Now, catheter to sense obstructions in airways | India News – Times of India



BENGALURU: In what has the potential to improve diagnosis of anomalies like Stenosis, researchers from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and their collaborators have demonstrated a method to quantify changes in airflow in the airway.
Stenosis is a condition where the effective lumen (interior) area is reduced in the tracheal and bronchial segments of our respiratory tract or airway due to obstructions and is often associated with morbidity and mortality as the narrowing of the airway increases resistance to airflow.
They pointed out that diagnosis of such anomalies is usually based on clinical suspicion due to the non-specificity of the associated clinical symptoms. And, visual assessment using conventional bronchoscopy or radiography images from CT scan for precisely locating the obstruction site is highly subject to clinician’s expertise.
“Characterizing airflow patterns in stenosed (0bstructed) airway, therefore, calls for newer diagnostic tools that can effectively quantify changes in airflow due to construction sites,” the researchers have said in the paper published in Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering.
Alekya B and Hardik J Pandya from IISc’s department of electronic systems engineering and their collaborators have demonstrated a manoeuvrable intubation catheter (a thin tube made from medical grade materials serving a broad range of functions) that can quantitatively measure air velocity across various segments of the airway.
“Our work presents a steerable intubation catheter that can quantitatively measure air velocity across various segments of the tracheobronchial tree,” the researchers said.
The catheter consists of a three-layer flexible printed circuit board integrated with thermal flow sensors based on micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) as well as a pair of sub-millimeter helical-shaped memory actuators.
“The researchers tested it by measuring air velocity in sheep trachea under normal and stenosed conditions. Even a 10% reduction in lumen area generated unique peaks corresponding to the obstruction site. Such a catheter can be used to identify stenosis at the pre-clinical stages,” IISc said.

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