Closed Loop Control System of a Bionic Implantable Sphincter for Stress Urinary Incontinence

  • Kenana M. Al Adem

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Stress urinary incontinence (SUI), defined as involuntary urine leakage during bladder filling due to failure in the urethral closure mechanism, is a global health challenge with substantial social and economic impact. Global statistics predict that approximately 167 million male and female patients in 2018 will suffer from SUI. The treatment of severe SUI cases requires the implantation of an artificial urinary sphincter (AUS). The gold standard AUS is the AMS 800; however it has a number of well-reported complications such as: mechanical breakdown, urethral atrophy, and cuff erosion. In this work, an intensive literature search on SUI was conducted in order to gain an in depth medical understanding of this condition as well as its current treatments. This knowledge was then utilized for the accurate application of the required engineering principles for the development of a novel AUS system based on expert clinical indications. Importantly, this thesis presents the proposed novel architecture of the electromechanical AUS system with detailed description on the individual components including the urethral cuff, the actuation, the control and the sensor units. The significance of this work can be seen in bridging the gap that is present in the current clinical and under research AUS systems by integrating a closed loop control algorithm that allows for the dynamic control of the urethral cuff occlusion based on the intra-abdominal feedback signal provided by the sensing unit. An in vitro test bed, consisting of an artificial bladder, urethra and a ureter was designed and built along with a support system for the experimental characterization of the proposed control algorithm. Testing the control algorithm revealed that the proposed AUS system was successful in providing minimal leakage as well as an adaptable occlusion of the artificial urethral lumen upon the exertion of simulated-intraabdominal forces.
Date of AwardApr 2017
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorCesare Stefanini (Supervisor)


  • Stress Urinary Incontinence
  • Closed Loop Control Algorithm
  • Artificial Bladder and Urethra
  • Sensor Feedback Mechanism
  • Bionic Sphincter Design.

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