Breaking News
February 17, 2018 - ‘A Time Clock to a Tissue Clock’ for Acute Stroke Care
February 17, 2018 - Cancer Care Gets Personal | NIH News in Health
February 17, 2018 - Do more youth use or do youth use more?
February 17, 2018 - Eating faster linked to obesity
February 17, 2018 - Who’s Still Smoking? ACS Report Highlights Most Vulnerable Adults
February 17, 2018 - Study of smoking and genetics illuminates complexities of blood pressure
February 17, 2018 - Study reveals new link between bone cells and blood glucose level
February 17, 2018 - Children with reading challenges may have lower than expected binocular vision test results
February 17, 2018 - Mass Shootings Trigger Change for Emergency Medicine
February 17, 2018 - ECMO helps revive woman thought to be drowned
February 17, 2018 - Learning stress-reducing techniques may benefit people with epilepsy
February 17, 2018 - Shedding Pounds Before Weight-Loss Surgery a Smart Move
February 17, 2018 - FDA Approves New Cystic Fibrosis Drug Combo
February 17, 2018 - Augmented Reality helps surgeons to ‘see through’ tissue and reconnect blood vessels
February 17, 2018 - Emotional state affects operation of the entire brain instead of being restricted to specific regions
February 17, 2018 - Apalutamide Slows Metastasis in Prostate Cancer
February 17, 2018 - Kids’ well visits linked to lower appendicitis complications
February 17, 2018 - New NK cell-based immunotherapy effective against several types of leukemia
February 17, 2018 - Producing Super-Swelled Lyotropic Crystals for Drug Development
February 17, 2018 - Pfizer Receives Breakthrough Therapy Designation from FDA for PF-04965842, an oral JAK1 Inhibitor, for the Treatment of Patients with Moderate-to-Severe Atopic Dermatitis
February 17, 2018 - Molecular Imaging Flags Risk of AAA Rupture
February 17, 2018 - Researchers identify risk factors for sleep apnea during pregnancy
February 17, 2018 - More work required to find the right drug dosage for pediatric patients
February 17, 2018 - Factors ID’d That Predict RA Remission with Etanercept
February 17, 2018 - A handout or a hand up? How we judge others guides how we help others
February 17, 2018 - ACR receives grant to focus on projects that reduce health disparities
February 17, 2018 - Pimavanserin Might Be Safer Alternative to Ease Dementia Psychosis
February 17, 2018 - Risks of Lung Screening Seen Outweighing Benefits in Many with Smoking History
February 17, 2018 - The impact of Hurricane Harvey on pregnant moms
February 17, 2018 - Gene editing tool used to detect cancer
February 17, 2018 - Researchers detail molecular atlas of cells that form brain’s blood vessels
February 17, 2018 - TUM scientists observe formation of myelin sheaths around nerve fibers
February 17, 2018 - Worst Flu Season Yet? | Medpage Today
February 17, 2018 - Finding the root cause of bronchiolitis symptoms
February 17, 2018 - Climbing stairs reduces hypertension and strengthens muscles
February 17, 2018 - Nature paper unveils bacterial division
February 16, 2018 - Postoperative pain control following extensive pelvic exenteration
February 16, 2018 - Daré Bioscience, Inc. Enters into License and Collaboration Agreement for a Product with the Potential to Receive the First FDA Approval for Female Sexual Arousal Disorder
February 16, 2018 - Havana Embassy Staff: ‘Concussion Without Concussion’?
February 16, 2018 - Family impact of congenital Zika syndrome likely to last a lifetime
February 16, 2018 - STI Prevention Helped By Also Discussing Pot, Alcohol Use
February 16, 2018 - New method maps the dopamine system in Parkinson’s patients
February 16, 2018 - Monitoring the Environment of Aseptic Processes
February 16, 2018 - Study finds decline in number of clinical trials funded by NIH
February 16, 2018 - Scientists show connection between sugar chains and bone growth
February 16, 2018 - Researchers develop new method for producing personalized medicine
February 16, 2018 - Women exposed to cleaning products suffer decreased lung function, Study finds
February 16, 2018 - Stem cell vaccine helps protect mice against numerous cancers
February 16, 2018 - Does Your Valentine Have a Roving Eye? Watch Out
February 16, 2018 - All Your MIPS Questions Answered — Sort Of
February 16, 2018 - Mitochondria may protect brain against Parkinson’s
February 16, 2018 - Key proteins could help in controlling the risk of osteoarthritis during aging, Study finds
February 16, 2018 - New review examines effectiveness of cupping therapy in athletes
February 16, 2018 - Resolving Interfacial Protein Dynamics by STReM
February 16, 2018 - Study provides new insights on why healthy children die from flu
February 16, 2018 - Self-sampling followed by HPV testing can benefit women at risk of cervical cancer
February 16, 2018 - Biomedical engineers grow living windpipe structures from self-assembled modules
February 16, 2018 - New device could allow people with disabilities to live more independently, enhance their quality of life
February 16, 2018 - Research identifies gene variants that play key role in how ovarian cancer patients process chemotherapy
February 16, 2018 - iMedicalApps: OB Wheels App Review
February 16, 2018 - To improve self-control, call weight loss what it is: Difficult
February 16, 2018 - Cervical tumors may be vulnerable to therapies that attack cancer’s fuel supply, study shows
February 16, 2018 - Allergan Announces Positive Top Line Phase 3 Results for Ubrogepant – an Oral CGRP Receptor Antagonist for the Acute Treatment of Migraine
February 16, 2018 - Morning Break: Hello Not-So-Fresh; One Eye, 14 Worms; Foreign Accent Syndrome
February 16, 2018 - New medical advances marking the end of a long reign for ‘diet wizards’
February 16, 2018 - Researchers study how unexpected event makes people to stop an action
February 16, 2018 - Women using short-acting asthma relievers take longer to become pregnant, study shows
February 16, 2018 - Fathers maybe passing on ovarian cancer genes to their daughters
February 16, 2018 - Phonak expands its latest-generation Belong platform with Phonak Naída B, Phonak Sky B hearing aids
February 16, 2018 - FDA Approves Erleada (apalutamide) for Non-Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer
February 16, 2018 - Traces of caffeine and its byproducts in the blood can be indicative of Parkinson’s disease
February 16, 2018 - More Help Needed With Opioid Crisis, Senators Told
February 16, 2018 - Are women really under-represented in clinical trials?
February 16, 2018 - US-based clinical study highlights safety and effectiveness of MENTOR MemoryShape Gel Breast Implants
February 16, 2018 - Higher levels of lifestyle physical activity linked to more gray matter in older adults’ brains
February 16, 2018 - Pfizer to use BC Platforms’ technology solutions to analyze data in cardiovascular diseases
February 16, 2018 - Researchers find shortcomings in pregnancy and prenatal care for women with diabetes
February 16, 2018 - Study could lead to new therapies to improve movement control in stroke survivors
February 16, 2018 - Do Common Household Chemicals Affect Your Weight?
February 16, 2018 - Binocular Video Game Tx Disappoints in ‘Lazy Eye’ Trial
New biodegradable pressure sensor could help monitor serious health conditions

New biodegradable pressure sensor could help monitor serious health conditions

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

UConn engineers have created a biodegradable pressure sensor that could help doctors monitor chronic lung disease, swelling of the brain, and other medical conditions before dissolving harmlessly in a patient’s body.

The UConn research is featured in the current online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The small, flexible sensor is made of medically safe materials already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in surgical sutures, bone grafts, and medical implants. It is designed to replace existing implantable pressure sensors that have potentially toxic components.

Those sensors must be removed after use, subjecting patients to an additional invasive procedure, extending their recovery time, and increasing the risk of infection.

Because the UConn sensor emits a small electrical charge when pressure is applied against it, the device also could be used to provide electrical stimulation for tissue regeneration, researchers say. Other potential applications include monitoring patients with glaucoma, heart disease, and bladder cancer.

“We are very excited because this is the first time these biocompatible materials have been used in this way,” says Thanh Duc Nguyen, the paper’s senior author and an assistant professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering in the Institute of Regenerative Engineering at UConn Health and the Institute of Materials Science at the Storrs campus.

“Medical sensors are often implanted directly into soft tissues and organs,” Nguyen notes. “Taking them out can cause additional damage. We knew that if we could develop a sensor that didn’t require surgery to take it out, that would be really significant.”

A prototype sensor made by the lab consisted of a thin polymer film five millimeters long, five millimeters wide, and 200 micrometers thick. The sensor was implanted in the abdomen of a mouse in order to monitor the mouse’s respiratory rate. It emitted reliable readings of contractions in the mouse’s diaphragm for four days before breaking down into its individual organic components.

To make sure the sensor was also medically safe, the researchers implanted it in the back of a mouse and then watched for a response from the mouse’s immune system. The results showed only minor inflammation after the sensor was inserted, and the surrounding tissue returned to normal after four weeks.

One of the project’s biggest challenges was getting the biodegradable material to produce an electrical charge when it was subjected to pressure or squeezed, a process known as the piezoelectric effect. In its usual state, the medically safe polymer used for the sensor – a product known as Poly(L-lactide) or PLLA – is neutral and doesn’t emit an electrical charge under pressure.

Eli Curry, a graduate student in Nguyen’s lab and the paper’s lead author, provided the project’s key breakthrough when he successfully transformed the PLLA into a piezoelectric material by carefully heating it, stretching it, and cutting it at just the right angle so that its internal molecular structure was altered and it adopted piezoelectric properties. Curry then connected the sensor to electronic circuits so the material’s force-sensing capabilities could be tested.

When put together, the UConn sensor is made of two layers of piezoelectric PLLA film sandwiched between tiny molybdenum electrodes and then encapsulated with layers of polylactic acid or PLA, a biodegradable product commonly used for bone screws and tissue scaffolds. Molybdenum is used for cardiovascular stents and hip implants.

The piezoelectric PLLA film emits a small electrical charge when even the most minute pressure is applied against it. Those small electrical signals can be captured and transmitted to another device for review by a doctor.

As part of their proof of concept test for the new sensor, the research team hardwired an implanted sensor to a signal amplifier placed outside of a mouse’s body. The amplifier then transmitted the enhanced electrical signals to an oscilloscope where the sensor’s readings could be easily viewed.

The sensor’s readings during testing were equal to those of existing commercial devices and just as reliable, the researchers say. The new sensor is capable of capturing a wide range of physiological pressures, such as those found in the brain, behind the eye, and in the abdomen. The sensor’s sensitivity can be adjusted by changing the number of layers of PLLA used and other factors.

Nguyen’s group is investigating ways to extend the sensor’s functional lifetime. The lab’s ultimate goal is to develop a sensor system that is completely biodegradable within the human body.

But until then, the new sensor can be used in its current form to help patients avoid invasive removal surgery, the researchers say.

“There are many applications for this sensor,” says Nguyen. “Let’s say the sensor is implanted in the brain. We can use biodegradable wires and put the accompanying non-degradable electronics far away from the delicate brain tissue, such as under the skin behind the ear, similar to a cochlear implant. Then it would just require a minor treatment to remove the electronics without worrying about the sensor being in direct contact with soft brain tissue.”

Nguyen’s research group has filed for a patent for the new sensor. The patent application is pending.

Source:

Biodegradable Sensor Monitors Pressure in the Body then Disappears

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles