Relationship between frequency and impedance change in an infusion rate measurement system employing a capacitance sensor - biomed 2011

Biomed Sci Instrum. 2011;47:153-9.


We have been searching for a suitable frequency range for an electrical impedance measurement infusion solution drip monitoring system, which we have previously reported. This electrical impedance, which is formed between two electrodes wrapped around the infusion supply polyvinyl-chloride tube and around the drip chamber, is changed by the growth and fall of each drop of fluid. Thus, the drip rate can be detected by measuring this impedance. However, many different kinds of infusion solutions such as glucose, amino acid, soya oil, and lactated Ringer’s solution are used in hospitals and care facilities. Therefore, it was necessary to find a suitable frequency for driving the capacitance-change sensor with a wide range of infusion solutions. In this study, the sensor electrical impedance change of 16 infusion solutions was measured from 1 kHz up to 1 MHz. The drip impedance produced by 5% glucose solution, 10% glucose solution and soya oil indicated the maximum sensor output change at 10 kHz, 20 kHz, and 70 kHz, respectively. The other 13 infusion solutions increased up to 10 kHz, and were constant from 10 kHz to 1 MHz. However, the growth, fall, and drip rate of the drops of all the infusion solutions were monitored by measuring the impedance change from 10 kHz to 30 kHz. Our experimental results indicated that most suitable excitation range for the infusion monitoring system is from 10 kHz to 30 kHz. Thus, we can now “fine-tune” the system for optimal sensing.