Developing advanced surgical tools for minimally invasive procedures represents an activity of central importance to improving human health. A key challenge is in establishing biocompatible interfaces between the classes of semiconductor device and sensor technologies that might be most useful in this context and the soft, curvilinear surfaces of the body. This paper describes a solution based on materials that integrate directly with the thin elastic membranes of otherwise conventional balloon catheters, to provide diverse, multimodal functionality suitable for clinical use. As examples, we present sensors for measuring temperature, flow, tactile, optical and electrophysiological data, together with radiofrequency electrodes for controlled, local ablation of tissue. Use of such instrumented balloon catheters in live animal models illustrates their operation, as well as their specific utility in cardiac ablation therapy. The same concepts can be applied to other substrates of interest, such as surgical gloves.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank K. Dowling for help in high-resolution imaging and analysis of devices. We thank B. Dehdashti and members of the Sarver Heart Center for help in preparing the animals for in vivo studies. We thank S. Laferriere and the Massachusetts General Hospital Electrophysiology Laboratory for help with X-ray imaging in animals. This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant DMI-0328162 and the US Department of Energy, Division of Materials Sciences, under award DE-FG02-07ER46471, through the Materials Research Laboratory and Center for Microanalysis of Materials (DE-FG02-07ER46453) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. N.L. acknowledges support from a Beckman Institute postdoctoral fellowship. J.A.R. acknowledges a National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Chemistry
- General Materials Science
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering