Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Real-time monitoring of transplant organs

01.04.2004


Human organs deteriorate rapidly without free-flowing blood. The condition, known as ischemia, can be a problem during surgical operations or the transport of graft organs. MICROTRANS’ answer is a small silicon needle with multiple sensors, capable of continuously measuring the electrical impedance of tissues.



Heart surgeons carefully monitor a beating heart on an electrocardiograph. But if they need to artificially stop the heart during a procedure, these measurements may be lacking for as long as 30 minutes.

In the MICROCARD project, an earlier project funded under the European Commission’s ESPRIT programme, European researchers tested a system that continuously monitors the condition of organs. They came up with a needle-shaped microsensor, carved from a silicon wafer, for inserting directly into an organ. Its chemical sensors assessed parameters such as pH and potassium, but were more accurate in chemical solutions than in living tissues.


So in the follow-up three-year project MICROTRANS, researchers from four countries concentrated on developing and testing sensors that measure electrical impedance. Results showed these sensors are ideal for checking the health of organs during artificially induced ischemia - during cardiac surgery or when transported in a cool-box from the donor to the recipient, a period lasting up to 24 hours.

Doctors currently employ several methods to assess the effects of ischemia on transplant organs; none are very effective or accurate. Most transplant surgeons therefore rely on visual inspections to decide if an organ can be successfully transplanted or not.

The new system provides a much better picture of the organ. Just over a centimetre in length and a less than a millimetre wide, the tiny probe measures the temperature, pH, potassium and impedance of the tissues. "It is very robust and sensitive," says Toni Ivorra, an electronic engineer from the Spanish company coordinating the project, CNM.

The project also developed a module for the cool-boxes used to carry transplant organs. It includes a radio transmitter which sends the probe’s readings to a personal digital assistant (PDA) mounted on the box. If the organ’s temperature rises too much during transport, the system will generate an alarm. At the destination hospital, the surgeon can check the PDA screen or download its data to a computer. The result, say the researchers, is fewer discarded organs and more successful transplants.

This silicon needle may have other niche applications. It could improve food security by monitoring the quality of meat, fruit and vegetables during their storage and/or growth phases.

Price should be no barrier to the commercialisation of this multiprobe microsensor, because the whole system is designed to be disposable. But Ivorra admits that transplant physicians may need convincing that electrical-impedance sensors are better than chemical ones.

Exploitation rights for the patented system are held by project partner Carburos Metálicos (Air Products). It is working with two other partners, i2m and the National Centre for Microelectronics of Barcelona, on an industrial prototype for testing in European hospitals and laboratories. If successful, a system comprising the transplant transport module, the needle, electronics and telemetry equipment could be on the market in two years.

Contact:
Professor Jordi Aguiló
CNM - CSIC
Centro Nacional de Microelectronica
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
Campus Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
E-08193 Bellaterra
Barcelona
Spain
Tel: +34-9-35947700
Fax: +34-9-358014 96
Email: jordi.aguilo@cnm.es

Tara Morris | IST Results
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/index.cfm?section=news&tpl=article&ID=63704

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>