Swiss scientists reveal miniaturized patient monitoring device for ICU

Scientists at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne’s Integrated Systems Laboratory (LSI) created a system that keeps tabs on the blood levels of 5 substances include ions, or calcium and potassium, and metabolites such as glucose.  Eventually, up to 40 molecules could be monitored using the device, potentially reducing the need for additional machines and offering a more efficient system, LSI scientist Sandro Carrara said in a statement.  “Nowadays, several of these levels are measured periodically. But in some cases, any change in level calls for an immediate response, something that is not possible with the existing systems,” Carrara said.

A prototype of the device, which is about the size of a pack of chewing gum, consists of a little black case with two thin tubes.  The system can be attached to a drainage tube that’s already in place. Researchers embedded biosensors in the device to measure different substances in the blood or blood serum, and also installed electronics that send results to a tablet via Bluetooth, LSI scientist Sandro Carrara said in a statement.  The team unveiled the system at the 2015 BioCAS Conference in Atlanta.

LSI scientists have already tested the system on rodents, but researchers are also planning to test the device on humans at the University Hospital of Lausanne.  If all goes according to plan, the patient monitoring system “could hit the market in two to three years,” Carrara said in a statement.

REFERENCE:  Fierce Medical Devices; 23 OCT 2015; Emily Wasserman

Leave a Comment