bio degradable 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.
However, 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.
Moreover, Because the U Conn 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.
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.
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.