Development of an Optoelectronic Sensor for the Investigation of Photoplethysmographic Signals from the Anterior Fontanel of the Newborn

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May, J.M. ; Kyriacou, P. A. ; Petros, A. J. (2011)

There is a need for more reliable, non-invasive and alternative measurement sites for the monitoring of arterial blood oxygen saturation in critically ill newborns at times of peripheral compromise. The anterior fontanelle, a unique anatomical feature of the newborn, has been presented as an alternative site for the estimation of oxygen saturation. A multi-wavelength non-invasive optoelectronic sensor has been designed and developed for the investigation of photoplethysmographic (PPG) signals and blood oxygen saturation values from the fontanelle. In vivo thermal tests of the optical sensor show that under normal operating conditions the heating at the skin surface was negligible (<0.1°C). Good quality PPGs with large amplitudes and high signal to noise ratio were recorded at all three (red, infrared and green) wavelengths prior to clinical measurements.
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