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Method to monitor the brain might change due to ongoing research

People who are involved in a car accident can suffer from a hit to the head. In some cases, those injuries lead to the need for monitoring the pressure and temperature of the brain. Currently, that requires surgical placement of a monitor that is attached to a monitoring device. Ongoing research is working toward changing that invasive process.

The research is looking into using a biodegradable sensor that is wireless to monitor the pressure and temperature on the brain, which is useful after a motor vehicle accident. Since the sensor will absorb into the cerebrospinal fluid, there isn't a need to surgically remove it after the monitoring period is completed. That reduces the risk of the patient suffering from an infection caused by the surgical removal.

Another benefit to these sensors is that they don't remain in the body for a long period of time. Having a foreign object in the body can lead to an immune system response. Inflammation and a risk of infection are the dangers of long-term implanted devices. Those risks aren't present with the short-term, biodegradable implant.

As of now, the sensors have only been tested in a saline solution and in rats. The researchers are planning to move forward with testing in humans. Once that is done, researchers will know the fate of these sensors.

If it all works out as hoped, this research could prove helpful to people who suffered a brain injury, including those who were injured during a car accident. It could possibly make the monitoring process much easier if the pressure on the brain or the temperature of the brain is a concern.

Source: Laboratory Equipment, "Sensor Monitors Brain, Then Dissolves," Jan. 22, 2016

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