Now, sensors beneath skin surface to monitor chronic diseasesJune 28th, 2008 - 4:33 pm ICT by ANI
London , June 28 (ANI): Monitoring chronic conditions, such as diabetes, through sensors beneath the skins surface is quite convenient, but it triggers the fibroblast tissue capsule around the sensor. But now, researchers have developed a self-cleaning surface that shakes off the body’s defence response enabling the biosensors to work for longer inside the human body.
Implanting sensors beneath the skin can give a continuous read-out of they condition of the patients. But for proper functioning the sensor surface must remain clean for a prolonged period. However, the implanted sensor is taken as a foreign object by the body and it mounts an immune response.
And in case, the immune system can’t destroy the object, specialist cells called fibroblasts move in and begin to form a tissue capsule around the sensor, that spoils its sensitivity.
However, Rebecca Gant at Texas A&M University in College Station , US , said that it is possible to fight this fibrous tissue growth by coating the sensor with a self-cleaning membrane she has developed with colleagues. This membrane is a hydrogel with properties that depend on its temperature.
While below 34 degC, the membrane is hydrophilic and so absorbs water and swells, but above 34 degC it turns hydrophobic and releases water and starts shrinking. According to the researchers, this change, along with the swelling and shrinking, would shake off any cells attached to the surface.
In order to test their claim, they placed a hydrogel sample in a mouse fibroblast cell culture, and kept the cells overnight at 37 degC, the average temperature of the human body. They then found that the fibroblasts had begun to encapsulate the hydrogel by the morning. After this, the temperature was lowered to 25 degC and the hydrogel was allowed to absorb water and swell, and the temperature was further lowered to 37 degC. They found that the number of attached cells dropped by around 80 percent after this procedure.
Later, they extended the low level of attached cells for four hours by repeating the temperature change procedure every 60 minutes. This, they said was enough to keep a sensor coated with the gel largely free from fibrous overgrowth.
In a second test, they showed that making the membrane porous allowed analytes such as glucose to freely diffuse through to the sensor, and would not impair its ability to monitor conditions like diabetes.
To produce the desired changes to the gel within the body, “[the membrane-coated sensors] would be placed just under the surface of the skin and controlled via an external device housing a heating/cooling element,” New Scientist quoted Gant, as saying.
Megan Frost at Michigan Technological University in Houghton , US , is intrigued by the approach. “The idea of shrinking and swelling is novel to the best of my knowledge,” she added. (ANI)
- Injectable gel to heal damaged hearts - Feb 22, 2012
- 100,000 UK women in danger of their breast implants rupturing - Apr 18, 2011
- New study paves way for better cancer treatment - Feb 05, 2011
- Scientists closer to making transplantable tissue in lab - Jan 13, 2011
- 'Electronic skin' patch will do many things - Aug 12, 2011
- Researchers turn brain cells into heart cells - Jul 10, 2011
- New way to screen breast cancer cells' ability to metastasize - Jan 09, 2011
- New system tells how hazardous are air pollutants - Apr 09, 2010
- Simple coating to keep you car clean for ages - Jul 20, 2012
- Novel bioplastic to boost performance of bionic devices - Jun 15, 2010
- Now, a tiny white bread mint like capsule to track cancer in the body - Mar 16, 2011
- Researchers find new way to repair damaged heart - Dec 10, 2010
- New invention could improve cancer drug delivery - Dec 24, 2010
- Non-stick protein coating in semen cuts HIV infection - Sep 24, 2010
- Novel hydrogel regenerates burnt skin tissues - Dec 14, 2011
Tags: biosensors, cells, chronic conditions, chronic diseases, diabetes, gant, human body, immune response, immune system, london, prolonged period, rebecca, sensor surface, sensors, skin surface, skins, spoils