Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Advances in wireless biosensor technology: Subcutaneous sensors will provide even more accurate data on patient health

18.10.2005


Led by Professor Jukka Lekkala, the Wireless research project is developing miniscule subcutaneous sensors, which can be used to monitor, for example, the function of the heart or prosthetic joints even over long periods of time. The Academy of Finland is funding the project, whose goal is to provide the more accurate prediction of changes in patient condition and, in turn, even save lives. ”For example, a subcutaneous EKG monitor will be able to detect cardiac arrhythmia, and the data for this can then be transmitted wirelessly to the physician’s mobile phone or PC,” explains Lekkala.



At present patient health status is primarily monitored with supercutaneous sensors. However, wearable and, in particular, implantable, or subcutaneous, biosensors will provide significant advantages over more conventional methods. The biggest problem with conventional measuring systems is poor skin sensor contact. In subcutaneous measuring systems the sensor-to-body contact is more stable. Furthermore, external electrical interference of the measurement signal is reduced, which improves the measurement result. Health care costs are saved, when monitoring is not time and place-dependent: patients will no longer have to make an appointment with the physician for a consultation or tests. Patients under remote supervision can continue living their normal lives for a longer period of time.

This new technology also makes possible measurements and long-term monitoring, which would be practically impossible using existing technologies. For example, the condition of a prosthetic hip joint can now only be monitored using expensive x-ray imaging-based methods.


Subcutaneous biosensors must not cause problems for the patient

The Wireless research project is also producing new data on the design of subcutaneous biosensors. These should be as small as possible. The integration of electronics and development of packaging technologies make it possible to manufacture sensors and electronics on a silicon chip no bigger than a fingernail. Due to its light weight and small size several of these types of chips can be implanted in a sizable area. The sensors might also contain various microsensors, measurement electronics and wireless communication circuits.

In addition to the small size, the packaging is also challenged by the environment into which it is placed. The Wireless research project is developing sensors and technologies which pose no risk to the patient’s health. ”The work is extremely challenging, because the electronics have to work reliably for long periods of time under the skin, in a moist, corrosive environment, and they must not pose any health hazards, even if the protective coating were to be damaged for some reason,” explains Lekkala.

Advances in biomaterial technologies allow the biocompatible coatings of sensors to be customised for each application. It is even possible to incorporate functional elements, such as by enhancing the implant coating with a layer that releases antibiotics. Sensors should also be flexible, so that they can follow the patient’s movements. This requires that the sensor circuit boards are flexible and its components are thin enough to bend with the circuit board. A silicon chip reduced to a thickness of less than 0.1 millimetre will be flexible. When this flexible package is coated with a thin, protective and biocompatible material, the entire unit will effectively flex with and withstand the patient’s movements while implanted.

Wireless combines electronics, biomaterials and health research

The Wireless research project exploits the know-how of experts from five different fields. In Finland this pioneering group unites experts in physiological modelling, biomaterial technologies, biosensors, wireless communications and electronics packaging technologies. The sensors, which are being developed in Tampere, are expected to be used in major medical, social and commercial application. The project is part of the Academy of Finland Future Electronics (TULE) Research Programme.

Terhi Loukiainen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.aka.fi

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

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: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>