Existing methods to assess infant nutritive sucking patterns are limited to modified bottle apparatuses or videotape analyses with trained observers determining the number of sucks during a meal. Limitations of these methods preclude their use across different settings, including the home environment, and in large cohorts.
To address the need for a method to efficiently assess meal and sucking patterns of infants across different settings, researchers at The University of Alabama have developed an unobtrusive Instrumented Bottle (IB). The IB contains a pressure sensor in the base, along with an accelerometer and camera. Pilot work demonstrates that sucking frequency and strength is measurable with the IB, and from these measures, meal volume and volumetric rate of intake can be derived.
- Pressure sensor has no direct contact with liquid in the bottle.
- Sensors are located in a detachable bottom.
- There is no need for priming of the catheter.
- Allows for food intake monitoring in a home environment without the need for strict oversight.
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