Every year, clinicians in the United States alone place more than 1.5 million pulmonary artery catheters for the purpose of hemodynamic monitoring. Balloon occlusion of the aorta has emerged as a tool for controlling life-threatening hemorrhage from the pelvis and lower extremities. Currently, the pressure of the inflated balloon is left to the surgeon’s experience or costly contrast-based imaging techniques and is not dynamically controlled. A highly compact pressure sensor would allow development of an interventional catheter that includes multiple points of pressure measurement, including inflation pressure as well as upstream and downstream blood pressure.
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have presented a fiber-in-fiber structure and designed a microfabricate and piezoelectric-based pressure sensor which can be later integrated with catheter for intravascular measurements.
The invention is a core-shell fiber structure with the shell materials being made from PVDF-TrFE, a piezoelectric polymer, and the core material being made from a conductive pure or composite polymer. The piezoelectric shell generates charge under stress, tension, or flexion conditions. The charge is tapped by the electrode surrounding the polymer shell. This signal is then transmitted to downstream signal processing devices, which are capable of quantifying the charge generated and relaying back the amount of stress or deformation experienced by the fibers.
Benefits and features
- High sensitivity/electromechanical coupling efficiency
- Flexible devices
- Compact form factor compared to the existing technologies
- Higher electromechanical coefficient, high surface-area-to-volume ratio, and higher charge generation capability
One U.S. patent issued: 10,001,421
Catheter manufacturers; ICD/implant device manufacturers; sensing and biosensing