Bioengineering; Neurology meets Engineering (The Bioresorbable Brain Sensor)
Have you ever tried to study how the brain works, its temperature, pressure or other brain related factors? The combination of technology (engineering) and neurology has brought to existence the development of a dissolvable, wireless sensor. A combination of neurosurgeons and engineers from Washington University school of Medicine and the University of Illinois brought about the development of the dissolvable brain sensor.
With technology evolving, the development of a dissolvable brain sensor has been created to monitor the temperature and the intracranial pressure of the brain in patients with traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, dementia and other neurological conditions. This brain sensor would transmit information about the brain to the physician during and after a brain surgery. This sensors helps the neurosurgeon to get information about the brain for a period of time ascertaining the status of the brain.
Having an outside body inside the body of human for a very long time often increase the risk of infection, inflammation and erosion inside the body of the human, which this new technology has been able to solve.
image Credit: Murphy
How the Dissolvable Brain Sensor
The device is made up of mainly polylactic-coglycolic acid (PLGA) and silicone, the bio-electric device is said to be resorbed into the body after it has completed its function inside the brain. When the scientist were testing the sensor, it was tested in a bath of saline solution which caused the device to dissolve but this did not happen until after a few days. Having gotten a result, it was tested in the brain of a lab rat (rodent) and it worked perfectly showing the pressure and temperature of the lab rat brain and also dissolved after completing its function. Its dissolving was dependent on the thickness of the coatings.
dissolvable sensors degrade into nontoxic components
In cases where patients have traumatic brain related injuries that require surgery in which the pressure cannot be reduced by medications, the dissolvable brain sensor is placed in the skull close to the brain during the surgical operation so it can monitor the function of the brain and transmit signals showing the health status of the brain after which it dissolves when it is no longer in use.
With the rise in Bioengineering, I believe there will be more devices available to ease surgical processes as well as other medical procedures in the next few years.
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