Children will no longer wet themselves with this innovative bladder sensor

Many children suffer from urinary incontinence. They might wet the bed regularly, for example, but accidents also happen during the day. This is not only very annoying from a practical point of view, but it also damages the child’s self-confidence, and it is often a stressful situation. Clinical technologist Oaul van Leuteren, who recently obtained his doctorate from the Magnetic Detection and Imaging (MD&I) research group at the University of Twente, is co-developer of the SENS-U. The SENS-U is an innovative bladder sensor that measures how full the bladder is and gives a signal when it is time to go to the toilet.

In short

  • Many children suffer from urinary incontinence, which often results in stressful situations for them.
  • Clinical technologist Paul van Leuteren developed an innovative bladder sensor that signals children when their bladder is full. 

Global Goal

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Clinical prototype

Paul van Leuteren already encountered the problems that many children have with urinating during his first Mater’s internship in Technical Medicine. He decided to develop a solution and collaborated on a clinical prototype of the SENS-U bladder sensor. 


The bladder sensor is a small device that is worn on the lower abdomen. It uses ultrasound technology to measure how full the bladder is, and it gives a short vibrating signal when it is nearly full. The child will then know that it is time to go to the toilet, and their trousers stay dry. 

Staying dry at night, too

Van Leuteren has also investigated whether the bladder sensor can be used at night. It is crucial that the device properly measure the bladder's contents, even in a lying position. Research showed that the SENS-U correctly detected when the bladder was full in 83% of the cases. The bladder was not yet full enough to measure for the remaining 17% (less than 30 ml). 


The idea is using the SENS-U for children who have urinary incontinence problems, under the supervision of a urotherapist. The sensor will help the child with going to the toilet on time, but the SENS-U should be phased out eventually. The child will learn to recognise and respond to the signals of a full bladder with the guidance of a urotherapist.

Date: 16 February 2021 |