Purdue University Graduate School
Thesis_Drug_Delivery_MIke.pdf (36.42 MB)

Development and Testing of a Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Opioid Overdose Detection Device

Download (36.42 MB)
posted on 2021-10-12, 15:11 authored by Michael D MacleanMichael D Maclean
Opioid overdose is a growing epidemic plaguing the United States. Overdose related death has risen from 16,849 in 1999 to 69,029 in 2018. Almost 7 out of 10 of these deaths were due to opioids with 47% being caused by fentanyl or other synthetic opioids. There is a strong need to reduce the amount of overdose-related deaths. Indirect methods should be a first priority, and include counseling and care. For some individuals, this treatment option is unavailable because the drug user may not have the desire or economic means to pursue it. In this case, a more direct preventative approach is needed. This paper presents a novel method of detecting poor peripheral oxygenation, a biomarker linked to opioid overdose. A wristwatch near-infrared spectroscopy device (NIRS) was developed. SPICE simulations were conducted to confirm proper operation of electrical systems. The device was fabricated on a printed circuit board and mounted to a 3D printed enclosure. Absorbance of green, red and infrared (IR) light were measured. Additionally, peripheral capillary oxygen saturation (SpO2) modulation index and changes in concentration of oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin were calculated from raw data. A brachial occlusion test was performed to mimic the effects of opioid overdose on peripheral oxygenation. A statistically significant difference (p < 0.05) was observed between pre-occlusion and during-occlusion groups in two subjects for measurement of peak-to-peak values of green raw data, red raw data, IR raw data, oxyhemoglobin concentration change, and deoxyhemoglobin concentration change. Peak-to-peak was observed as a consistent indicator of poor peripheral oxygenation and could serve as a useful metric in the detection of opioid overdose.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Biomedical Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Hyowon Lee

Additional Committee Member 2

Joseph Rispoli

Additional Committee Member 3

Yunjie Tong