Major developments in personal healthcare and diagnostic analysis, together with the ability to screen health issues early and deliver effective and personalised treatment options, is changing medical care as we know it.
Medical care increasingly relies on technology-aided systems and smart medical devices. Biomedical sensors for example, detect specific biological, chemical, and physical processes and then process this data, and are components in systems that process clinical samples, such as “lab-on-a-chip” devices. Biomedical Sensors are also often used to monitor the safety of medicines, food, environmental conditions, and other substances.
And it is precisely in biomedical that environmental and biological sensors enable this high functionality.
Real-Time Remote-Health Monitoring Systems (RHMS)
Monitoring or providing patient treatment in real time is a fast-growing market. Through major advancements in biomedical technology, particularly in sensors, wireless networking, cloud computing and data storage, RHMS is becoming a feature of modern medicine. RHMS for the prioritisation of patients with multiple chronic diseases (MCDs) plays an important role in sustainably providing high-quality healthcare services.
As temperature changes in pathophysiologies are relatively slow; size, thermal capacitance and conductance of the temperature sensor encapsulation material dictates the choice of sensing technology for implantable single-use temperature sensors and microfluidic devices. For example, advances in motor neuro-prostheses will be with feedback sensors and feedback algorithms. The market is moving away from externally wearable sensors and moving to implantable sensor networks.
Miniaturized temperature sensors
Platinum thin-film RTD temperature sensing elements with small size, long-term stability, and simple algorithmic signal processing, are the best choice of technology for medical temperature monitoring in real time These sensors can also be integrated within semiconductor devices designed specifically for these medical applications.
IST AG offers miniature surface mount sensing elements with Bondsens, the smallest SMD Pt1000 sensing element worldwide at 0.75mm x 0.75mm chip size. The sensor operates within a temperature range of -50 °C to 150 °C (according to IEC 60751) and is designed for automatic placement in high volume applications on printed circuit boards where long-term stability and interchangeability are important.
We also offer custom RTD platinum sensors fitted to medical application-specific requirements in terms of specified TCR values, nominal resistance, dimensions, housings and connections amongst other variations.
Monitoring Breath Intake - respiratory rate (RR)
Respiratory rate (RR) is a clinical sign representing ventilation (air moving in and out of the lungs). A change in RR is usually the first sign of patient deterioration as the body attempts to maintain oxygen delivery to the tissues. A monitoring device will detect the early signs of patient deterioration and trigger an alarm. High prevalence of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPDs) are some of the major factors driving the demand for respiratory monitoring devices.
Conventional techniques for measuring respiration parameters require sensors in contact with the subject. Measuring techniques based on the monitoring of several parameters sampled from inspiratory and/or expiratory flow (e.g., temperature, rH, CO2, and flow) are widely used. Spirometers, Peak Flow Meters, and Gas Analyzers are used to monitor or regulate breathing cycles. To evaluate a breathing cycle, these devices require flow sensors with an extremely fast response time and airflow direction detection.
Calorimetric flow sensors
IST AG`s calorimetric flow elements MFS02 & SFS01 are designed specifically to measure the flow volume of each breath intake and exhalation. The MFS02 thermal flow sensor can be used in a wide flow range from 0 to 150 m/s (CTA mode) and in a temperature range from -40 °C to +80 °C. The SFS01 is particularly suitable for low flow velocities up to 3.5 m/s (in gases). This sensor displays rapid measurement results of the flow rate as well as the flow direction.
The Silicon Flow Sensor SFS01 offers very fast response time <5 ms, very low energy consumption, and easy system integration including temperature compensation.
Sensors for respiratory care - Anaesthesia gas blender
An increase in the number of outpatient surgeries, rising preference for inhaled anaesthesia and increase in the number of well-equipped multi-speciality hospitals and surgical centres is driving demand for anaesthesia delivery machine to administer the calculated and exact amount of anaesthesia.
Dosage monitoring in anaesthesia gas blenders
An anaesthesia gas blender is the main component of anaesthesia delivery machine, a medical device which mixes two or more gases and provides constant and controlled anaesthesia during surgery. It contains gases for example, air/oxygen and are blended with nitrous oxide and other anaesthesia gases in a specific amount to the patient. The anaesthesia gas blender comes with electronics for automated handling, to control the flow of gases. A switch or a controller based on an FS7 flow sensor from IST AG, can easily be implemented with relatively simple electronics to accurately measure flow in the Gas blender.
FS7 with housing
With simple signal processing and calibration, the FS7 sensor is also available with a housing which is easily implemented into various applications.
Customized adaptations are available on request.
Monitoring membrane processes separating ionic compounds
Blood purification works as an artificial kidney or liver in the management of patients with multiple organ failure (MOF), and usually performed intermittently. With recent advances in medical science, it is now possible to perform such blood purifications continuously (24/7) for critically ill patients. Blood purification methods can also be effective at treating patients with COVID-19 by reducing various pathogens, cytokines, and other inflammatories.
For monitoring membrane processes separating ionic compounds dissolved in liquids, electric conductivity is a fast and easy method for measuring indicative parameters. For example, dialysis is an ultrafiltration process, which is applied to extracorporeal blood purification and uses electrical conductivity as a crucial control parameter.
A planar 4-electrode design with biocompatible materials makes IST AG`s conductivity sensors such as the LFS1305, ideal for a wide range of applications in biomedical devices where biofilm and clogging issues are a risk. The LFS1305 conductivity sensor consists of four current electrodes and four measuring electrodes. This basic sensor design can be adjusted to specific applications and requirements. It features a wide conductivity and temperature range, providing for fast response time, optimal accuracy, high chemical resistance, and excellent long-term stability.
Customized adaptations are available on request.
Critical Care – Point of care testing (POCT)
Point of care testing (POCT) can deliver rapid critical care test results in close proximity to the patient. When properly incorporated into the patient care process, POCT can translate to faster therapeutic intervention, reduced preanalytical errors, and improved patient care. The analysis of metabolic markers, such as glucose, lactate and pyruvate are gaining importance in POCT.
Biosensors as metabolic monitors enable an early warning alarm before diabetes, sepsis, and deteriorating liver function in critical care patients occur. Additionally, new blood gas Analyzers are increasingly enabled by miniaturized, multiparametric sensor systems.
IST AG ‘s electrochemical enzymatic biosensors – sensors that combine the robustness of electrochemical techniques with the specificity of biological recognition processes, offer great advantages due to size, cost, sensitivity, selectivity, and fast response. They are ideal for all these sampling and integration strategies. Biosensors with a microfluidic flow cell, such as a glucose & lactate LV5 sensor can be delivered with factory calibration, while strip sensors, such as IV4 can be miniaturized and packaged with a connector for simple electronic integration.
For blood gas Analyzers, the microfluidic integration of the biosensors and the peristaltic micropump series CPP1 enables continuous monitoring of metabolites. This allows for complex analysis outside the clinical environment, for example in vehicles, in care facilities, or as wearable products for high-risk patients.