Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed an intelligent stent that can monitor hemodynamic parameters. The battery-free wireless device can transmit data from the outside of the body and is powered by a wireless power system that uses magnetic fields, similar to the wireless chargers available on many smartphones. The system may be useful in long-term follow-up and help patients with cardiovascular problems to avoid repeated angiographies. It can also potentially act as an early warning for problems such as changes in blood pressure.

Stents are invaluable in the treatment of blockages in blood vessels and aim to ensure that adequate blood flow through the vessel is maintained for a long period of time after placement. However, they do not provide any information on whether they have met their goal, and additional diagnostics are needed to monitor the patient’s hemodynamics over time. This usually includes an angiogram, which can be expensive and inconvenient for patients, and in some cases the dyes and radiation involved can cause unwanted side effects.

“Now that you’ve placed a stent, you’re not sure if the problem is resolved and patients may return with the same problem,” said Woon-Hong Yeo, a researcher involved in the study. “It could be a stent defect, or a problem with the stent unfolding, or maybe a problem with the patient’s blood flow.

To address these problems, these researchers have developed an intelligent stent that can wirelessly measure and monitor hemodynamic parameters from its point of view in the vasculature. The device includes soft sensors and can be delivered with a catheter, just like a regular stent.

“This electronic system is designed to wirelessly deliver hemodynamic data, including blood pressure, pulse and flow, to an external data collection system and is super small and thin, so we can use a catheter to deliver it anywhere inside the body.” said Yeo. “It’s like a stent with a lot of tricks up its sleeve.”

The implant is battery-free and receives energy wirelessly through external charging technology that uses magnetic fields to transmit energy. The system can help patients protect their long-term cardiovascular health after stent placement.

“Basically, you can put this sensory system anywhere in your body,” Yeo said. “The other thing about this technology platform is that in addition to being an implantable sensor system, it can be used as a portable system. Think about a smart watch and how much of its volume is occupied by circuits or batteries. If you remove all this, you have a device that is thinner than a typical adhesive tape, an almost invisible health monitor that you can carry anywhere.

Learn in Scientific achievements: Fully implantable cordless wireless vascular electronics with printed soft sensors for multiplex hemodynamic monitoring

through: Georgia Institute of Technology

Smart Stent Monitors Hemodynamics

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