New Smart Thread Gathers Diagnostic Data

August 02, 2016

The new “smart” thread consists of nano-scale sensors, electronics, and micro fluids connected to wireless electronic circuitry. Thanks to the material’s flexibility, the team was able to both suture and administer the thread in vitro into rat tissue.

New Smart Thread Gathers Diagnostic Data

The study, published in Microsystems & Nanoengineering, showed that the researchers successfully managed to collect tissue health data from the test subjects. The collected data included stress, strain, temperature, pH and glucose levels. According to the team the new thread enables doctors to determine wound healing status, emerging infections, chemical imbalances, and optimize patient-specific treatments.

"We think thread-based devices could potentially be used as smart sutures for surgical implants, smart bandages to monitor wound healing, or integrated with textile or fabric as personalized health monitors and point-of-care diagnostics,” study corresponding author Sameer Sonkusale, Ph.D., director of the interdisciplinary Nano Lab in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Tufts University's School of Engineering, said in the news release.

Currently implantable devices use two-dimensional substrates that are not only expensive but also have limitations in terms of usefulness to flat tissue like skin.

“By contrast, thread is abundant, inexpensive, thin and flexible, and can be easily manipulated into complex shapes," study first author Pooria Mostafalu, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow with the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, said in the news release. "Additionally, analytes can be delivered directly to tissue by using thread's natural wicking properties."

Discoveries such as the smart thread pave the way for new technology that could provide faster and more accurate data in areas including fetal monitoring, where information is vital to ensuring fetal safety and health. AIV Inc. supplies a complete range of fetal monitoring solutions including fetal monitoring transducers, replacement parts and repair services. To browse through our available fetal monitoring products, visit today!

About the Author

Laura Collier

Laura Collier

Laura Collier has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of North Florida. She is the Marketing Manager at AIV, Inc.

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