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Nat Commun. 2015 Mar 17;6:6575. doi: 10.1038/ncomms7575.

Impedance sensing device enables early detection of pressure ulcers in vivo.

Author information

  • 1Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.
  • 2Joint Graduate Program in Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.
  • 3Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.
  • 4Department of Pathology, University of California, San Francisco, California 94115, USA.
  • 51] Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA [2] Joint Graduate Program in Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.

Abstract

When pressure is applied to a localized area of the body for an extended time, the resulting loss of blood flow and subsequent reperfusion to the tissue causes cell death and a pressure ulcer develops. Preventing pressure ulcers is challenging because the combination of pressure and time that results in tissue damage varies widely between patients, and the underlying damage is often severe by the time a surface wound becomes visible. Currently, no method exists to detect early tissue damage and enable intervention. Here we demonstrate a flexible, electronic device that non-invasively maps pressure-induced tissue damage, even when such damage cannot be visually observed. Using impedance spectroscopy across flexible electrode arrays in vivo on a rat model, we find that impedance is robustly correlated with tissue health across multiple animals and wound types. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of an automated, non-invasive 'smart bandage' for early detection of pressure ulcers.

PMID:
25779688
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms7575
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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