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.
Gaurang Taylor is an MD/MBA candidate at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Harvard Business School. He contributes regularly to CardioSource World News and Emergency Physicians Monthly. He is interested in developing scalable, tech-based solutions for medicine and education. He loves to share his knowledge and recent trends in the Healthcare Department by posting various articles. He has experience in medical device pathways and is passionate about understanding the human body.