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A combined experimental and computational approach to evaluate microclimate control at the support surface interface

A combined experimental and computational approach to evaluate microclimate control at the support surface interface
A combined experimental and computational approach to evaluate microclimate control at the support surface interface
Temperature and humidity conditions at the interface between a support surface and the skin, termed microclimate, has been implicated in the development of pressure ulcers. Support surface technologies have been developed to control microclimate conditions, although only a few standard test methods exist to evaluate their performance. This study describes a combined experimental-computational approach to analyzing microclimate control systems. The study used a modified physical model protocol to evaluate two specific support surface systems involving a spacer fabric cover with i) no air flow and ii) an active fan. The physical model deposited moisture at a controlled rate for 25 min, and the microclimate conditions under the model and the surrounding area were monitored for 24 h. Using the experimental data as boundary conditions, a finite element model was developed using mass transport principles, which was calibrated using experimental results. Model inputs included mass density and mass diffusivity, resulting in an estimated absolute humidity change over time. The physical model tests revealed distinct differences between the support surfaces with and without active airflow, with the former having little effect on local humidity levels (RH>75% for 24hr). By contrast, there was a spatial and temporal change in microclimate with the active fan, with sensors positioned towards the source of airflow reaching ambient conditions within 24hr. The computational model was refined to produce comparable results with respect to both the spatial distribution of microclimate and the change in values over time. The combined experimental and computation approach was able to distinguish distinct difference in microclimate change between two support surface designs. The approach could enable the efficient evaluation of different mattress design principles to aid decision making for personalized support surface solutions, for the prevention of pressure ulcers.
Evaluation, Finite element analysis, Medical device, Microclimate, Physical model, Pressure ulcer
0965-206X
395-401
Van Asten, J G M C
841ed159-aeb0-4c22-beab-d56b4f121e4c
Fung, M-T
59e2ccbf-14de-467b-9e9c-c81a5846a189
Oomens, C.W.J.
a8310c52-8ab4-4652-b2d6-82269a3c7438
Bader, Daniel
9884d4f6-2607-4d48-bf0c-62bdcc0d1dbf
Worsley, Peter
6d33aee3-ef43-468d-aef6-86d190de6756
Van Asten, J G M C
841ed159-aeb0-4c22-beab-d56b4f121e4c
Fung, M-T
59e2ccbf-14de-467b-9e9c-c81a5846a189
Oomens, C.W.J.
a8310c52-8ab4-4652-b2d6-82269a3c7438
Bader, Daniel
9884d4f6-2607-4d48-bf0c-62bdcc0d1dbf
Worsley, Peter
6d33aee3-ef43-468d-aef6-86d190de6756

Van Asten, J G M C, Fung, M-T, Oomens, C.W.J., Bader, Daniel and Worsley, Peter (2021) A combined experimental and computational approach to evaluate microclimate control at the support surface interface. Journal of Tissue Viability, 30 (3), 395-401. (doi:10.1016/j.jtv.2021.04.007).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Temperature and humidity conditions at the interface between a support surface and the skin, termed microclimate, has been implicated in the development of pressure ulcers. Support surface technologies have been developed to control microclimate conditions, although only a few standard test methods exist to evaluate their performance. This study describes a combined experimental-computational approach to analyzing microclimate control systems. The study used a modified physical model protocol to evaluate two specific support surface systems involving a spacer fabric cover with i) no air flow and ii) an active fan. The physical model deposited moisture at a controlled rate for 25 min, and the microclimate conditions under the model and the surrounding area were monitored for 24 h. Using the experimental data as boundary conditions, a finite element model was developed using mass transport principles, which was calibrated using experimental results. Model inputs included mass density and mass diffusivity, resulting in an estimated absolute humidity change over time. The physical model tests revealed distinct differences between the support surfaces with and without active airflow, with the former having little effect on local humidity levels (RH>75% for 24hr). By contrast, there was a spatial and temporal change in microclimate with the active fan, with sensors positioned towards the source of airflow reaching ambient conditions within 24hr. The computational model was refined to produce comparable results with respect to both the spatial distribution of microclimate and the change in values over time. The combined experimental and computation approach was able to distinguish distinct difference in microclimate change between two support surface designs. The approach could enable the efficient evaluation of different mattress design principles to aid decision making for personalized support surface solutions, for the prevention of pressure ulcers.

Text
A combined experimental and computational approach to evaluate microclimate control - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 9 May 2022.
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 23 April 2021
e-pub ahead of print date: 9 May 2021
Published date: 9 May 2021
Additional Information: Funding Information: We would like acknowledge equipment and funding support from Hill-Rom (USA). There are, however, no conflicts of interest in this project from any of the authors. Funding Information: The work was supported by the EPSRC-NIHR ?Medical Device and Vulnerable Skin? Network and NetworkPLUS (refs. EP/M000303/1 and EP/N02723X/1). We thank Hill-Rom (Hill-Rom Services Inc. USA) for supplying the support surface for evaluation. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 Tissue Viability Society Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
Keywords: Evaluation, Finite element analysis, Medical device, Microclimate, Physical model, Pressure ulcer

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 449487
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/449487
ISSN: 0965-206X
PURE UUID: d86fde2b-5aa4-425b-90a2-56124be3b2ef
ORCID for Daniel Bader: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1208-3507
ORCID for Peter Worsley: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0145-5042

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 03 Jun 2021 16:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 02:57

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Contributors

Author: J G M C Van Asten
Author: M-T Fung
Author: C.W.J. Oomens
Author: Daniel Bader ORCID iD
Author: Peter Worsley ORCID iD

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