Nav: Home

Blood flow monitor could save lives

July 08, 2019

A tiny fibre-optic sensor has the potential to save lives in open heart surgery, and even during surgery on pre-term babies.

The new micro-medical device could surpass traditional methods used to monitor blood flow through the aorta during prolonged and often dangerous intensive care and surgical procedures - even in the tiniest of patients.

The continuous cardiac flow monitoring probe, under development at Flinders University, is a safe way to give a real-time measurement of blood flow.

"The minimally invasive device is suitable for neonates right through to adults," says research leader Strategic Professor John Arkwright, an expert in using fibre-optic technologies in medical diagnostics.

Professor Arkwright says the device has the potential to be a game-changer - particularly for very young babies, which are particularly susceptible to sudden drops in blood pressure and oxygen delivery to their vital organs.

"It's a far more responsive measurement compared to traditional blood flow monitoring - and without life-threatening delays in the period 'snapshot' provided by current blood flow practices using ultrasound or thermo-dilution."

Neonatal expert and co-investigator Dr Scott Morris, from the Flinders Medical Centre Neonatal Unit and Flinders University College of Medicine and Public Health, says the new sensor-catheter device promises to deliver accurate blood flow information in critically ill patients, from pre-term babies to cardiac bypass patients.

"This tiny device, which could even be used in pre-term infants, has the potential to be far superior to the intermittent measure of averaged blood flow delivered by traditional methods which generally only show time averaged flow every 30 minutes or so," Dr Morris says.

A provision patent has been filed for the device, which is seeking industry partners for further development.

Chief investigator Albert Ruiz-Vargas hopes the device will be picked up for further development, and introduction into regular intensive care and surgical procedures.

"The proof-of-concept prototype is potentially a low-cost device which has passed initial testing in a heart-lung machine," Dr Ruiz-Vargas says.

"It can be inserted through a small keyhole aperture in the skin into the femoral artery in individuals where heart function is compromised and is so small it can even measure small changes in flow in the tiny blood vessels of infants.

"It's a simple design, which can give readouts similar to a pulsating heartbeat response on a laptop or nearby screen."

For the first time, the Flinders researchers have found an effective model to continuously measure intra-pulse blood flow using a fibre-optic sensor which has the potential to advance monitoring in a medical setting.

They say more research is now required to determine how the sensor will behave under more physiological conditions and to examine different encapsulations to comply with human safety.
-end-
More information 'Optical flow sensor for continuous invasive measurement of blood flow velocity,' (May 2019) by Albert Ruiz-Vargas, Scott A Morris, Richard H Hartley and John W Arkwright, published in the Journal of Biophotonics (Wiley) https://doi.org/10.1002/jbio.201900139

Flinders University

Related Blood Flow Articles:

Stuttering linked to reduced blood flow in area of brain associated with language
A study led by researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles demonstrates that regional cerebral blood flow is reduced in the Broca's area -- the region in the frontal lobe of the brain linked to speech production -- in persons who stutter.
New study shows marijuana users have low blood flow to the brain
Published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, researchers using single photon emission computed tomography, a sophisticated imaging study that evaluates blood flow and activity patterns, demonstrated abnormally low blood flow in virtually every area of the brain studies in nearly 1,000 marijuana users compared to healthy controls, including areas known to be affected by Alzheimer's pathology such as the hippocampus.
Sensor for blood flow discovered in blood vessels
The PIEZO1 cation channel translates mechanical stimulus into a molecular response to control the diameter of blood vessels.
Studying blood flow dynamics to identify the heart of vessel failure
New research from a fluid mechanics team in Greece reveals how blood flow dynamics within blood vessels may influence where plaques develop or rupture this week in Physics of Fluids.
Restoring leg blood flow is better option than exercise for PAD patients
Procedures to restore blood flow to the affected legs of peripheral artery disease (PAD) patients stopped progression of the scarring associated with the disease.
Abnormally low blood flow indicates damage to NFL players' brains
The discovery of brain pathology through autopsy in former National Football League (NFL) players called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) has raised substantial concern among players, medical professionals, and the general public about the impact of repetitive head trauma.
Blood flow measurements in microfluidic devices fabricated by a micromilling technique
The researchers show the ability of a micromilling machine to manufacture microchannels down to 30 μm and also the ability of a microfluidic device to perform partial separation of red blood cells from plasma.
Low blood flow in back of brain increases risk of recurrent stroke
Patients who have had a stroke in the back of the brain are at greater risk of having another within two years if blood flow to the region is diminished, according to results of a multicenter study led by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Reduced blood flow seen in brain after clinical recovery of acute concussion
Some athletes who experience sports-related concussions have reduced blood flow in parts of their brains even after clinical recovery, according to new research.
Researchers identify mechanism that impairs blood flow with aging
With the world's elderly population expected to double by 2050, understanding how aging affects the body is an important focus for researchers globally.

Related Blood Flow Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...