The Monitor Daily (U.S.) – Wireless degradable sensors could upscale brain monitoring with the newly proved concept developed by a joint scientific team.
Effortlessly inserted in the brain, the micro sensors provide the perfect medium to collect a swath of data in a non-invasive way. Moreover, the micro electronics are degradable, non-toxic, don’t pose side-effects and transmit the information wirelessly throughout the necessary period.
As large as a grain of rice and thinner than a needle, the wireless degradables sensors could upscale brain monitoring in the near future. The micro sensors have been developed to accurately measure temperature, pressure, flow of substances, the pH, as well as biomolecules. Patient care will be significantly improved thanks to these micro electronics.
Some versions of brain monitoring sensors already exist. However, they are not fully independent. These still require patients to be connected to medical equipment and continuous monitoring of medical equipment. In addition, the older versions of brain monitoring sensors require surgery for removal. For the new micro sensors, the need for invasive surgery is removed. They fully absorb into the body as soon as the job is done. Patient care should benefit greatly as the risk of infection decreases significantly.
The research, published in the Nature journal and co-authored by Rory Murphy with the University of Washington School of Medicine and John Rogers with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has tested the micro sensors under laboratory conditions, using mice. According to the report, the micro sensors could go beyond brain monitoring and be used in variety of tissues and for a variety of medical applications.
The micro sensors have been developed using biodegradable components. These are silicon piezoresistive sensors coated in magnesium and silicon as well as poly-lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA), a substance already used with other medical devices.
The size of the micro sensors is currently 0.2 inches, but they could be further adjusted in size according to the authors. The micro sensors contain biodegradable wires for transmitting collected data. These are developed based on molybdenum. With the aid of a wearable device, the data is collected over a period of a few days. Following this procedure, the micro sensors and the wires are fully absorbed within the cerebrospinal fluid.
According to the researchers, the degradable sensors could be used to in a swath of medical applications. Clinical practices which require monitoring devices and therapeutic monitoring could find the degradable sensors a useful tool. Laboratory experiments have showed that the micro sensors could work for up to three days.
Their potential for brain monitoring is currently being upgraded. John Rogers’ team is working on making the micro sensors work for up to three weeks. While the micro electronics are suited for their respective applications even now, further improvements will ensure that the wireless degradable sensors could upscale brain monitoring soon.
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