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:

MRI shows blood flow differs in men and women
Healthy men and women have different blood flow characteristics in their hearts, according to a new study.
Brain blood flow sensor discovery could aid treatments for high blood pressure & dementia
A study led by researchers at UCL has discovered the mechanism that allows the brain to monitor its own blood supply, a finding in rats which may help to find new treatments for human conditions including hypertension (high blood pressure) and dementia.
Blood flow monitor could save lives
A tiny fibre-optic sensor has the potential to save lives in open heart surgery, and even during surgery on pre-term babies.
Changes in blood flow tell heart cells to regenerate
Altered blood flow resulting from heart injury switches on a communication cascade that reprograms heart cells and leads to heart regeneration in zebrafish.
Blood flow command center discovered in the brain
An international team of researchers has discovered a group of cells in the brain that may function as a 'master-controller' for the cardiovascular system, orchestrating the control of blood flow to different parts of the body.
Researchers closer to new Alzheimer's therapy with brain blood flow discovery
By discovering the culprit behind decreased blood flow in the brain of people with Alzheimer's, biomedical engineers at Cornell University have made possible promising new therapies for the disease.
In vitro grafts increase blood flow in infarcted rat hearts
Advances in stem cell research offer hope for treatments that could help patients regrow heart muscle tissue after heart attacks, a key to patients achieving more complete recoveries.
Balloon-guided catheters provide better blood flow following stroke interventions
Patients who have experienced a stroke as a result of blockages of the arteries in the brain have better outcomes with the use of balloon-guided catheter surgery as compared to having a conventional guided catheter procedure.
Scientists developed new contactless method of measuring blood flow in hands
Russian researchers proposed a new contactless method for measuring blood flow in the upper limbs.
Researchers investigate correlation between blood flow and body position
For the first time ever, an international research group detected alterations in capillary blood flow around the face caused by body position change.
More Blood Flow News and Blood Flow Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Space
One of the most consistent questions we get at the show is from parents who want to know which episodes are kid-friendly and which aren't. So today, we're releasing a separate feed, Radiolab for Kids. To kick it off, we're rerunning an all-time favorite episode: Space. In the 60's, space exploration was an American obsession. This hour, we chart the path from romance to increasing cynicism. We begin with Ann Druyan, widow of Carl Sagan, with a story about the Voyager expedition, true love, and a golden record that travels through space. And astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson explains the Coepernican Principle, and just how insignificant we are. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.