Cardiovascular Engineering

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 145–150 | Cite as

Nonpulsatile and Noninvasive Transmittance and Reflectance Tissue-bed Oximetry

  • A. Kemeny
  • L. A. Geddes
Original Paper


A new optical device was developed that measures blood pressure noninvasively, in small human subjects (neonates and premature infants) and small animals (Roeder RAR. Transducer for indirect measurement of blood pressure in small human subjects and animals, Purdue University, BME; 2003.: xi, 50 p.). The ability of this device to measure oxygen saturation enhances its value. The objective of this research was to add the ability to obtain SaO2 from the same device and to obtain the calibration curve. Another objective was to determine which measurement method (transmittance or reflectance) is preferable. This new oximeter is unlike the conventional pulse oximeter in that it does not require a pulse, making it ideal for measuring oxygen saturation noninvasively in small human subjects with small amplitude pulses or without a pulse. A study was performed in 11 pigs, ranging in weight 20–27 kg. The pig tail was used as the measuring site for %SaO2 measurements. Arterial blood samples were obtained from the femoral artery and oxygen saturation was measured with a blood-gas analyzer. A small blood-pressure cuff was used to render the optical path bloodless. A comparison of the transmittance and reflectance methods for measuring oxygen saturation was made. %SaO2 measurements ranged from 4% to 100%. It was found that both the transmittance and reflectance methods can be used to measure %SaO2 reliably in situations with or without a pulse.


Transmittance Reflectance Oximetry 



The authors would like to thank Melissa Bible and Amy Peterson who were responsible for the anesthesia. Supported in part by NIBIB Grant NGAR2IEB001540 National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, and a grant from the Purdue Trask Fund.


  1. Anderson NM, Sekelj P. Reflection and transmission of light by thin films of nonhaemolysed blood. Phys Med Biol 1967;12(2):185–92.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Comroe JH, Botelho S. The unreliability of cyanosis in the recognition of arterial anoxemia. Am J Med Sci 1947;214(1):1–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Geddes LA, Baker LE. Principles of applied biomedical instrumentation. New York:Wiley; 1989.Google Scholar
  4. Hanning CD, Alexander-Williams JM. Pulse oximetry: a practical review. BMJ 1995;311(7001):367–70.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Heska Corporation. 1801-A Airport Rd., Waukesha, WI 53188.Google Scholar
  6. Kelleher JF. Pulse oximetry. J Clin Monit (1989);5(1):37–62.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Neff TA. Routine oximetry A fifth vital sign? Chest 1988;94(2):227.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Nonin Medical Inc. Model 7000A Adult Flexi-Form II Single Patient Use Pulse Oximeter, Directions for Use; 2000.Google Scholar
  9. Prahl S. Tabulated molar extinction coefficient for hemoglobin in water; 2000. Retrieved December 5, 2005, from
  10. Roeder RAR. Transducer for indirect measurement of blood pressure in small human subjects and animals, Purdue University, BME; 2003.: xi, 50 p.Google Scholar
  11. Wukitsch MW, Petterson MT, et al. Pulse oximetry: analysis of theory, technology, and practice. J Clin Monit 1988;4(4):290–301.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Yoshiya I, Shimada Y, et al. Spectrophotometric monitoring of arterial oxygen saturation in the fingertip. Med Biol Eng Comput 1980;18(1):27–32.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

Personalised recommendations