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The Applications of Biomedical Sensors

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Biomedical sensors have significant importance to reach inaccessible regions of our body. With the help of invasive sensors, doctors can also treat cryo cancer. However, it is a significant challenge for the designers to place the invasive medical devices within the small body regions. The invasive devices enter the body through permanent or temporary implants, catheters, and minimally inversive procedures, therefore, it is essential to make the sensors miniaturized so that the sensors can enter into different body regions. The main focus of the designers is to bring technological development in the manufacturing of ultra-fine wires and miniaturized coils in order to diminish the disturbance of body functioning, minimize energy consumption, and enhance the lifetime of the devices.

The Functions of the Sensors:

A sensor is a type of device that is used for the detection of the condition through the generation of optical, electrical, chemical, or mechanical signals. On the other hand, a transducer helps in the conversion of energy. Sensors are necessary components in several management systems and medical devices. These devices help to measure several physical variables such as temperature, humidity, pressure, flow rate, gas, velocity, light, electric fields, etc. Therefore, sensors are required to prepare many instruments in the medical field such as digital thermometers, peak-flow meters, digital blood pressure meters, respiration pulse oximeters, spirometers, etc.

Classifications of Sensors:

Based on the applications, sensing functions, and placement, sensors can be classified into different categories.

  • On the basis of sensing functions, sensors can be of different types such as temperature sensors, blood glucose sensors, ECG sensors, image sensors, blood oxygen sensors, inertial sensors, pressure sensors, and motion sensors.
  • Depending on the application, sensors can be classified into medical therapeutics, diagnostics, imaging, fitness, monitoring, and wellness.
  • Based on the placement, there are different types of sensors such as strip sensors, wearable sensors, invasive/non-invasive sensors, ingestible sensors, and implantable sensors.

Applications of the Biomedical Sensors:

  • Diagnostics: In order to conduct wireless communication through tiny implants, physiological, glycemic, and flow sensors are essential.
  • Therapeutic Application: Sensors play an important role in electrophysiological treatments and electricity-based ablations.
  • Navigation and Orientation: Sensors are effective for navigation and orientation activities such as targeted radiation catheters, highly accurate ablations, stent positioning, targeted drug delivery, implanted markers, and inter-body tagging. In order to treat gastroscopic, endoscopic, colonoscopic, laparoscopic, etc., sensors have significant applications in the medical field.

Manufacturing Process and Challenges:

Micro-coils are the basis of the production of the sensors. Therefore, the micro-coil winding process plays a major role in the manufacturing of the sensors. The designers of the sensors try to fulfill the geometric and electromagnetic requirements of the clients. Due to the miniaturized size of the sensors, many modern manufacturers use ultra-fine wires of 9 microns in diameter. The finest sensors consist of micro-coils that have more than 1000 windings and the overall cross-sectional area is smaller than a pin. However, there are some physical and environmental challenges to the joining of ultra-fine wires. In order to overcome these challenges and to fulfill the ultra-strict tolerance requirements, modern manufacturers use Thermo-Compression Bonding technology to connect two different ultra-fine wires. This process helps to have strain-free, corrosion-free, and high reliable connectivity.

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