A noninvasive flexible conformal sensor for accurate real-time monitoring of local cerebral edema based on electromagnetic induction

PeerJ. 2020 Oct 6;8:e10079. doi: 10.7717/peerj.10079. eCollection 2020.


Cerebral edema (CE) is a non-specific pathological swelling of the brain secondary to any type of neurological injury. The real-time monitoring of focal CE mostly found in early stage is of great significance to reduce mortality and disability. Magnetic Induction Phase Shift (MIPS) is expected to achieve non-invasive continuous monitoring of CE. However, most existing MIPS sensors are made of hard materials which makes it difficult to accurately retrieve CE information. In this article, we designed a conformal two-coil structure and a single-coil structure, and studied their sensitivity map using finite element method (FEM). After that, the conformal MIPS sensor that is preferable for local CE monitoring was fabricated by flexible printed circuit (FPC). Next, physical experiments were conducted to investigate its performance on different levels of simulated CE solution volume, measurement distance, and bending. Subsequently, 14 rabbits were chosen to establish CE model and another three rabbits were selected as controls. The 24-hour MIPS real-time monitoring experiments was carried out to verify that the feasibility. Results showed a gentler attenuation trend of the conformal two-coil structure, compared with the single-coil structure. In addition, the novel flexible conformal MIPS sensor has a characteristic of being robust to bending according to the physical experiments. The results of animal experiments showed that the sensor can be used for CE monitoring. It can be concluded that this flexible conformal MIPS sensor is desirable for local focusing measurement of CE and subsequent multidimensional information extraction for predicting model. Also, it enables a much more comfortable environment for long-time bedside monitoring.

Keywords: Bedside monitoring; Cerebral edema; Conformal two-coil structure; Flexible conformal mips sensor; Local focusing measurement; Magnetic Induction Phase Shift.

Grant support

This study was supported by the Brain Science Collaborative Innovation Center of Army Medical University. This work was also supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 61372065, No. 61801483, No. 51977214). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.