Date of Award

January 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Kouhyar Tavakolian


Regulation of blood pressure is vital for maintaining organ perfusion and homeostasis. A significant decline in arterial blood pressure could lead to fainting and hypovolemic shock. In contrast to young and healthy, people with impaired autonomic control due to aging or disease find regulating blood pressure rather demanding during orthostatic challenge. This thesis performed an assessment of blood pressure regulatory controls during orthostatic challenge via traditional as well as novel approaches with two distinct applications 1) to design a robust automated system for early identification of hypovolemia and 2) to assess orthostatic tolerance in humans. In chapter 3, moderate intensity hemorrhage was simulated via lower-body negative pressure (LBNP) with an aim to identify moderate intensity hemorrhage (-30 and -40 mmHg LBNP) from resting baseline. Utilizing features extracted from common vital sign monitors, a classification accuracy of 82% and 91% was achieved for differentiating -30 and -40 mmHg LBNP, respectively from baseline. In chapter 4, cause-and-effect relationship between the representative signals of the cardiovascular and postural systems to ascertain blood pressure homeostasis during standing was performed. The degree of causal interaction between the two systems, studied via convergent cross mapping (CCM), showcased the existence of a significant bi-directional interaction between the representative signals of two systems to regulate blood pressure. Therefore, the two systems should be accounted for jointly when addressing physiology behind fall. Further, in chapter 5, the potential of artificial gravity (2-g) induced via short-arm human centrifuge at feet towards evoking blood pressure regulatory controls analogous to standing was investigated. The observation of no difference in the blood pressure regulatory controls, during 2-g centrifugation compared to standing, strongly supported the hypothesis of artificial hypergravity for mitigating cardiovascular deconditioning, hence minimizing post-flight orthostatic intolerance.