Biodegradable has become the favorite topic of researchers or in-fact all the people on the planet over the years. With the increasing amount of waste being produced due to non-biodegradable materials the need increased day by day. Now the medical field is also switching to biodegradable materials. The medical field produces much waste that needs proper processing. unprocessed waste can prove to be unhygienic. What’s new are the biodegradable sensors.
What is biodegradable?
A substance is biodegradable when it can be decomposed with the help of bacteria or any living organism. This, in turn, helps in reducing the pollution caused by substances that do not degrade.
What are biodegradable sensors?
Biodegradable sensors are electronic systems that can naturally disappear in their respective environments. These sensors are made of a material that can degrade in the environment they are meant to work in. The biodegradable sensors work in areas that are difficult to operate in. Even with advanced technologies developed today the analysis of some things is difficult. They work in places that might be difficult to send and get back substances for a particular task.
Biodegradable sensors in the medical field
Researchers have developed biodegradable sensors to use in the medical field. These biodegradable sensors measure and monitor the blood flow in the arteries. They are battery-free that means they operate without any external power supply.
How do they operate?
The sensors wrap itself around the healing vessel. The blood flow creates a pushing sensation on the inner part of the sensor. These sensors are wireless. The researchers connected it to a device. This device is located near the skin but outside the body of the patients. As the shape of the surface changes the sensor’s capacity to store charge also changes. Doctors detect and study these change using the device it is connected to. The device located outside the body gets the readings by alerting the antenna on the sensor. This works exactly like the ID card scanners in an office.
The need for biodegradable sensors
In some surgery cases, it is really important to know the amount of blood flow going through the arteries. The doctors can detect the cases of arteries blockages at a much later stage. By this time the situation has become very dangerous and complicated. The early detection of these blockages could help the patients and the doctors to take action in time. Due to late detection, doctors have to perform another surgery as critical and complicated as the first one. This is not only risky but also very difficult to monitor. The arteries are in the internal part of the body and difficult to study from the surface. It is a complicated procedure.
Tried and tested??
Researchers first tested the sensors in an artificial environment. The experiment pumped air through artery sized tube and the sensor measured the force and pressure. The researchers have also tested the sensors around an artery in a rat. The sensor accurately reported the results.
Researchers are now looking forward to finding ways of attaching the sensors to the vessels and increasing its sensitivity. The researchers are also searching the use of sensors in other applications apart from this one.
Biodegradable sensors are going to make things much easier. The inspection of the blood flow will help in early detection of the problems of the arteries. In future, the device might come in the form of a stick-on patch or integrated into another technology like wearable technology or smartphones. There is a long way to go for it but this can be said a successful first step in this direction.