We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
Sekisui Diagnostics UK Ltd.

Download Mobile App




Events

13 Jun 2024 - 15 Jun 2024
18 Jun 2024 - 20 Jun 2024

First Electronic Wireless Implant Detects Early Signs of Transplanted Organ Rejection

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 08 Sep 2023
Print article
Image: Sensor on a fingertip (Photo courtesy of Northwestern University)
Image: Sensor on a fingertip (Photo courtesy of Northwestern University)

For individuals with transplanted kidneys, continuous monitoring of their organ's health is vital. There is a possibility of organ rejection which can occur immediately post-transplant or years later, often without evident symptoms. Monitoring kidney health primarily involves tracking specific markers in the blood. Physicians rely on measurements of creatinine and blood urea nitrogen levels to gauge kidney function. However, fluctuations in these biomarkers, unrelated to rejection, can lead to inconclusive results, causing both false negatives and positives. The current gold standard for detecting rejection involves invasive biopsies, where physicians extract tissue samples from the transplanted organ, analyzing them for signs of impending rejection. Unfortunately, such procedures carry risks, including bleeding, infection, pain, and inadvertent damage to nearby tissues. Alternative blood biomarkers, when used alongside creatinine and blood urea nitrogen monitoring, have less than optimal predictive values.

Researchers at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL, USA) have developed the first electronic device for continuous, real-time monitoring of the health of transplanted organs. The sensor itself is remarkably compact, measuring just 0.3 centimeters in width, 0.7 centimeters in length, and 220 microns in thickness, making it smaller than a pinky fingernail and approximately the width of a single hair. To attach it to the kidney, the research team took advantage of the organ's natural biology. The kidney is enveloped by a protective fibrous layer called the renal capsule, and the sensor was designed to fit snugly beneath this layer, in direct contact with the kidney. This ultra-thin, soft implant can detect temperature irregularities associated with inflammation and other physiological responses linked to transplant rejection.

The device incorporates a highly sensitive thermometer capable of detecting minuscule temperature variations (0.004 degrees Celsius) specifically on the kidney. Although the sensor also measures blood flow, temperature emerged as a more reliable indicator of rejection. Elevated temperatures often accompany inflammation, leading the researchers to hypothesize that detecting abnormal temperature increases and variations could serve as an early warning sign of potential transplant rejection. These sensors connect to a compact electronics package, including a miniature coin cell battery for power, positioned adjacent to the kidney. Using Bluetooth technology, they continuously and wirelessly transmit data to external devices.

In a study, the device was tested on a small animal model with transplanted kidneys, and it proved capable of detecting early signs of rejection up to three weeks earlier than current monitoring methods. The researchers observed that the local temperature of the transplanted kidney increased, sometimes by as much as 0.6 degrees Celsius, before rejection events occurred. In animals not receiving immunosuppressant medications, temperatures increased two to three days before biomarkers in blood samples changed. In animals on immunosuppressant medications, temperature increases, along with additional variations, were noted as much as three weeks before creatinine and blood urea nitrogen levels rose. This extended lead time could allow physicians to intervene sooner, potentially improving patient outcomes, preserving donated organs, and addressing the growing demand for organs amidst a shortage crisis.

This innovative device not only detects rejection signs earlier than existing methods but also offers continuous, real-time monitoring. Following the success of the small animal trial, the researchers are now testing the system in a larger animal model. Additionally, they are exploring ways to recharge the coin cell battery for potential lifelong use. While initial studies focused on kidney transplants, the researchers believe this technology could extend to other organ transplants, including the liver and lungs, as well as other disease models.

“If rejection is detected early, physicians can deliver anti-rejection therapies to improve the patient’s health and prevent them from losing the donated organ,” said Northwestern’s John A. Rogers, a bioelectronics pioneer who led the device development. “In worst-case scenarios, if rejection is ignored, it could be life threatening. The earlier you can catch rejection and engage therapies, the better. We developed this device with that in mind.”

Related Links:
Northwestern University

Gold Member
Disposable Protective Suit For Medical Use
Disposable Protective Suit For Medical Use
Gold Member
POC Blood Gas Analyzer
Stat Profile Prime Plus
Silver Member
Compact 14-Day Uninterrupted Holter ECG
NR-314P
New
12-Channel PC-Based EKG
Avante Velocity EKG

Print article

Channels

Critical Care

view channel
Image: The new WHO guidelines include 14 good practice statements and 23 recommendations on key areas for health workers (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

WHO Publishes First Global Guidelines to Reduce Bloodstream Infections from Catheter Use

Up to 70% of all inpatients require a catheter, specifically a peripherally inserted catheter (PIVC), at some point during their hospital stay. Patients who receive treatments via catheters are particularly... Read more

Patient Care

view channel
Image: The portable, handheld BeamClean technology inactivates pathogens on commonly touched surfaces in seconds (Photo courtesy of Freestyle Partners)

First-Of-Its-Kind Portable Germicidal Light Technology Disinfects High-Touch Clinical Surfaces in Seconds

Reducing healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) remains a pressing issue within global healthcare systems. In the United States alone, 1.7 million patients contract HAIs annually, leading to approximately... Read more

Health IT

view channel
Image: First ever institution-specific model provides significant performance advantage over current population-derived models (Photo courtesy of Mount Sinai)

Machine Learning Model Improves Mortality Risk Prediction for Cardiac Surgery Patients

Machine learning algorithms have been deployed to create predictive models in various medical fields, with some demonstrating improved outcomes compared to their standard-of-care counterparts.... Read more

Point of Care

view channel
Image: The Quantra Hemostasis System has received US FDA special 510(k) clearance for use with its Quantra QStat Cartridge (Photo courtesy of HemoSonics)

Critical Bleeding Management System to Help Hospitals Further Standardize Viscoelastic Testing

Surgical procedures are often accompanied by significant blood loss and the subsequent high likelihood of the need for allogeneic blood transfusions. These transfusions, while critical, are linked to various... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2024 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.