Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - 20

Algorithms, Wearables Help
Monitor Parkinson's
Ultra-Sensitive, Small Optomechanical
Ultrasound Sensor
Algorithms and wearable sensors
help clinicians to monitor
the progression of Parkinson's
disease. (Credit: EPFL)
Scientists have developed algorithms
that, combined with wearable
sensors, could help clinicians
to monitor the progression of
Parkinson's disease and assess the
effects of medications commonly
used by people with this neurodegenerative
disorder.
Doctors caring for people with Parkinson's disease need to
be able to assess the severity of the symptoms and alter the
doses of medications that reduce such symptoms. To do so, clinicians
rely on a handful of tests, such as those that measure
gait speed - or how fast people walk.
Researchers recruited 27 people with Parkinson's disease and
provided each of them with a foot-worn sensor that recorded how
fast they walked. During the clinical assessment, the researchers
asked patients to do two types of walking tests: in one, people had
to walk for 20 meters in a straight line; in another test, they were
asked to walk in circles for five times. The walking tests were done
when patients were on a medication that reduces motor problems,
and then they repeated when individuals were off the medication.
Based on data collected from the sensors, the team calculated
the average and the fastest gait speed for each individual.
The findings suggest that monitoring gait speed during daily
activities with wearable technology could help doctors optimize
medication dosages depending on motor symptoms of individual
patients. The sensors and the dedicated algorithms allow clinicians
to monitor patients remotely, which could help to protect
vulnerable people in situations such as the coronavirus pandemic.
For more information, visit www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/
roundup/0621/wearables.
Kirigami-Style Fabrication
Enables 3D Nanostructures
Strategically placed cuts to
structural films can create
3D nanostructures when
force is applied to the films.
(Credit: Jennifer M. McCann/
Penn State MRI)
A new technique that mimics the
ancient Japanese art of kirigami may
offer an easier way to fabricate complex
3D nanostructures for use in
applications, including healthcare.
The researchers used kirigami at
the nanoscale to create complex 3D
nanostructures. These 3D structures
are difficult to fabricate because current nanofabrication processes
are based on the technology used to fabricate microelectronics
which only use planar, or flat, films. Without kirigami techniques,
complex three-dimensional structures would be much
more complicated to fabricate or simply impossible to make.
By introducing minimum changes to the dimensions of the
cuts in the film, the researchers drastically changed the 3D
shape of the pop-up architectures and demonstrated
nanoscale devices that can tilt or change their curvature just by
changing the width of the cuts a few nanometers.
Future research will focus on applying these kirigami techniques
to materials that are one atom thick, and thin actuators
made of piezoelectrics.
For more information, visit www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/
roundup/0621/kirigami.
20
Cov
A flexible heat harvesting
device shows better efficiency
at retaining heat
to power the device.
(Credit: Mehmet Ozturk)
The optomechanical
ultrasound sensor
on a silicon photonic
chip provides unprecedented
sensitivity.
(Credit: imec)
An optomechanical ultrasound sensor on
a silicon photonic chip provides unprecedented
sensitivity due to an innovative
optomechanical waveguide. Because of this
high-sensitivity waveguide, the 20-μm sensor
has a detection limit two orders of magnitudes
better than piezoelectric elements
of identical size. The low detection limit of
the sensor enables new clinical and biomedical
applications of ultrasonic and photoacoustic
imaging such as deep-tissue mammography and the study
of vascularization or innervation of potential tumorous tissue.
The sensor is based on a highly sensitive split-rib optomechanical
waveguide fabricated using new CMOS-compatible processing.
A low detection limit can improve the trade-off between
imaging resolution and depth for ultrasound applications and is
crucial for photoacoustic imaging, where pressures are up to
three orders of magnitude lower than in conventional ultrasound
imaging techniques. Furthermore, it may enable low-pressure
applications like through-skull functional brain imaging,
which suffers from the strong ultrasound attenuation of bone.
A fine-pitched (30 μm) matrix of these tiny sensors can be
easily integrated on-chip with photonic multiplexers. This
opens the possibility of new applications such as miniaturized
catheters because the sensor matrices require only few optical
fibers to be connected instead of one electrical connection per
element in the case of piezoelectric sensors.
For more information, visit www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/
roundup/0621/sensor.
Reduced Heat Leakage Improves
Wearable Heat Harvester
Researchers report significant en -
hancements in preventing heat leakage
in the flexible body heat harvester. The
harvesters use heat energy from the
human body to power wearable technologies
such as smart watches that
measure heart rate, blood oxygen, glucose,
and other health parameters and
never need to have their batteries recharged. The technology
relies on the same principles governing rigid thermoelectric harvesters
that convert heat to electrical energy.
Improvements to the device in 2020 included a high thermal
conductivity silicone elastomer - essentially a type of rubber -
that encapsulated the EGaIn interconnects. The newest iteration
of the device adds aerogel flakes to the silicone elastomer to
reduce the elastomer's thermal conductivity. Experimental
results showed that this innovation reduced the heat leakage
through the elastomer by half.
One the patented technology's strengths is that it employs the
same semiconductor elements that are used in rigid devices perfected
after decades of research. The approach also provides a
low-cost opportunity for existing rigid thermoelectric module
manufacturers to enter the flexible thermoelectric market.
For more information, visit www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/
roundup/0621/harvester.
www.medicaldesignbriefs.com
ToC
Medical Design Briefs, June 2021
http://www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/roundup/0621/sensor http://www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/roundup/0621/wearables http://www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/roundup/0621/harvester http://www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/roundup/0621/kirigami http://www.medicaldesignbriefs.com

Medical Design Briefs - June 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Medical Design Briefs - June 2021

Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - Intro
Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - Cov4
Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - Cov1a
Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - Cov1b
Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - Cov1
Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - Cov2
Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - 1
Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - 2
Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - 3
Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - 4
Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - 5
Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - 6
Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - 7
Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - 8
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Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - 11
Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - 12
Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - 13
Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - 14
Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - 15
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Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - 18
Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - 19
Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - 20
Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - 21
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Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - 100
Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - Cov3
Medical Design Briefs - June 2021 - CovIV
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