Development
    • develop reusable sensor design
    • develop hypoallergenic adhesive to be incorporated with reusable sensor
    • preliminary testing
  • 2. Testing
    • Volunteers will test two models
      • prototype
      • current disposable model
    • The following dexterity tasks will be performed by both groups
      • eating
      • walking while attached to monitor
      • writing
    • Different tasks will be performed in different conditions to evaluate effect of perspiration on adhesion
      • wet
      • dry
    • Analyze data to determine correlation between different factors
    • subsequent testing will be developed according to results
modeling strategy
Modeling Strategy
  • Modeling and Analysis
    • Solidworks ™
      • Adhesive modeling
      • Reusable pulse oximeter modeling
    • LabView ™
      • Create a virtual pulse oximeter processor station
    • Matlab ™ and MS Excel ™
      • Data analysis
semester goals
Semester Goals
  • Research
    • potential hazards
    • Sensor designs
    • Types of adhesives
  • Design
    • an inexpensive reusable sensor that maintains accuracy of current competitors
    • a disposable adhesive that maintains proper positioning on finger
  • Prototyping
    • Construct prototype
    • Preliminary testing versus current fully disposable models
  • Research
    • Circuit designs not public property
  • Final model and virtual testing
    • Parts needed
  • Fixed budget
    • Monitors/sensors expensive
recent successes
Recent Successes
  • Background research
  • Conceptual model adopted
  • SBIR rough draft
      • Experimental design protocol
  • Some parts acquired
thank you
Thank you