Research Papers

Dynamic Compression Garments for Sensory Processing Disorder Treatment Using Integrated Active Materials

[+] Author and Article Information
Julia C. Duvall

Housing and Apparel Department of Design,
University of Minnesota,
Saint Paul, MN 95616
e-mail: duval051@umn.edu

Nicholas Schleif

Housing and Apparel Department of Design,
University of Minnesota,
Saint Paul, MN 95616

Lucy E. Dunne

Housing and Apparel Department of Design,
University of Minnesota,
Saint Paul, MN 95616

Brad Holschuh

Assistant Professor
Housing and Apparel Department of Design,
University of Minnesota,
Saint Paul, MN 95616

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received February 17, 2018; final manuscript received October 23, 2018; published online March 6, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Venketesh Dubey.

J. Med. Devices 13(2), 021001 (Mar 06, 2019) (9 pages) Paper No: MED-18-1035; doi: 10.1115/1.4042599 History: Received February 17, 2018; Revised October 23, 2018

Many medical conditions, including sensory processing disorder (SPD), employ compression therapy as a form of treatment. SPD patients often wear weighted or elastic vests to produce compression on the body, which have been shown to have a calming effect on the wearer. Recent advances in compression garment technology incorporate active materials to produce dynamic, low bulk compression garments that can be remotely controlled. In this study, an active compression vest using shape memory alloy (SMA) spring actuators was developed to produce up to 52.5 mmHg compression on a child's torso for SPD applications. The vest prototype incorporated 16 SMA spring actuators (1.25 mm diameter, spring index = 3) that constrict when heated, producing large forces and displacements that can be controlled via an applied current. When power was applied (up to 43.8 W), the prototype vest generated increasing magnitudes of pressure (up to 37.6 mmHg, spatially averaged across the front of the torso) on a representative child-sized form. The average pressure generated was measured up to 71.6% of the modeled pressure, and spatial pressure nonuniformities were observed that can be traced to specific garment architectural features. Although there is no consistent standard in magnitude or distribution of applied force in compression therapy garments, it is clear from comparative benchmarks that the compression produced by this garment exceeds the demands of the target application. This study demonstrates the viability of SMA-based compression garments as an enabling technology for enhancing SPD (and other compression-based) treatment.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Photograph of the SMA-actuated compression garment front (left) and side view (right)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Shape memory alloy compression garment comprised of an inner comfort layer and outer muscle layer. The SMA wire is processed into a spring and laced through each side of the garment to produce compression.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Depicts SMA actuator power, length, and time plot

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Depicts the average pressure output (mmHg) from all five samples of the average of the last 60 s of total power input (including both sides of the garments). Standard deviation of pressure output is also depicted. The horizontal line represents the predicted maximum pressure output of 52.5 mmHg.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Tekscan CONFORMat sensor and garment placement for data collection

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Data showing average pressure, mmHg, over time. Average pressure is defined as the average force applied over an area. Power was applied with increased intensity at fixed time intervals of 5 min after an initial period of 30 s. Data show that the average pressure output increased with power input.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Tekscan CONFORMat sensor, garment placement (left), and corresponding pressure maps (right) comparing output with no applied power and max power (20 V, 1.10 A, 21.92 W). The temperature bar corresponds to pressure measures in mmHg depicted in the pressure map.



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