Using Sensors for Dialysis

A range of sensors are used in modern dialysis devices designed for hemodiafiltration, hemofiltration and hemodialysis. These sensors allow safety-critical monitoring of liquid level, flow and pressure in the blood circulation and dialysate, and also enable the detection of air and leaks in the hose system. During dialysis, the blood pressure of the patient should be monitored continuously.

Customized Sensor Solutions for Dialysis Devices

Customized Sensor Solutions for Dialysis Devices. Image Credit: First Sensor


Renal replacement therapy, commonly known as dialysis, is a process that purifies blood by removing waste or toxic substances from the blood of patients suffering from chronic renal insufficiency or chronic renal failure. Here, the exchange of substances takes place by means of diffusion through a semipermeable dialysis membrane.

Sensor Solutions for Dialysis

Various sensor solutions for dialysis are available from First Sensor. The highly accurate piezoresistive silicon pressure sensors of the HDI and HCE series with digital I2C or SPI interfaces are used for indirectly monitoring blood pressure. In addition, customized pressure measuring ranges in the negative pressure (vacuum) and overpressure area are available for these types of sensors.

First Sensor also develops and manufactures multi-sensor modules that combine a wide range of components such as microcontrollers, switches, pumps, valves and sensors to develop compact plug-and-play solutions. With the help of plastic manifolds, flow channels can be precisely arranged in three-dimension without the need for fault-prone and cumbersome piping for the individual components. Customers can use the manifold modules from First Sensor to realize cost savings in the development of OEM devices and also gain competitive benefits owing to short development cycles.

In addition to these devices, First Sensor develops and manufactures custom-made front-flush pressure transmitters for dialysis devices based on stainless steel pressure measuring cells or highly precise piezoresistive ceramic with long-term stability. Part of the OLT and OLP series, the opto-electronic liquid level switches can be used for detecting leaks in the blood circulation and dialysate, or for liquid level measurement.

Special optical sensors are used to detect a blood leakage via the dialysis membrane into the dialysate. These sensors measure the concentration of blood and generate a signal if a definite threshold value is surpassed. Ultrasonic sensors available from First Sensor detect air bubbles in a wide range of tube lines in a non-contact and thus sterile manner, and therefore prevent air entering the bloodstream of the patient.

Products include:

  • HDI/HCE Series: Pressure sensors with integrated signal conditioning
  • OLP/OLT Series: Optical liquid level switches
  • Customized sensors, modules and systems

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by First Sensor AG.

For more information on this source, please visit First Sensor AG.


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