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Bladder Phantom

Team Members

Julia Carr
Elsa Lindboom
David Nugent


Laurel Carney, PhD, Biomedical Engineering, UR


Curbell Medical


Patient falls are the largest category of reportable incidents within hospitals. As such, one of the primary motivations for a patient to get up from a seated or reclined position, putting themselves in a situation where a fall is more likely to occur, is the need to toilet (Carroll, Dykes, & Hurley  2010). These falls can result in harm to the patient as well as cost hospitals a considerable amount of money in recovery costs. A 2012 study found the average hospitalization cost following an injury due to a fall to be $34,294 (Falls Cost U.S. Hospitals n.d.). Due to this, there has been a large push in the development of preventative measures that have the potential to reduce the amount of patient falls, specifically in the setting of healthcare facilities. Curbell Medical, a leading medical device manufacturer specializing in the area of signaling devices used in the healthcare field, is one of the companies looking to find a solution to this problem. Working with a 2018/2019 University of Rochester senior design team, Curbell supported the development of a wearable bladder monitoring device that functions through the use of bioimpedance (Alatise, Garcia, Gardiner, & Selmi 2019). This device serves to detect when the bladder is full or close to full and alert health practitioners responsible for the patient that they will likely have to toilet soon. This would give caretakers time to make it to the patient to assist them before they attempt to make it to the bathroom themselves, ultimately preventing a potential fall. 

In order to validate and test the efficacy of Curbell Medical’s bladder sensor device, a functional bladder phantom that sits in a model of the human torso must be designed and developed: the project tasked to our design team. This model must be anatomically comparable to that of the average human in terms of structure, electrical properties, and urine filling and voiding functionality. 

Due to the change in the structure of our coursework following the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, all of our design work is to be completed remotely. This has led our team to adapt the deliverables intended for our customer accordingly, so that the simulation and testing of our intended model can be completed in this remote manner. We have been working to create a model of the human torso in SolidWorks as well as running a FEA model simulation illustrating how the bioimpedance sensor interacts with the body.

While our team is no longer able to complete the fabrication of a physical human abdomen model, we feel that the testing completed to date, both on campus and remotely, as well as the instructions we have laid out for further testing will provide our customer with a helpful framework in order to complete the development of this model.

This image is the team logo for our team, 'Bladders 'n Things'.

Physical Prototyping

Electronic Computer Modeling


Amy Lerner, Ph.D. – Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Art Salo – Biomedical Engineering Laboratory Engineer

Kimberly Richards – Graduate Teaching Assistant

Laurel Carney, Ph.D. – Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Mark Buckley, Ph.D. – Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Moriana Garcia – Biomedical Engineering Reference Librarian

Scott Seidman, Ph.D. – Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Whasil Lee, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

University of Rochester Medical Center

Martha Gdowski, Ph.D. – Associate Professor of Neuroscience

Jonathan Stone, M.D. – Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery

Ramzi El-Hassan, M.D. – University of Rochester School of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Resident

Curbell Medical

Dan MacDonald – Senior Electrical Design Engineer

Donald Gibson – Vice President of Marketing

Donald Young – Senior Product Manager

George Reamsnyder – Product Specialist

Joel Jusiak –  Senior Mechanical Engineer

Thomas Kennedy – Director of Engineering

Thomas O’Connor – Mechanical Engineering Manager


Alatise, K, Garcia, C, Gardiner, A & Selmi, A, 2019, ‘Bladder Monitor Device Team Executive Summary’, University of Rochester. [20 October 2019].

Carroll, DL, Dykes, PC & Hurley, AC 2010, Patients’ perspectives of falling while in an acute care hospital and suggestions for prevention. Applied nursing research: ANR. Available from: <>. [20 October 2019].

Falls Cost U.S. Hospitals $34 billion in Direct Medical Costs. n.d., Johns Hopkins HealthCare Solutions. Available from: <>. [23 October 2019].

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