Tiny LED Catheter aids in Blood Flow measurement

Tiny LED Catheter

In a variety of surgical procedures or even in case of intensive care setting, the requirement of measuring the blood flow is vital. There are not a lot of temporal details in the readings as more often than not measuring blood flow is attempted intermittently. Now, a proof-of-concept prototype vascular catheter that can detect tiny changes in blood flow around itself has been developed by a team of researchers at Flinders University in Australia

It is very common to have preemies suffer from falls in blood pressure and impaired delivery of oxygen to the organ. Given the narrowness of the sensor and catheter it is attached to, it can even be used in neonatal intensive care units. If the physicians manage to receive information on blood flow promptly and accurately, there will be a vast improvement in surgeries on infants and critically ill patients.

The functioning of the device is rather novel. In order to facilitate heat passing the blood near the distal tip of the catheter, an LED that produces yellow light is used. In order to detect these slight changes in temperature, a fiber Bragg grating sensor is used. Additionally, the faster the blood that is slightly warmed is detected by the sensor, the faster it is moving through the vessel. The results are extremely prompt as the entire process takes microseconds.

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