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Vol. 109, Issue 10, October 2009, pp. 131-142




Respiration and Heartbeat Measurement for Sleep Monitoring Using a Flexible AlN Piezoelectric Film Sensor


Nan BU, Naohiro UENO and Osamu FUKUDA

Measurement Solution Research Center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial

Science and Technology (AIST), 807-1, Shuku-machi, Tosu, Saga 841-0025, Japan

Fax: +81-942-81-3698

E-mail: bu@ieee.org



Received: 21 August 2009   /Accepted: 24 November 2009   /Published: 30 November 2009


Abstract: Respiratory and heartbeat monitoring during sleep provides basic physiological information for diagnosis of sleep disorders. This paper proposes a new method for non-invasive and unconstrained measurement of respiration and heartbeat during sleep. A flexible piezoelectric film sensor made of aluminum nitride (AlN) material is used for signal acquisition. The total thickness of this sensor is less than 40 μm; the thin thickness makes it imperceptible when integrated into a bed. In addition, the AlN film sensor has good sensitivity, so that pressure fluctuation due to respiration and heartbeat can be measured when a subject is lying on this sensor. The pressure fluctuation measured can be further separated into signals corresponding to respiration and heartbeat, respectively. In the proposed method, the signal separation is achieved using an algorithm based on empirical mode decomposition (EMD). From the experimental results, it was found that respiration and heartbeat signals can be successfully obtained with the proposed method.


Keywords: Aluminum nitride (AlN) film, Piezoelectric sensor, Sleep monitoring, Cardio-respiration measurement, Empirical mode decomposition


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