Feb 16, 2017

Smart threads for in vitro and in vivo diagnostics

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health


A suite of flexible and biocompatible threads, embedded with sensors and electronics, can be sutured/woven into tissue for in situ measurements of physical and chemical biomarkers.

Real-time monitoring of chronic or surgical wounds for signs of infection or inflammation can drastically improve the health outcomes from these issues. Such monitoring requires that sensors be embedded deep within the tissue. In addition, the acquired information needs to be communicated to the doctor/caregiver so that patient-specific treatments can be optimized. Although recent miniaturization of sensors, as well as the fabrication of smart materials, has allowed the development of the necessary devices (e.g., electrocardiogram electrodes, temperature sensors, pH sensors, and flexible batteries) to continuously monitor a patient’s health status,1–5 there are still several challenges that need to be overcome. Such problems include the mismatch between mechanical and topographical properties of semiconductor-based electronics and biological tissues, as well as flexibility and biocompatibility issues.

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