Breaking News
February 16, 2019 - Conformance of genetic characteristics found to be crucial for longer preservation of kidney graft
February 16, 2019 - Researchers use optogenetic tool to control, visualize receptor signals in neural cells
February 16, 2019 - New reversible antiplatelet therapy could reduce risk of blood clots, prevent cancer metastasis
February 16, 2019 - Testosterone is not the only hormone needed for penis development
February 16, 2019 - FDA Advisory Committee Recommends Approval of Spravato (esketamine) Nasal Spray for Adults with Treatment-Resistant Depression
February 15, 2019 - Heart surgery technology developed at Baptist Health debuts after years of secrecy
February 15, 2019 - Prescription Opioids Double Risk of Triggering Fatal Car Crash
February 15, 2019 - New study helps doctors better understand high blood pressure in pregnant women
February 15, 2019 - Beta wave control in Parkinson’s diseased brain could be a potential therapy
February 15, 2019 - Media representations of love may justify gender-based violence in young people
February 15, 2019 - Yoga May Help With Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms, Severity
February 15, 2019 - Obstructive sleep apnea linked to inflammation, organ dysfunction
February 15, 2019 - Master your mind: A challenge from WELL for Life
February 15, 2019 - Why Some Brain Tumors Respond to Immunotherapy
February 15, 2019 - Must-Reads Of The Week From Brianna Labuskes
February 15, 2019 - Researchers uncover novel mechanism and potential new therapeutic target for Alzheimer’s
February 15, 2019 - Genetic variations in a fourth gene associated with higher ALL risk in Hispanic children
February 15, 2019 - Disruptive behavioral problems in kindergarten linked with lower employment earnings in adulthood
February 15, 2019 - New bioengineered device enhances the production of T-cells
February 15, 2019 - HDL proteome behaves like a tiny Velcro ball that is rolling on surfaces
February 15, 2019 - Puerto Rican children more likely to have poor or decreasing use of asthma inhalers
February 15, 2019 - Quality of patient care does not improve after physician-hospital integration
February 15, 2019 - Synopsys release new software for implant design and patient-specific planning
February 15, 2019 - 6 out of 10 hip replacements last 25 years or longer
February 15, 2019 - Health Tip: What You Should Know About Antibiotics
February 15, 2019 - New research challenges medical consensus that adenoids and tonsils significantly shrink during teenage years
February 15, 2019 - Discovery of weakness in a rare cancer could be exploited with drugs
February 15, 2019 - UVA scientists find potential explanation for mysterious cell death in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s
February 15, 2019 - New rules requiring female athletes to lower testosterone levels are based on flawed data
February 15, 2019 - Researchers comprehensively sequence the human immune system
February 15, 2019 - Researchers study animal venoms to identify new medicines for treating diseases
February 15, 2019 - Movement of wrist bones revealed by MRI and computer modeling
February 15, 2019 - Philips introduces new premium digital X-ray room to help shorten patient wait times
February 15, 2019 - Women fare worse than men following aortic heart surgery, study finds
February 15, 2019 - High-protein and low-calorie diet helps older adults lose weight safely, shows study
February 15, 2019 - Drug microdosing effects may not measure up to big expectations
February 15, 2019 - Discharged, Dismissed: ERs Often Miss Chance To Set Overdose Survivors On ‘Better Path’
February 15, 2019 - A digitized lab environment to be showcased at smartLAB 2019
February 15, 2019 - Scientists uncover main mechanisms of fluconazole drug resistance
February 15, 2019 - New study seeks to understand how colibactin causes cancer
February 15, 2019 - Photoacoustic imaging accurately measures the temperature of deep tissues
February 15, 2019 - Large study finds no association between phthalate exposure and breast cancer risk
February 15, 2019 - New research explains presence of ‘natural’ magnetism in human cells
February 15, 2019 - Bio-Rad launches new digital PCR system and kit for monitoring treatment response in CML patients
February 15, 2019 - Excessive daytime sleepiness in OSA patients linked to greater risk for cardiovascular diseases
February 15, 2019 - Scientists shed light on damaging cell effects linked to aging
February 15, 2019 - Celiac disease may be caused by stomach bug in childhood
February 15, 2019 - NHS performance figures highlight the true scale of Emergency Department crisis
February 15, 2019 - High intensity exercise may improve health by increasing gut microbiota diversity
February 15, 2019 - Apellis’ APL-2 Receives Orphan Drug Designation from the FDA for the Treatment of Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia
February 15, 2019 - Couples creating art or playing board games release ‘love hormone’
February 15, 2019 - Glimpsing The Future At Gargantuan Health Tech Showcase
February 15, 2019 - Common herbicide found to increase the risk of lymphoma
February 15, 2019 - Over-abundance of energy to cells could increase cancer risk
February 15, 2019 - Oxford Genetics appoints Jocelyne Bath as new Chief Operating Officer
February 15, 2019 - Castration-resistant metastatic prostate cancer responds to combination of immune checkpoint inhibitors
February 15, 2019 - Large-scale clinical trial begins to study liver transplantation between people with HIV
February 15, 2019 - Cannabis use among adolescents linked with increased risk of depression in adulthood
February 15, 2019 - Fractures, head injuries common in electric scooter accidents, UCLA study finds
February 15, 2019 - Prenatal maternal depression has important consequences for infant temperament, study shows
February 15, 2019 - Stereotactic body radiotherapy effective in treating men with low- or intermediate-risk prostate cancer
February 15, 2019 - Zogenix Submits New Drug Application to U.S. Food & Drug Administration for Fintepla for the Treatment of Dravet Syndrome
February 15, 2019 - Certain birthmarks warrant quick treatment, pediatricians say
February 15, 2019 - New machine learning method predicts if atypical ductal hyperplasia will turn cancerous
February 15, 2019 - Whole-genome sequencing and sharing real-time data could limit spread of foodborne bacteria
February 15, 2019 - FDA warns doctor for illegally marketing unapproved implantable device
February 15, 2019 - New injury documentation tool may provide better evidence for elder abuse cases
February 15, 2019 - Physiological age is a better predictor of survival than chronological age, shows study
February 15, 2019 - New study reveals high success rate for hip and knee replacements
February 15, 2019 - Prenatal exposures to BPA may pose threat to human ovarian function
February 15, 2019 - Suspicious spots on the lungs of children with rhabdomyosarcoma do not behave like metastases
February 15, 2019 - Diet drinks daily could raise stroke risk says study
February 15, 2019 - Many Systematic Reviews Do Not Fully Report Adverse Events
February 15, 2019 - Seven tips to protect your child from burns
February 15, 2019 - Keynote speakers announced for CBD Expo MIDWEST
February 15, 2019 - New DNA methylation GrimAge tool allows you to predict lifespan and healthspan
February 15, 2019 - New AI-driven platform analyze how pathogens infect human cells
February 15, 2019 - Increased activity of EHMT2 gene deficient neurons could cause autism in humans
February 15, 2019 - Recurring UTIs may mask symptoms of bladder or kidney cancer
February 15, 2019 - Researchers conduct extensive comparison of drugs used in treating neuroendocrine tumors
New biodegradable sensors could assist doctors

New biodegradable sensors could assist doctors

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

A new study featured in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that biodegradable pressure sensors could aid doctors in monitoring conditions such as encephalitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other chronic conditions.

Credit: chombosan/Shutterstock.com

Engineers at the University of Connecticut (UConn) have developed a biodegradable pressure sensor for use in bone grafts, surgical sutures, and medical implants. The device is a small, flexible sensor made of medically safe materials that have already been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

It is hoped that the device could replace existing implantable pressure sensors that contain potentially toxic components that cannot be implanted long-term.

Current sensors must be removed after use, with the removal process subjecting the patient to an additional invasive procedure, thereby extending recovery time and increasing the risk of infection.

The UConn sensor produces a minute electrical charge when pressure is applied against it, meaning the device could also stimulate tissue regeneration. Other potential applications of the device include the examination of patients with heart disease, glaucoma, and bladder cancer.

This is the first study to use biocompatible materials in this way, says Thanh Duc Nguyen, the senior author of the paper.

Medical sensors are often implanted directly into soft tissues and organs. 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, which would be really significant.”

Thanh Duc Nguyen, Senior Author of the paper and Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Connecticut

A prototype of the sensor developed in Nyugen’s lab comprised a thin polymer film that was 5mm long, 5mm wide, and 200 micrometers thick. The device was implanted in the abdomen of a mouse so as to observe the mouse’s respiratory rate. It produced reliable readings of contractions in the mouse’s diaphragm for four days before its decomposition into individual organic components.

The researchers also implanted the device in the back of a mouse and then observed for responses from mouse’s immune system. The device recorded some minor inflammation following insertion; however, the surrounding tissues returned to normal after four weeks, proving that the sensor was medically safe.

Obtaining biodegradable piezoelectric material – material that produces electrical charge when subjected to pressure as a result of piezoelectric effect – was one of the project’s biggest challenges. In its usual state, the medically safe polymer used for the sensor; a product known as Poly-L-lactide (PLLA), is and does not produce any electrical charge under pressure.

Eli Curry, a graduate student in Nguyen’s lab successfully transformed the PLLA into a piezoelectric material by carefully heating it, stretching it, and cutting it at the right angle. This changed its internal molecular structure and induced piezoelectric properties. Curry then connected the sensor to electronic circuits so that the material’s pressure-sensing capabilities could be tested.

The piezoelectric PLLA film produced minute electrical charges when subjected to even very minute pressures. The small electrical signals are captured and transmitted to another device for review by a doctor.

The researchers hardwired an implanted sensor to a signal amplifier placed outside of a mouse’s body. The amplifier then transmitted the amplified electrical signals to an oscilloscope to view the sensor’s readings.

The readings from the sensor during testing were equal to those of existing commercial devices, proving its reliability.

The new sensor can capture a wide range of physiological pressures, such as those found in the brain, behind the eye, and in the abdomen. The sensitivity of the device could be adjusted by changing the number of layers of PLLA used and other factors.

There are many applications for this sensor. 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.”

Thanh Duc Nguyen, Senior Author of the paper and Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Connecticut

Professor Nguyen’s research team has now begun investigating methods to extend the sensor’s functional lifetime. Their ultimate goal is to develop a biodegradable sensor system that could decompose within the human body. Until then, the new sensor can be utilized in its current form to help patients avoid invasive removal surgery.

Source:

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/uoc-bsc011618.php

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles