Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 32

oxygen concentrator as with pressurized
gas supplies like those found in
hospitals.
The paper also sets out the designs of
the prototype and details the rigorous
testing required for regulatory approval.
They hope that following funding and
approval as a medical device, the ventilators
can be used in low-and-middle
income countries (LMICs) and newly
emerging economies (NEEs), which suffer
from an historical long-term shortage
of ventilators.
Lead researcher Dr. Joseph van
Batenburg-Sherwood, of Imperial College
London's department of bioengineering,
says, " ICU ventilators made by big manufacturers
have always been too expensive
and complex for developing countries to
buy and maintain, so many of the less
affluent parts of the world simply have
minimal access to ventilators. In addition,
most of the new ventilator designs created
for COVID-19 were based on emergency
short-term manufacturing and are not
appropriate for long-term intensive care
support, which is desperately needed in
LMICs and NEEs. "
The next step towards approval as a
medical device will be development
from the advanced prototype stage to a
mass-manufacturable medical device,
which must be carried out under special
regulatory conditions. To do this, they
have launched a start-up, known as
Phaedrus World Medical Limited alongside
two experienced med-tech entrepreneurs.
They are currently seeking
investment to turn their designs into
useable ventilators.
Liz Hughes, CEO of Phaedrus World
Medical Limited, says, " RELAVENT has
the potential to save many lives. This has
only been made possible by the efforts of
the amazing Imperial engineering team
alongside clinical input from our medical
advisor who has first-hand experience
in our target markets. "
Co-author Dr. Jakob Mathiszig-Lee, of
Imperial's department of surgery and
cancer, says, " In the UK we suffered a
shortage of mechanical ventilators to
treat our sickest COVID-19 patients, but
such a shortage of reliable mechanical
ventilation is the norm in much of the
world. In LMICs and NEEs other respiratory
diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia
and influenza result in more
deaths every year than COVID-19. "
Dr. van Batenburg-Sherwood adds,
" Our ventilators are inspired by the
beauty of simplicity. Rather than using
the complex control valves used in most
ventilators, we conceived a way to use
simple on-off valves to provide the highlevel
performance required of ICU ventilators.
This way, we have made the technology
much cheaper and less expensive
to make and maintain. "
Co-author Professor James Moore,
Director of Translation for Imperial's
department of bioengineering, says, " We
are keen to bring our ventilator to as
many hospitals as possible to combat serious
respiratory diseases worldwide. We
have the right technology to help address
this unmet medical need and hope to
attract investment to help take it further. "
This work was funded by Royal
Academy of Engineering and Imperial
College COVID-19 Response Fund.
This article was written by Caroline Brogan,
Imperial College London. For more information,
visit www.imperial.ac.uk.
Stretchable Pressure Sensor Could Lead to Better
Robotics, Prosthetics
It can be stretched up to
50 percent with almost
the same sensing
performance.
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL
In the future, soft robotic hands with
advanced sensors could help diagnose
and care for patients or act as more lifelike
prostheses.
But one roadblock to encoding soft
robotic hands with human-like sensing
capabilities and dexterity has been the
stretchability of pressure sensors.
Although pressure sensors - needed
for a robotic hand to grasp and pick up
an object, or even take a pulse from a
wrist - have been able to bend or
stretch, their performance has been significantly
affected by such movement.
Researchers at the Pritzker School of
Molecular Engineering (PME) at the
University of Chicago have found a way
to address this issue and have designed a
32
Cov
new pressure sensor that can be
stretched up to 50 percent while maintaining
almost the same sensing performance.
It is also sensitive enough to
sense the pressure of a small piece of
paper, and it can respond to pressures
almost instantaneously.
The researchers attached the sensor
to a soft robotic hand, which was then
able to use it to take the pulse waveforms
- the dynamic pressure pattern within
each beating of pulse - from a human
wrist. The results were published in
Science Advances, and the researchers
have filed a patent for the technology.
" This the first pressure sensor that can
stretch and still maintain its high sensitivity
and quick response rate, " says Asst.
Prof. Sihong Wang, who led the research.
" It could potentially be important technology,
both in the research community
and in the healthcare industry. "
■ A Special Double-Layer Design
Creating pressure sensors that can
work on soft robotics has been difficult,
since the stretched skin of soft robotics
www.medicaldesignbriefs.com
ToC
could introduce lateral strain to the
pressure sensor. This introduces another
mechanical signal into the system, making
it difficult to decouple pressure and
strain into separate measurements.
Wang's graduate student, Qi Su, led
the development of a sensor that works
through a new electrical double layer
design. The outside layers are made up
of stretchy, conductive nanoparticle
paste and elastomer. Inside stand tiny
micropyramids. When pressure is placed
on the sensor, the micropyramids compress
slightly, connecting with an electrode,
which sends a signal about the
pressure level.
The elastomer material makes the
sensor inherently stretchy, but the
researchers increased the stiffness at
the bottom of each micropyramid, so
even when the sensor is stretched and
deformed, the micropyramids stay
intact. In fact, even when the material is
stretched up to 50 percent - the level
of stretching generally needed on a
human body - the sensor retained its
high level of sensitivity. The sensor also
Medical Design Briefs, January 2022
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Medical Design Briefs - January 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Medical Design Briefs - January 2022

Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - Intro
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - Sponsor
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - Cov1a
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - Cov1b
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - Cov1
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - Cov2
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 1
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 2
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 3
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 4
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 5
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 6
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 7
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 8
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 9
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 10
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 11
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 12
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 13
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 14
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 15
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 16
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 17
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 18
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 19
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 20
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 21
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Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 26
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 27
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 28
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 29
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 30
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 31
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 32
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 33
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 34
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 35
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 36
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 37
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 38
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 39
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 40
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - Cov3
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - Cov4
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