Wheelchair pressure ulcer prevention using FBG based sensing devices

Cátia Tavares, M. Fátima Domingues, Tiago Paixão, Nélia Alberto, Hugo Silva, Paulo Antunes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


In this work, a fiber Bragg grating (FBG) based sensing system for wheelchair pressure ulcer prevention was developed. Six FBGs were strategically positioned in a wheelchair to monitor the more prominent bone areas, namely scapulas (right (SR) and left (SL)), ischiatic zone (right (IR) and left (IL)), and heels (right (HR) and left (HL)). The sensing architecture was tested by a female user during pressure relief exercises, to verify its effectiveness on pressure monitoring. The proposed system proves to be a compact and reliable solution for wheelchair pressure ulcer prevention, making it a suitable alternative to existing conventional electronic sensors, with the advantage of being immune to electromagnetic interferences and usable in humid environments. In addition to the pressure, the breathing rate was also monitored. By combining the proposed sensing architecture with a wheelchair user detection software, it is possible to create alerts for the user to know when a new position should be adopted, in order to relieve the pressure in a specific area, thus avoiding one of the biggest problems for such patients, pressure ulcers.

Original languageBritish English
Article number212
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Breathing rate
  • Fiber Bragg grating
  • Pressure sensors
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Wheelchair


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