Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Chemical and Biological Engineering

First Advisor

Donald F. Young


Early diagnosis of pregnancy is an important component of efficient management in the cattle breeding industry. Using current techniques there is no practical test which reliably detects pregnancy at less than 30 days after conception. This project was initiated with a general objective to investigate the feasibility of using Doppler ultrasound for early pregnancy diagnosis in cattle (between 15 and 30 days after conception);A suitable probe was designed and developed for collecting Doppler blood velocity waveforms from the bovine uterine artery using rectal palpation. A portable, microcomputer-based, velocity waveform analyzer was constructed which allows for collection and analysis of blood velocity waveforms in the field. To obtain some basic hemodynamic data related to uterine artery blood flow, pulsed Doppler, electromagnetic flowmeter, and continuous wave Doppler data were collected;A computer model of flow in the uterine artery was developed to study, theoretically, the effect of changes in various parameters on the blood velocity waveform;With regard to pregnancy diagnosis, the following points are made: (1) It is feasible to obtain velocity waveforms through rectal palpation using the finger probe which was designed for this study. (2) The data can be processed using the portable, microcomputer-based, velocity waveform analyzer. (3) It may be possible to diagnose pregnancy in cows using Doppler blood velocity waveforms, but due to the fact that several factors, in addition to mean flow, appear to affect the shape of the waveforms, further work is needed to establish suitable criteria.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Leroy R. Waite



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

175 pages