Auckland Bioengineering Institute

Pelvic floor elastometer

Computer-controlled elastometer system.

The Auckland Bioengineering Institute Elastometer is an automated instrumented speculum for measuring the force-displacement response of the Levator Ani muscle of the pelvic floor, in women.

We have initiated a collaborative clinical study with CMDHB to investigate the incidence of pelvic floor muscle injury during childbirth. We are investigating the relationship between pelvic floor muscle injury, muscle elasticity, and ethnicity. Our goal is to test whether muscle elasticity can be used as a predictor of subsequent muscle injury.

Our multidisciplinary pelvic floor research group comprises engineers and clinicians. We work closely with clinical colleagues in New Zealand and Australia, including:

  • Dr Vivien Wong (Nepean Hospital, Sydney Australia)
  • Dr Lynsey Hayward (Counties Manukau District Health Board)
  • Dr Jackie Smalldrigde (Counties Manukau District Health Board)
  • Dr Graham Parry (Counties Manukau District Health Board)
  • Hannah Piggin (Physiotherapist; Counties Manukau District Health Board)

Project members


  • 2013 Sarah Milsom, BE in Biomedical Engineering student
  • 2012 Gemma Goodfellow, BE in Biomedical Engineering student
  • 2011-2012 Mihailo Azhar, ME in Bioengineering student
  • 2011 Tzu-chin Yu, BE in Biomedical Engineering student
  • 2010 Nikolai Nielsen, overseas ME intern

Funding partners

  • Vice-Chancellors Strategic Development Fund, The University of Auckland