Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Biomedical Engineering


Biomedical and General Engineering


Lily Laiho


Chronic dehydration is an endemic problem for many population groups. Current methods of monitoring hydration status are invasive, time consuming, cannot be performed while exercising, and require lab resources. A proposed solution is a wearable, continuous, and non-invasive device that uses harm-free ultrasonic pulses to detect changes in tissue hydration status over time. Customer and engineering requirements were defined and used to guide the design process. Literature reviews were performed to identify essential information on dehydration, assess current methods, discover state of the art devices, and describe ultrasonic theory. Market research was performed to identify athletes as the target population group. An adjustable elastic nylon bicep band prototype was manufactured and the integration of more advanced components was proposed. The theoretical signal processing method used to detect hydration status was validated through initial tests with a prototype electrical system composed of a Teensy 3.1 board, two 18 kHz piezoceramic disc elements, and an Arduino/LabVIEW interface. Tests with aluminum, rubber, and sponge materials were performed to compare the signal response to propagation through materials with different acoustic properties and water contents. Finally, tests performed with dehydrated bovine muscle tissue revealed a statistically significant difference between hydrated and dehydrated tissue, a promising indication for future device refinement.