Pressure ulcers are a frequent complication in patients having limited activity and mobility (e.g., elderly people, spinal cord injury patients, people with disabilities, etc.). The aim of this work is the conceptual design, modelling and control of a new seat cushion for pressure ulcers prevention. The whole system (constituted by the seat cushion equipped with a real-time pressure mapping with closed-loop control) is designed to identify the critical points on the human skin, before pressure ulcers creation, and to be able to distribute the contact pressure between the human and cushion avoiding wound creation. The seat cushion is constituted by soft air-cells actuated by air flow. To define the shape and size of the soft air-cells, finite element simulations are carried out, analysing the internal volume reduction with external loads application to reproduce the variable stiffness. The data obtained by finite element analysis are used to simulate inflation and deflation of the soft bubble air-cells. Finally, the control systems of a single air-cell and of the whole cushion are designed and simulated. The novelty of our work consists in the conception of a seat cushion able to recognise higher and lower risk zones of pressure ulcer generation on the human skin and to provide compensation automatically. This work can therefore be considered in line with the sustainable development goals recently launched by the EU Commission.

Modelling, design and control of a new seat-cushion for pressure ulcers prevention

Muscolo GG
2022

Abstract

Pressure ulcers are a frequent complication in patients having limited activity and mobility (e.g., elderly people, spinal cord injury patients, people with disabilities, etc.). The aim of this work is the conceptual design, modelling and control of a new seat cushion for pressure ulcers prevention. The whole system (constituted by the seat cushion equipped with a real-time pressure mapping with closed-loop control) is designed to identify the critical points on the human skin, before pressure ulcers creation, and to be able to distribute the contact pressure between the human and cushion avoiding wound creation. The seat cushion is constituted by soft air-cells actuated by air flow. To define the shape and size of the soft air-cells, finite element simulations are carried out, analysing the internal volume reduction with external loads application to reproduce the variable stiffness. The data obtained by finite element analysis are used to simulate inflation and deflation of the soft bubble air-cells. Finally, the control systems of a single air-cell and of the whole cushion are designed and simulated. The novelty of our work consists in the conception of a seat cushion able to recognise higher and lower risk zones of pressure ulcer generation on the human skin and to provide compensation automatically. This work can therefore be considered in line with the sustainable development goals recently launched by the EU Commission.
Pressure ulcers, seat cushion, bubble air-cell, soft actuator, soft air-cell, human skin, pressure injury, wound, sustainable system, medical robotics
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1056176
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