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1. WO2001076473 - SYSTEME DE MESURE DE FLUX ORGANIQUES

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

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Claims

1. A system of measuring the flow of a human or animal bodily action or fluid along or through a bodily flow conduit using two or more sensor means located on the body along or around the path of the conduit .

2. A system as claimed in Claim 1 wherein the
bodily action is a pulse wave or pressure
profile.

3. A system as claimed in Claim 1 or Claim 2
wherein the system comprises two or more
pressure sensor means located over or around the path of the conduit, and means to transfer signals from the sensor means to a signal
processing means adapted to calculate the flow between the sensor means.

4. A system as claimed in Claim 3 wherein the flow measured is the pulse wave velocity between the sensor means.

5. A system as claimed in any one of the preceding Claims wherein the bodily fluid is blood, semen or urine.

6. A system as claimed in any one of the preceding Claims wherein one or more of the sensor means measures a direct electrical and/or mechanical signal from the conduit.

. A system as claimed in any one of the preceding Claims wherein one or more of the sensor means . measures an indirect electrical and/or
mechanical signal from a conduit.

8. A system as claimed in any one of the preceding Claims wherein one or more of the sensor means is selected from the group comprising
electrodes, liquid strain gauges, conductive polymer wires, mechanical sensors and
Indium/Galium sensors.

9. A system as claimed in Claim 8 wherein the
sensor means are either piezoelectric sensors, polyvinylidene fluoride sensors or
Indium/Galium sensors .

10. A system as claimed in any one of the preceding Claims wherein the sensor means wholly or
substantially conform to the shape of the body on which they are located.

11. A system as claimed in any one of the preceding Claims wherein the part of the sensor means
interfacing with the body is a flexible
polymeric material.

12. A system as claimed in any one of the preceding Claims wherein the sensor means are wholly or substantially longitudinally aligned along the path of the conduit.

13. A system as claimed in any one of Claims 1-11 wherein the sensors are strategically located across an area of the human or animal body
under which the conduit passes.

14. A system as claimed in any one of the preceding Claims wherein the sensor means are arranged in or on a support means .

15. A system as claimed in Claim 14 wherein the
sensor means are integral with the support
means .

16. A system as claimed in Claim 14 wherein the
sensor means are separable from the support
means

17. A system as claimed in any one of Claims 14-16 wherein the support means comprises a collar or a cuff adapted to be locatable onto or around an elongate portion of a human or animal body.

18. A system as claimed in any one of Claims 14-17 wherein the support means includes means to
attach or fit itself onto or around the human or animal body.

19. A system as claimed in any one of Claims 14-18 wherein the support means includes a reference means or portion adapted to reference the support means to a part of the human or animal body.

20. A system as claimed in any one of Claims 14-19 wherein the support means comprises one or more pockets, which pocket supports a sensor means.

21. A system as claimed in any one of the preceding Claims wherein one or sensor means are
additionally located at a distal location on the human or animal body.

22. A. system as claimed in any one of the preceding Claims for measuring the pulse wave velocity along a human artery.

23. A system as claimed in any one of Claims 1 to
22 for measuring the velocity and/or volume of seminal fluid during ejaculation.

24. A system as claimed in any one of the preceding Claims for measuring a pressure, volume or
event-timing occurring along or through the conduit.

25. A method of measuring the flow of a human or animal bodily action or fluid along or through a bodily flow conduit, which method comprises using the system as claimed in any one of
Claims 1-24.

6. A method as claimed in Claim 25 comprising the steps of:
locating two or more pressure sensor means
wholly or substantially along the path of a
bodily fluid conduit of a human or animal body; measuring the signals from the sensors based on deformation of the conduit wall as fluid passes therethrough; and
calculating pulse wave velocity from the timing of the signals and distance between the
sensors.

27. A method as claimed in Claim 26 wherein the
pressure sensor means are piezoelectric sensors in a support means .

28. A support means for two or more sensor means for measuring the flow of a human or animal bodily action or fluid along or through a
conduit as described in any one of Claims 1 to 27, comprising a frame and a support for each sensor means adapted to allow sensitive
movement thereof.

29. A support means as claimed in Claim 28, wherein the frame is wholly or substantially rigid.

30. Apparatus for measuring the flow of a human or animal bodily action or fluid along or through a conduit as described in any one of Claims 1 to 27 comprising two or more sensor means
locatable on the body along or around the path of the conduit, and signal processing means adapted to calculate the flow measurement
between the sensor means .

31. Apparatus as claimed in Claim 30 further
including, means to transfer signals from the sensor means to the signal processing means.

32. Apparatus as claimed in Claim 30 or Claim 31 wherein one or more of the sensor means is as defined in Claim 8.

33. Apparatus as claimed in Claim 32 wherein the sensor means are as defined in Claim 9.