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Sensors 2014, 14(7), 13088-13101; doi:10.3390/s140713088

An Optical Fibre-Based Sensor for Respiratory Monitoring

1,* , 1,2
1 Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Laboratory for Protection and Physiology, Lerchenfeldstrasse 5, 9014 St. Gallen, Switzerland 2 ETH Zurich, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Gloriastrasse 35, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 April 2014 / Revised: 29 April 2014 / Accepted: 15 July 2014 / Published: 21 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Sensors and Systems)
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In this paper, a textile-based respiratory sensing system is presented. Highly flexible polymeric optical fibres (POFs) that react to applied pressure were integrated into a carrier fabric to form a wearable sensing system. After the evaluation of different optical fibres, different setups were compared. To demonstrate the feasibility of such a wearable sensor, the setup featuring the best performance was placed on the human torso, and thus it was possible to measure the respiratory rate. Furthermore, we show that such a wearable system enables to keep track of the way of breathing (diaphragmatic, upper costal and mixed) when the sensor is placed at different positions of the torso. A comparison of the results with the output of some commercial respiratory measurements devices confirmed the utility of such a monitoring device.
Keywords: breathing monitoring; fibre optic sensing; respiratory rate; medical textiles; photonic textiles; technical textiles breathing monitoring; fibre optic sensing; respiratory rate; medical textiles; photonic textiles; technical textiles
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Krehel, M.; Schmid, M.; Rossi, R.M.; Boesel, L.F.; Bona, G.-L.; Scherer, L.J. An Optical Fibre-Based Sensor for Respiratory Monitoring. Sensors 2014, 14, 13088-13101.

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