At present, implantable electronics is among the most promising healthcare technologies, as it can help to monitor specific biological processes for a patient remotely. In fact, a variety of implantable devices have been developed in the past decade or so, existing technologies have limitations that prevent their widespread adoption for clinical use.
The structural mismatch between existing implantable devices and most tissues/organs in the body is the first factor that prevents their large-scale implementation. Secondly, the reliable fixing of soft electronic devices on organs that are pulsating or moving have so far proved to be highly challenging.
Following a research initiative, researchers developed a new strain-sensing device based on fiber that could overcome limitations of existing implantable electronics. The findings of the research is presented in the publication Nature Electronics. Meanwhile, the newly devised sensing device comprises capacitive fiber strain capability with an inductive coil for wireless readout.
“In fact, the main objective of the research is to overcome practical limitations of existing implantable electronic devices,” stated one of the researchers. To achieve this, the research team developed an implantable electronic device composed of suturable fiber. This device features significant improvement in the structural mismatch between existing planar implantable devices and fixation problems.
The strain sensor devised by the research team is composed of two conductive fiber electrodes. It is placed within a double helical structure of a core that is hollow. When a tensile strength is applied on two fibers, the fibers straighten, resulting in changing the specific electrical property of the sensor.
Importantly, the strain applied can be wirelessly monitored by measuring the change in capacitance of the sensor.