Wire-free, Implantable catheter-type oximeter devised for Cardiac Oxygen Saturation, say researchers


For patients who undergo cardiothoracic surgery, monitoring of intravascular oxygen levels in real time is important. This is important to track the cardiopulmonary health of these patients accurately.

Meanwhile, the existing methods to observe intravascular oxygen in real time involve placing glass fiber-optic catheters. Such arrangement poses risk of damage of blood vessel, thrombosis and infection. In fact, physical tethering of power supply systems can limit freedom of movement in intensive care units.

On the other hand, a new report published in Science Advances introduces a wire-free, miniature and implantable optoelectronic catheter system. The novel system includes optical components on the probe, enveloped by soft biocompatible materials. Moreover, the flexible biocompatible built of the probe represent key defining characteristics to work as a patient-friendly, high-performance oximeter. This oximeter could monitor localized heart rate, tissue oxygen, and respiratory pursuits in real time. The benefit of the platform is it can offer accuracy of measurement and precision similar to existing chemical standards.

Anatomically, the cardiovascular system transmits oxygen and nutrients to cells and tissues in the body. It maintains adequate balance delivery of oxygen and consumption of cellular physiological function. The real-time and accurate monitoring process of major vascular saturations and specific intracardial post open-heart surgery is critical for treating patients of cyanotic congenital heart defects. In terms of function, clinical pulse oximeters and wearable oximeters can seize global oxygenation of the body. For example, in the intensive care unit, the new catheter can serve to continuously observe blood oxygen saturation levels.

On the other hand, for existing oximetry that is fiber-optic catheter type, researchers use hard glass fiber waveguides to join to a light source and sense module to transmit light from an external source.

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