E-Tattoo Developed for Continuous Mobile Blood Pressure Monitoring.

E-Tattoo developed for continuous mobile blood pressure monitoring

One of the most crucial indicators of heart health is blood pressure. However, it is difficult to reliably and frequently measure blood pressure outside of a medical setting. For several years, cuff devices that compress around the arm to provide a reading have been the gold standard.

Image Credit: University of Texas at Austin

Currently, scientists from The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) and Texas A&M University have designed an electronic tattoo that can be easily worn on the wrist for hours and provides uninterrupted blood pressure measurements at a level of accuracy that exceeds nearly any competing product available on the market today. today.

Blood pressure is the most important vital sign you can measure, but methods for doing it passively outside of the clinic, without a cuff, are very limited.

Deji Akinwande, Co-Project Leader and Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, UT Austin

The study appeared in the journal Nature nanotechnology.

High blood pressure can lead to serious heart disease if left unchecked. It can be difficult to capture with conventional blood pressure monitoring because it only measures a moment in time, a single data point.

Taking infrequent blood pressure measurements has many limitations and does not provide an accurate insight into how our bodies are functioning.

Roozbeh Jafari, Project Co-Lead and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, and Electrical Engineering, Texas A&M

The uninterrupted monitoring of the e-tattoo makes it possible to measure blood pressure in all types of situations: during periods of high stress, during sleep, during exercise, etc. It can provide thousands more measurements than any other device so far.

Mobile health tracking has made tremendous progress over the past few years, mainly due to technologies such as smartwatches. These devices use metal sensors that obtain readings based on LED light sources irradiated through the skin.

However, the best smartwatches are still not ready for blood pressure tracking. This is because watches tend to slip on the wrist and can be pulled away from arteries, making it difficult to transmit accurate readings. Additionally, light-based measurements may waver in people with larger wrists and/or darker skin tones.

Graphene is one of the thinnest and strongest materials available, and it is a main component of electronic tattooing. It is comparable to the graphite found in pencils, but the atoms are specifically organized into thin layers.

Electronic tattoos make more sense as a vehicle for mobile blood pressure tracking because they reside in a sticky, flexible material encasing the sensors. They are comfortable to wear for a long time and do not slip.

The sensor for the tattoo is light and discreet. You put it there. You don’t even see it and it doesn’t move. You need the sensor to stay in the same place because if you move it the measurements will be different.

Roozbeh Jafari, Project Co-Lead and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, and Electrical Engineering, Texas A&M

The device captures its measurements by sending an electrical current through the skin and then examining the body’s response, called bioimpedance. There is a relationship between bioimpedance and variations in blood pressure which has a link with variations in blood volume.

However, the relationship is not particularly apparent, so the researchers had to develop a machine learning model to examine the connection in order to obtain accurate blood pressure readings.

In the medical field, cuffless blood pressure monitoring is the “holy grail,” Jafari said, but there is no feasible commercial solution yet. It’s part of a broader drive in medicine to use technology to detach patients from machines while gathering more information wherever they are, allowing them to move from room to room. another, from one clinic to another, while obtaining personalized care.

All of this data can help create a digital twin to model the human body, to predict and show how it might react and respond to treatments over time.

Deji Akinwande, Co-Project Leader and Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, UT Austin

Project team members include Dmitry Kireev and Neelotpala Kumar of UT Austin’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Ali Akbari of Texas A&M’s Department of Biomedical Engineering; and Kaan Sel and Bassem Ibrahim of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M. The study received grant support from the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research and the National Institutes of Health.

Journal reference:

Kirev, D. et al. (2022) Continuous cuffless blood pressure monitoring via graphene bioimpedance tattoos. Nature’s nanotechnology. doi.org/10.1038/s41565-022-01145-w.

Source: https://utexas.edu

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