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Rensselaer Researchers Develop Implantable Sensors for Wireless Post-Surgery Monitoring

A team of researchers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed an implantable sensor capable of transmitting data wirelessly from the site of an orthopedic surgery to monitor the patient’s recovery process post-surgery.

Sensor designed by Rensselaer Institute researchers

The sensor, currently being manufactured by hand, is a cost-effective, accurate and less invasive method of post-surgery diagnosis and monitoring. The sensor is 500 µ thick and has a diameter of 4 mm. The battery-lesssensor does not require external power or electronics and is powered by a remote device that also captures the emitted sensor data.

The new sensor provides surgeons with real-time data from the surgery site and reduces dependency on MRIs and X-rays to monitor the recovery of the patient. The in vivo information can provide accurate assessments of the recovery process and provides a better understanding of potential complications.

The assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the creator of the sensors, Eric Ledet stated that the robust sensor enables surgeons to make detailed, objective and personalized diagnoses for individual patients based on the in vivo data. Ledet also stated that with the sensor technology, recovering patients can return to work without risking further injury while the physicians can continue monitoring the patients’ progress.

The sensors can be attached to orthopedic musculoskeletal implants to monitor the strain, temperature, load and pressure of the surgery site. It can be attached to prostheses, plates and rods. The tunable sensors can be easily configured to be incorporated into various implantable devices.

A patent has been filed by the research team.

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