Continuing to further the progress between 3D printing and electronics within the medical field, authors Robert Herbert, Saswat Mishra, Hyo-Ryoung Lim, Hyoungsuk Yoo, and Woon-Hong Yeo explore a new method for creating stretchable, wireless electronics for monitoring blood flow to monitor and thus prevent cerebral aneurysms.
Details of their study are outlined in the recently published ‘Fully Printed, Wireless, Stretchable Implantable Biosystem toward Batteryless, Real-Time Monitoring of Cerebral Aneurysm Hemodynamics,’ explaining how their novel, optimized fabrication system allows for multilayer printing of a capacitance flow sensor which can be deployed by a catheter and then inserted into a blood vessel.
The scientists point out that microfabrication techniques have allowed for much greater strides in creating miniatured electronics, along with:
- Soft materials
- Stretchable devices
- Low form factors
Electronic implants, however, may still be inferior in terms of interrogation distances. The authors predict that future devices will be stretchable and wireless—without the rigid components we still see today.
“These rigid components are incompatible with implantation in soft tissues or blood vessels due to mechanical mismatch and bulky packaging,” state the researchers.
Wireless monitoring will depend on further progress with integrating components that are highly conductive. For the prevention of cerebral aneurysms, inserting implants has been challenging historically due to narrow arteries; however, monitoring is critical due to the potential for fatalities upon the rupture of aneurysms.
Aerosol jet printing has been used to solve traditional challenges in, employing the benefits of 3D printing—from fast production and scalable manufacturing, to ease in design, and better control; however, previous to this study, AJP has not been used in creating such electronics. The researchers state that in this study, they offer the very first demonstration of an AJP‐enabled highly stretchable capacitive system:
“The extremely low‐profile and stretchable structure allows the device to be conformally integrated onto a medical stent and deployed via conventional catheter procedures,” stated the authors. “Utilization of a new inductive coupling method to monitor hemodynamics enables a batteryless, wireless detection of the printed sensors at distances surpassing existing devices.”
During their research, the authors completed a series of computational calculations to optimize parameters, while in vitro studies offered data regarding performance of the sensor coils in wireless detection. The team used a pulsatile blood pump to test blood flow, with the sensor and stent devices aligned at the opening to allow entrance and exit points through an aneurysm. Ultimately, the results showed ‘feasibility’ for creating ‘high-performance stretchable electronics’ via AJP.
“Overall, this result well agrees with the previous work that related sensor deflection to capacitance change with a computational fluid model. The ultrathin, low‐profile form factor of the sensor avoids disruption to normal hemodynamics,” stated the researchers.
“For wireless monitoring, a copper coil is externally connected to the capacitive sensor. Mean flow velocity in the 5 mm diameter blood vessel is varied from 0 to 0.35 ms−1 at 0.05 ms−1intervals. Initial sensor capacitance is 61.53 pF and increases to 61.63 pF at the maximum flow velocity. This increase in capacitance is a result of flow entering the aneurysm sac and deflecting the sensor.”
Patients today are experiencing a wide range of assistance from medical devices that are 3D printed, from a variety of other monitoring devices and implants too, from cervical implants to spinal implants and even pediatric nasal implants. What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.[Source / Income: ‘Fully Printed, Wireless, Stretchable Implantable Biosystem toward Batteryless, Real-Time Monitoring of Cerebral Aneurysm Hemodynamics’]
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