Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lifesaving sensor for full bladders under development

Date:
March 7, 2014
Source:
SINTEF
Summary:
Many people suffer from a neurological disease that means that they have difficulties with urinating and incontinence, and have problems controlling their bladders. Spinal injuries can damage the nerve supply to the bladder, meaning that people cannot tell when their bladder is full and needs to be emptied. This then creates an excessively high pressure on the bladder, which affects the kidneys and can lead to damage that may be life-threatening. Current methods for resolving this issue includes a measure of pressure in the bladder with a catheter, which can be uncomfortable. Now, researchers are developing tiny sensors to be implanted in patients for measuring pressure in the bladder.

The tiny pressure sensor looks like a pinprick on the finger. Unlike a catheter, this sensor can be inserted under the skin.
Credit: Werner Juvik/SINTEF

A small pressure sensor can make the difference between life and death. The first tests on humans will be carried out in April on patients with spinal injuries at Sunnaas Hospital.

Related Articles


More than 220,000 people in Norway suffer from a neurological disease that means that they have difficulties with urinating and incontinence, and have problems controlling their bladders. About 3,000 of these are particularly badly affected. Spinal injuries can damage the nerve supply to the bladder, meaning that people cannot tell when their bladder is full and needs to be emptied. This then creates an excessively high pressure on the bladder, which affects the kidneys and can lead to damage that may be life-threatening.

Measuring pressure with a catheter

"Measuring pressure in the bladder is essential in order to see whether an operation is necessary, or whether the condition can be treated with medication. The measurements reveal how the bladder fills and empties," explains Dr Thomas Glott of Sunnaas Hospital.

Currently, measurements are taken using a catheter which is inserted into the urethra so that the bladder can be filled with water. This is uncomfortable for the patient, and since the bladder is filled with saline at an unnaturally high speed, the method is also unreliable.

Pin sensor

For many years, researchers at SINTEF have been working on developing tiny sensors for measuring pressure in the body. When the chance to work closely with Sunnaas Hospital came up, they decided to focus on measuring pressure in the bladder.

Ingelin Clausen, who works in the MiNaLab at SINTEF ICT, demonstrates the tiny pressure sensor that looks like a pinprick on her finger. "Unlike a catheter, this sensor can be inserted under the skin," she explains.

Thomas Glott adds that this is done by inserting a thin needle through the skin and into the bladder. "The sensor is positioned without causing discomfort to the patient, who can then move about normally without the disruptive catheter, and the risk of infection is reduced."

Test plans

The sensor is now being tested on three patients. One long-term plan is to test the system on 20-30 patients.

"Working with Sunnaas has given us a great chance to try out our technology on patients. It has also provided a useful insight into other medical applications. Our long-term aim is to develop a method of implanting the sensor more permanently, since many patients need measurements to be taken regularly," says Ingelin Clausen of SINTEF. "These would be sensors that could be implanted for several months or years." At the moment, the sensor is connected to a thin wire, but the next step would be to make it wireless. Another long-term option could be to allow the measurements to be read by a smart phone. That way, any increase in pressure could be detected even when patients are at home, thereby avoiding resource-intensive and uncomfortable examinations in hospital.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by SINTEF. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

SINTEF. "Lifesaving sensor for full bladders under development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140307100123.htm>.
SINTEF. (2014, March 7). Lifesaving sensor for full bladders under development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140307100123.htm
SINTEF. "Lifesaving sensor for full bladders under development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140307100123.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins