Regarded as the mainstay for treatment of venous insufficiency and the associated complications, compression therapy aims at assisting with venous return through the exertion of external pressure on the limbs. Compression is achieved by medical bandages and stockings, which hold promise only during supine and walking conditions, or mechanical pumps, which are usually bulky and limited to non-ambulatory use. Hence, the purpose of this study was to develop an improved compression system that eliminates the flaws of the existing products. To attain this goal, a motorized compression bandage was designed that takes advantage of force-sensing resistors (FSRs®) to exert reproducible, controlled pressure on the lower extremities. The performance of the device in enhancing venous return was explored in a pilot experiment, wherein graded lower body negative pressure (LBNP) was employed as a surrogate of standing erect. The results revealed a significant reduction in the mean cardiovascular changes to LBNP.
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Thesis advisor: Menon, Carlo
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