New Adhesive Sensor Developed for Patients to Avoid the Discomfort, Pain Resulting from Leaky IV Drips

  • comments
  • print
  • email
Apr 18, 2017 11:17 PM EDT

A short video guide about using a cannula. Produced by the UCLH children and young people's diabetes service. (Photo : University College London Hospitals/YouTube)

For some hospitalized patients, the delivery of a drug can be quite painful when a cannula is inserted into a vein. Researchers have developed a new device that will make the administration of the drug easy and less painful. The new adhesive sensor is designed to save patients from the pain and discomfort of inserting a cannula.

The adhesive sensor was developed by researchers at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) Institute of Microelectronics together with clinicians from KK Women's and Children's Hospital in Singapore have developed an adhesive sensor that can detect as little as two milliliters of leaked fluids. Phys.org reports that the sensor can be incorporated into the dressing normally to fix a cannula in place.

When the vein is small or fragile or the cannula moves or is misplace, it is likely that the drugs can leak into the surrounding tissue which can cause swelling, pain, and in worst cases, death of the tissues and impaired function of the limb. While monitoring can be done by the clinician, there is a chance that they can miss small leakages.

The sensor is made from very thin electrodes embedded between two elastic polymer substrates. The electrodes stretches when it detects a leakage in the tissues stretches the skin. This changes the resistance in the sensing electrode, detected by a reader connected to the sensor. The reader is battery operated and reusable. The sensor patch, on the other hand, is disposable and does not require a battery.

CE Mag reveals that the adhesive sensor has already been tested in lab experiments. The research team is also planning to develop a wireless module that can wirelessly alert healthcare workers of a leakage using a mobile app allowing immediate intervention.

The team is working on making the sensor more cost-effective. In the US, the sensor patch is likely to cost less than $1. More comprehensive clinical trials for the sensor patch system will be conducted in the future.

Join the Conversation
Real Time Analytics