Tide Technology | R&D skin sensor for real-time monitoring of blood oxygen levels in various parts of the body
According to Memes Consulting, a new flexible sensor developed by engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, has been able to map blood oxygen levels across large areas of skin, body tissues and organs, providing doctors with real-time monitoring of wound healing. A new approach to the situation.
The new sensor consists of an array of printed LEDs and photodetectors that alternate to detect blood oxygen levels in any part of the body. The sensor illuminates red and infrared light into the skin and detects the proportion of reflected light. (Photo courtesy of Yasser Khan, Arias Research Group, UC Berkeley)
"When you hear the word oximeter, you think of a blood oxygen sensor, a big, hard finger-clip sensor, etc." said Yasser Khan, UC Berkeley's electrical engineering and computer science student. "We hope to get rid of this." The situation shows that the oximeter can also be light and flexible."
This sensor is described in detail in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It is made of organic electronic materials, printed on flexible plastic, and molded into the contours of the body. Unlike a fingertip oximeter, it detects the blood oxygen levels of nine points in the grid and can be placed anywhere on the human skin. The future may also be used to map the oxygenation of skin grafts or to monitor the oxygen content of transplanted organs through the skin, the researchers said.
“All medical applications that use oxygen monitoring can benefit from wearable sensors,” said Ana Claudia Arias, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at UC Berkeley. “This sensor can be used by patients with diabetes, respiratory diseases and even sleep apnea. It can be worn anytime and anywhere to monitor blood oxygen levels around the clock."
Existing oximeters use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to emit red and near-infrared light through the skin and then detect how much light reaches the other side. Red, oxygen-rich blood absorbs more infrared light, while darker, oxygen-poor blood absorbs more red light. By observing the proportion of transmitted light, the sensor is able to determine the amount of oxygen in the blood.
These oximeters are only suitable for partially transparent body parts, such as fingertips or earlobes, and can only measure blood oxygen levels at a single point in the body.
“Thicker parts of the body, such as the forehead, arms and legs, can hardly pass visible or near-infrared light, so measuring oxygenation at these sites is very challenging,” says Khan.
Skin-like sensor assembled from printed organic photodetectors (top) and organic red and infrared LEDs (bottom) (Photo courtesy of Yasser Khan, UC Berkeley's Arias research group)
In 2014, Arias and his graduate team research showed that printed organic LEDs can be used to make thin, flexible oximeters for measurement at fingertips or earlobes. Since then, they have further advanced their work and developed a way to measure body tissue oxygenation using reflected light instead of transmitted light. Combined with these two technologies, they created a new wearable sensor that detects blood oxygen levels in any part of the body.
This new type of sensor alternately prints red, near-infrared organic LEDs and organic photodiode arrays on flexible materials. The team used this sensor to record the overall blood oxygen content of a volunteer's forehead, as the oxygen concentration in the air he breathed gradually decreased (similar to the rise in altitude, the oxygen concentration became lower), and found that the blood oxygen content and those People using standard fingertip oximeters are consistent. They also used the sensor to map the blood oxygen content of a three-by-three grid on the forearm of a volunteer with a blood pressure cuff.
“After the transplant, the surgeon wants to measure oxygen in all parts of the organ,” Khan said. “If you use a sensor, you have to move it to measure oxygenation in different parts. Using the array, you can immediately see if there is a wound. Not completely healed."
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