January 19, 2009
Sensor In Artery Measures Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can be a trial of patience for doctors and for sufferers, whose blood pressure often has to be monitored over a long time until it can be regulated. This will now be made easier by a pressure sensor that is inserted in the femoral artery.
If a person's blood flows through their arteries at too high a pressure, even when they are lying still on the sofa, they could be in danger. High blood pressure causes the heart to constantly pump at full speed, which strains both the heart and vessel walls. Drugs can provide relief, but in many cases the patient's blood pressure is still difficult to regulate and has to be consistently monitored over a long period of time. This is a tedious process: Patients have to wear a small case containing the blood pressure meter close to their body. An inflatable sleeve on their arm records their blood pressure values, for which it is regularly pumped up and deflated. This is a burden on the patients, particularly at night. The whole process is now due to become easier thanks to a tiny implant that could replace the current method. It is being developed by Fraunhofer researchers together with the company Dr. Osypka GmbH and other partners in a BMBF-funded project called "Hyper-IMS" (Intravascular Monitoring System for Hypertension Patients).
Implantable pressure sensors are also suitable for other applications, such as monitoring patients suffering from cardiac insufficiency. The researchers are currently performing the first clinical trials.
Image Caption: The tiny pressure sensor "“ depicted here on a finger "“ measures blood pressure directly in the femoral artery. Ã© Fraunhofer IMS
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