Using Nanotechnology to Revolutionize Implantable Sensors

Qmed Staff

September 5, 2013

1 Min Read
Using Nanotechnology to Revolutionize Implantable Sensors

Nanotechnology has revolutionized the world of medical device implants. With sensing implants, physicians can monitor a patient's biometrics remotely. In addition, intelligent implants could proactively respond to physiological changes in a patient's body, releasing anti-inflammatory agents or other medications based on a patient's current health status. As of now, researchers are working on glucose sensors that can be placed under a diabetic patient's skin, implantable blood flow monitors, implantable pressure senors, polypyrrole film-based drug release systems and much more.

In the journal WIRE: Nanomedicine and Nanotechnology, researchers at Lamar University explored some new nanotechnologies that could be incorporated into future devices.

One technology that could be a boon to medical implant manufacturers is multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT). In particular, MWCNTs hold great promise for orthopedic implants. Since these systems have solid scaffolding abilities, they can be used in a variety of applications. In particular, this type of technology could use electrochemical sensing techniques to monitor bone growth. In the past, a MWCNT-Ti composite has been able to achieve greater osteoblast differentiation compared to traditional Ti-based systems alone. With MWCNT-Ti electrodes, physicians can sense osteoblast extracellular components, allowing for improved monitoring of in-vivo orthopedic implants.

Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) also hold lots of potential. In particular, this technology benefits from the quenching capacity of carbon nanotubes, a bandwidth gap structure that is sensitive to a local dielectric environment and an intrinsic bright NIR fluorescence.

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