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SBIR Phase II:Sensor-based bra to measure breast milk output and monitor changes in breast volume before and after breastfeeding or breast pumping

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2210952
Agency Tracking Number: 2210952
Amount: $999,997.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: MD
Solicitation Number: NSF 21-565
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-01-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-06-30
Small Business Information
New York, NY 10011
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Adriana Vazquez
 (646) 825-1423
Business Contact
 Adriana Vazquez
Phone: (646) 825-1423
Research Institution

The broader impact/commercial impact of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project impacts mothers and babies during the breastfeeding period. Although breastfeeding benefits for the mother and the baby are recognized worldwide, many mothers are unable to attain their breastfeeding targets due to common discontinuance problems. The proposed solution may increase breastfeeding rates by supporting mothers who are breastfeeding or breast pumping, providing them with resources to sustain breastfeeding. Access to valuable information on the volume of breastmilk expressed could enable mothers to carefully monitor their milk production. At the same time, it may allow the prediction of clogged milk ducts, avoiding serious complications such as breast engorgement or lactational mastitis that can be avoided with early intervention. This intervention could prevent not only early discontinuance in breastfeeding but also promote increased health for mothers by reducing the risks of disease. The monitor may also impact babies’ health since breastfeeding is recommended to achieve optimal growth and development. Further, the proposed monitor may provide the scientific community with data to enable research into different aspects of mothers’ health, for example, determining the reasons for the formation of mastitis._x000D_
This project may lead to a new paradigm in lactational health for the baby and the mother. There is an important need to meet breastfeeding objectives by reducing discontinuances and reducing common conditions such as lactational mastitis. The proposed solution aims to increase breastfeeding rates by providing mothers with a comfortable and effective method for measuring the milk volume expressed and for determining if milk ducts are clogged. Research objectives include: (1) sourcing and testing fabrics for the bra from multiple vendors; (2) designing and developing of the embedded system and the bra, so that will be able to accommodate a wide range of breast shapes and sizes; (3) designing and developing mobile applications and algorithms, which will include data analytics and prediction; and (4) optimizing the bra and mobile applications. The project could result in a smart, all-day wearable, comfortable garment designed for breastfeeding mothers that is paired with a mobile app to show analysis and results adapted to each mother._x000D_
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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