PNEUMACRIT: Preterm Neonate / neonatal Embedded Universal Microelectronic wearable Acquisition For Cardio Respiratory Intensive Therapy

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Engineering

Abstract

PNEUMACRIT will provide a revolutionary multi sensor wearable imaging system that will inform lung function diagnosis for infants and children with conditions that can lead to respiratory problems. Although respiratory support, especially mechanical ventilation, can improve their survival, it may also cause severe injury to the vulnerable lungs, resulting in chronic pulmonary morbidity lasting into adulthood. PNEUMACRIT has the potential to provide early detection of respiratory failure in infants, by providing a low-cost monitoring system, which will also facilitate optimisation of the respiratory support. This will provide both immediate benefits and decrease the risk of patients developing long-term respiratory disorders. PNEUMACRIT pursues breakthroughs in analytical measurement, microsystems embedded in flexible printable wearable materials, signal processing, and organic devices, to produce multi-parameter clinical measurements obtained from the data produced from electrical impedance tomography (EIT), Electrocardiogram (ECG) and apnoea monitoring. EIT is a non-radiative, inexpensive technique that uses small electrical currents to produce cross sectional images of the body that can facilitate real time dynamic monitoring of lung aeration, and recent studies have shown that it is effective in monitoring aeration in preterm babies in a clinical setting. However, to maximise its diagnostics potential, this EIT information need to be combined with other non-invasive measures. Advances in electrode technologies within the project will enable multi-site recordings, without the need for physical interconnection and integrated power supplies, opening the door to a new generation of diagnostic wearables. Such monitoring is crucial because each year millions of babies across the world suffer from respiratory failure due to immaturity of the lung or infectious diseases. In addition, standard lung function tests are not suitable for use with babies and young children until they are old enough to actively co-operate with instructions (~age 7 years). Therefore, PNEMACRIT could, in future, provide valuable lung function information to this age group as well.

Publications

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Description Organic electrochemical transistors use ions from an electrolyte as part of their operation. They show high amplification, but low speed. We made electrochemical transistors with internal ion reservoirs. This decreases the distance ions need to travel and leads to a >10X increase in speed. As such, organic electrochemical transistors are now able to record higher frequency signals.

We also developed conducting polymer electrodes for long term electrpphysiology measurements. These electrodes make low impedance contacts with skin and can be miniaturised to mm size, with performance that is suitable for recording heart, muscle and even brain.
Exploitation Route Within the award, we plan to take this outcome forward and valorise it by using organic electrochemical transistors as biosensors. Outside the award, we envision this finding to be useful in the design of low-cost, large area electronics that are developed for displays, the internet of things and sensor networks.
Sectors Electronics,Environment,Healthcare

 
Description Keynote presentation at 18th International Conference on Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Keynote presentation: "Technology for bioelectronic medicine", 18 International Conference on Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies (N&N), July 6-9, Thessaloniki, Greece (via teleconference due to COVID restrictions).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.nanotexnology.com/index.php/nn
 
Description Keynote presentation at 3rd International Conference on Flexible Electronics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Keynote presentation: "Technology for bioelectronic medicine", 3rd International Conference on Flexible Electronics (ICFE), Nov. 12-14, 2021, Hangzhou, China (via teleconference due to COVID restrictions).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Outreach Talk: Digitalize in Stockholm 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Outreach Talk: "Technology for bioelectronic medicine", Digitalize in Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden, Oct. 21, 2021 (via teleconference due to COVID restrictions).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://digitalizeinsthlm21.se/
 
Description Public presentation at Cambridge Alumni Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Gave talk on brain implants to Cambridge Alumni Festival
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.alumni.cam.ac.uk/festival/events/electronics-on-the-brain