Miniature wireless implants monitor brain injury before dissolving

Miniature wireless implants monitor brain injury before dissolving

Technology News |
By eeNews Europe

Similar sensors can be adapted for postoperative monitoring in other body systems as well. The sensors, smaller than a grain of rice, are built on extremely thin sheets of silicon — which are naturally biodegradable — that are configured to function normally for a few weeks, then dissolve away, completely and harmlessly, in the body’s own fluids.

After a traumatic brain injury or brain surgery, it is crucial to monitor the patient for swelling and pressure on the brain. Current monitoring technology is bulky and invasive, Rogers said, and the wires restrict the patent’s movement and hamper physical therapy as they recover. Because they require continuous, hard-wired access into the head, such implants also carry the risk of allergic reactions, infection and hemorrhage, and even could exacerbate the inflammation they are meant to monitor.

The reserchers have demonstrated these devices in animal models, with a measurement precision that’s just as good as that of conventional devices. The researchers are moving toward human trials for this technology, as well as extending its functionality for other biomedical applications.

The small sensor connects to an embeddable wireless transmitter that lies on top of the skull. Image courtesy John A. Rogers.

A paper on this work has been published in the journal Nature on January 18, titled "Bioresorbable silicon electronic sensors for the brain"

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