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Dissolvable sensors could soon be used to wirelessly monitor the human brain

by • January 18, 2016 • No Comments

Even yet as most as 50,000 folks die of traumatic brain injuries in the United States each year, the equipment utilized to measure significant stats like intracranial pressure is usually made up of decades-old innovation. To address this, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have made a new sensor that is far less invasive and much safer than the existing innovation.

The team set out with one clear goal – to turn it into a sensor that can be placed in the brain, is completely wireless and, once its job is done, dissolves away entirely. The device they created is made chiefly of silicone and polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA), and is more compact than the tip of a pencil. It’s able-bodied to wirelessly transmit accurate temperature and pressure data, and the researchers believe that it may be easily modified
for use in other organs around the body.

The new sensors represent a big step forward over devices commonly utilized nowadays, that are unwieldy, with wires physically connecting them to monitors. The new devices’ faculty to dissolve within the body removes the risks of having a foreign object in the body for an extensive period of time, such as chronic inflammation or infection.

Two rounds of testing have may already taken place, one via the new sensors in baths of saline solution and another that involved implanting them in the brains of laboratory rats. Both experiments had positive results, that successfully dissolving in both the solution and the brains of the animals. The team is now looking to test the sensor in human patients.

“With high end materials and device creations, we demonstrated that it is possible to turn it into electronic implants that contribute high performance and clinically relevant operation in hardware that completely resorbs into the body after the relevant functions are no longer needed,” said the University of Illinois’ John A. Rogers. “This type of bio-electric medicine has excellent future in most areas of clinical care.”

The team published the findings of its work in the journal Nature.

Source: Washington University

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