2021 journal article

An Accelerometer-based Sensing System to Study the Valve-gaping Behavior of Bivalves

IEEE Sensors Letters, 1–1.

author keywords: Sensor systems; accelerometers; angle measurement; biomarkers; bivalves; freshwater mussels; gaping
UN Sustainable Development Goal Categories
6. Clean Water and Sanitation (OpenAlex)
14. Life Below Water (Web of Science)
15. Life on Land (Web of Science)
Source: Crossref
Added: April 22, 2021

Bivalves are extremely sensitive to environmental conditions. The movement of their shells and the gap in-between the valves can serve as indicators of water pollutants entering surface water bodies. This letter proposes a novel sensing system to accurately calculate the valve-gaping angle in bivalves. The sensor unit is comprised of two inertial measurement units for each bivalve to estimate the angle between the two valves. Monitoring of multiple bivalves is possible with several water-insulated sensor units tethered with flexible cables to a central base station housing the processing unit. Miniaturization of the sensor packaging and flexibility of the wires ensured minimum hindrance to the animals’ natural behavior. The precision and accuracy of the angle measurement were tested with a benchtop servo motor setup simulating the gaping behavior. The standard deviation of measurements at a steady state was 0.78<inline-formula><tex-math notation="LaTeX">$^\circ$</tex-math></inline-formula>, and the average change in measurement during a 10<inline-formula><tex-math notation="LaTeX">$^\circ$</tex-math></inline-formula> step was 9.98<inline-formula><tex-math notation="LaTeX">$^\circ$</tex-math></inline-formula>. Over 250 h of <italic>in vivo</italic> validation experiments demonstrated the consistency of the angle measurements using the presented method alongside a magnetic alternative, which had an average correlation coefficient of <inline-formula><tex-math notation="LaTeX">$-$</tex-math></inline-formula>0.89. The sensor system provides an accurate study of bivalve gaping behavior and facilitates the potential use of bivalves as environmental sentinels due to their valve-gaping being a biomarker for monitoring water pollution.