Design, fabrication, and characterization of dielectric elastomer actuator enabled cuff compression device
Rahul J. Venkatraman, Theophilus Kaaya, Helio Tchipoque, Kim Cluff, Ramazan Asmatulu, Ryan Amick, and Zheng Chen "Design, fabrication, and characterization of dielectric elastomer actuator enabled cuff compression device", Proc. SPIE 12042, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) XXIV, 1204205 (20 April 2022); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2613250
Wearable dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) have been greatly considered for development of biomedical devices. In particular, a DEA cuff device has the capability of minimizing venous system disorders that occur in the lower limbs such as orthostatic intolerance (OI) and deep-vein thrombosis which are a result of substantial blood pooling. Recent works have shown that DEAs could regulate and even enhance venous blood flow return. This wearable technology offers a new light, low-cost, compliant, and simple countermeasure which could be safely and comfortably worn that includes mobility. In addition, it may supplement or even provide an alternative solution to exercise and medication. This work presents the design, model, and characterization of the DEA cuff device design that is capable of generating significant pressure change. A rolled DEA strip was actuated over a simulated muscle-artery apparatus using periodic a voltage input, and fluid pressure change was directly observed. A force sensitive resistor sensor was used to achieve a more precise pressure measurement. Performance analysis was conducted through frequency response analysis. The results provide a framework for implementing dynamic modelling and control to allow various forms of actuation input.