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Advances in Acoustics and Vibration
Volume 2008, Article ID 495317, 9 pages
Research Article

Still in Womb: Intrauterine Acoustic Embedded Active Noise Control for Infant Incubators

Department of Electrical Engineering, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115, USA

Received 1 December 2007; Revised 4 February 2008; Accepted 5 March 2008

Academic Editor: Marek Pawelczyk

Copyright © 2008 Lichuan Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Excessive noise in neonatal care units and inside incubators can have a number of detrimental effects on an infant's health. We proposed a novel, audio-integrated approach to achieve active noise control (ANC) for infant incubators. We also presented the implementation of the robust, nonlinear filtered-X least mean M-estimate algorithm, for reducing impulsive interference in incubators. The healthcare application is further enhanced by integrating the “womb effect”, that is, by using intrauterine and maternal heart sounds, proven to be beneficial to infant health, for soothing the infant and masking the residual noise. A computer model for audio-integrated noise cancellation utilizing experimentally measured transfer functions is developed for simulations using real medical equipment noise. The simulation of the audio integrated ANC system produced optimal results and the system was further validated by real-time experiments to be robust and efficient.