Researchers at Stanford have developed a tiny wireless implant device that can help physicians to not only monitor blood pressure levels but also measure brain pressure among those suffering from brain injuries.
The wireless sensor is made up of a thin layer of specially designed rubber laid out between two strips of copper which serve as radio antennas. Radio waves are then beamed at the device and when it is under pressure, then the copper strips squeeze the rubber insulator as they move infinitesimally closer together, altering the electrical characteristics of the device.
Radio waves reflected by these antennas slow down in frequency while they accelerate when reflected by antennas that relax when not under pressure. The research team, led by Chemical Engineering Professor Zhenan Bao, demonstrated the device by first recording the pulse of a team member without touching him and also by monitoring the pressure inside the skull of a lab mouse.
"The device we invented here is extremely easy to manufacture and consumes no energy until readings are being made. In the short term we hope to use devices like this to track packages and monitor health conditions. In the longer run we dream of using this technology to create touch-sensitive lining for prosthetic devices", Bao said.