Monitoring cardiac output continuously post-surgery for children with congenital heart disease is an important part of post-operative recovery, especially given the potential for large changes in vascular pressure as a side-effect of pharmaceutical agents given to help recovery. Current methods to monitor cardiac output are limited by the requirement for invasiveness (cuff-type flow probes), or do not provide continuous monitoring (ultrasound Doppler). Using a combination of analytical and finite element modeling, we explore the design and optimization of a unique ultrasonic transit-time flow probe that extends the capability of current devices by providing greater miniaturization, better sensitivity, and lower cost through the use of capacitive micromachined ultrasound transducer (cMUT) technology.

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