Washable Optical Sensing Threads for Medical and E-Textile Applications
Smart devices have changed how we interact with every aspect of our lives, including our healthcare. Health-conscious consumers utilize smart phones, watches, and even pills to aid in maintaining their well-being. There have even been some implantable devices which can continuously monitor physiological states, for example glucose levels in diabetic patients. Researchers at Tufts University have developed an implantable, conductive nanothread platform capable of making enhanced measurements of multiple physiological parameters simultaneously and continuously, and reporting these measurements wirelessly.
The nanoscale threads developed by Professor Sameer Sonkusale integrate sensors, electronics, and a thread material, all customizable to the desired application and tissue. A variety of conductive threads were connected to wireless electronic circuitry to create a flexible platform. The threads collect data on tissue health (e.g. pressure, stress, strain, and temperature), pH, and glucose levels that can be used to determine such things as how a wound is healing, whether infection is emerging, or whether the body’s chemistry is out of balance. The results are transmitted wirelessly to a cell phone and computer.
• Minimally invasive: implantation at different sites all integrated wirelessly
• Flexible: threads can be customized to a particular application
• Dual use: can be used to monitor and deliver therapeutics
Applications include, but are not limited to, smart sutures for surgical implants, smart bandages to monitor wound healing, or smart threads integrated with textile or fabric as personalized health monitors and point-of-care diagnostics.
PCT Publication No. WO2019152848 (May 31, 2019)
Tufts University Invention T002264