The development of a fully wireless, skin-wearable fetal ECG monitoring device
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Newkirk, Hannah. 2022. The development of a fully wireless, skin-wearable fetal ECG monitoring device -- In Proceedings: 21st Annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Forum. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University, p. 17
Early detection of fetal abnormalities during pregnancy and delivery is critical to reduce fetal mortality, and the most effective way to accomplish it will be ambulatory fetal electrocardiogram (fECG) monitoring. For example, the most common birth defects, as well as the leading cause of infant death are congenital heart defects (CHD). CHDs can be identified by abnormal cardiac events. These abnormal cardiac events are also indicators of other complications such as fetal hypoxia and intrauterine growth restriction. Therefore, the long-term goal of this study is to develop an ambulatory noninvasive fECG monitoring device by discovering optimal electrode placements on the pregnant abdomen and fabricating skin-wearable electrodes and miniaturized flexible circuit using microfabrication techniques. To accomplish the goal, however, it is essential to establish an accurate fECG extraction since abdominal ECGs (aECGs) include maternal and fetal ECGs, and they often overlap in both the time and frequency domains. In the current work, a set of realistic aECGs based on several non-stationary events (e.g., internal noises, fetal movements, and uterine contractions) were generated using an opensource FECGSYN toolbox. A number of existing fECG extraction algorithms such as blind source separation, template subtraction and adaptive methods were evaluated using the simulated aECG waveforms, and extraction results were compared with the original fECG waveforms to seek the most effective fECG extraction algorithm for our proposed device. The next steps of this study will be to collect aECG waveforms from participants and to find and develop optimal electrode placement.
Tie for second place of a poster presentation for Natural Sciences and Engineering at the 21st Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Forum (URCAF) held at the Rhatigan Student Center, Wichita State University, April 15, 2022.