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Assignment on Chemical sensors application in Medical Diagnosis

By B Vamsi Krishna Karthik 11MSS0006

M.Tech Sensor System Technology


INTRODUCTION Chemical sensor A chemical sensor is a device that transforms chemical information, ranging from the concentration of a specific sample component to total composition analysis, into an analytically useful signal. The chemical information, mentioned above, may originate from a chemical reaction of the analyte or from a physical property of the system investigated. A chemical sensor is an essential component of an analyzer. In addition to the sensor, the analyzer may contain devices that perform the following functions: sampling, sample transport, signal processing, data processing. An analyzer may be an essential part of an automated system. The analyzer working according to a sampling plan as a function of time acts as a monitor. Chemical sensors contain two basic functional units: a receptor part and a transducer part. Some sensors may include a separator which is, for example, a membrane. In the receptor part of a sensor the chemical information is transformed into a form of energy which may be measured by the transducer. The transducer part is a device capable of transforming the energy carrying the chemical information about the sample into a useful analytical signal. The transducer as such does not show selectivity. Medical diagnosis Medical diagnosis (often simply termed diagnosis) refers both to the process of attempting to determine or identify a possible disease or disorder (and diagnosis in this sense can also be termed (medical) diagnostic procedure), and to the opinion reached by this process (also being termed (medical) diagnostic opinion). From the point of view of statistics the diagnostic procedure involves classification tests. Biochemical sensors Biochemical sensors are defined as chemical sensors for medical diagnosis or patient monitoring. Biochemical sensors are being developed for monitoring electrolytes concentration and pH in sweat, and even to detect specific proteins in blood or plasma. Biochemical sensors are also used for the sensing of glucose, antibody, antigens, DNA fragments and other bio chemicals. Up to now, ambulatory monitoring systems mainly measure parameters such as electrocardiogram, respiration, blood pressure, body temperature. Electromyography and

electroencelography are among the other bio potentials which are often also measured, however with the presence of a clinician. Other systems or devices include oximetry, spirometry, and even smart pills performing sensing along the gastrointestinal tract. The latter systems are usually used for periodic or occasional monitoring. Other sensors are needed to perform the monitoring of other parameters or to perform continuous monitoring. Noninvasive or minimally invasive biochemical and bioelectrical sensors are addressed.


sensing groups and methods

Various sensors that are used for the purpose of medical diagnosis are as follows: A. Ionic Sensor Voltammetry is being used to sense electrolyte concentration in sweat. The following picture shows a prototype of the sensing part. The picture also shows the textile sweat pump, which makes use of hydrophobic and hydrophilic yarns to collect the sweat and bring it to the sensor.


Figure 1. Ionic Sensor An ion-selective electrode (ISE), also known as a specific ion electrode (SIE), is a transducer (or sensor) that converts the activity of a specific ion dissolved in a solution into an electrical potential, which can be measured by a voltmeter or pH meter. The voltage is theoretically dependent on the logarithm of the ionic activity, according to the Nernst equation. The sensing part of the electrode is usually made as an ion-specific membrane, along with a reference electrode. Ion-selective measurements electrodes are used

in biochemical and biophysical research,


of ionic concentration in

an aqueous solution are required, usually on a real time basis. In use, the electrode wire is connected to one terminal of a galvanometer or pH meter, the other terminal of which is connected to a reference electrode, and both electrodes are immersed in the solution to be tested. The passage of the ion through the vinyl via the carrier or channel creates an electrical current, which registers on the galvanometer; by calibrating against standard solutions of varying concentration, the ionic concentration in the tested solution can be estimated from the galvanometer reading. In practice there are several issues which affect this measurement, and different electrodes from the same batch will differ in their properties. Leakage between the vinyl and the wall of the capillary, thereby allowing passage of any ions, will cause the meter reading to show little or no change between the various calibration solutions, and requires that that electrode be discarded. Similarly, with use the ion-sensitive channels in the vinyl appear to gradually become blocked or otherwise inactivated, causing the electrode to lose sensitivity. The response of the electrode and galvanometer is temperature sensitive, and also 'drifts' over time, requiring recalibration frequently during a series of measurements, ideally at least one calibration sample before and after each test sample. On the other hand, after immersion in the solution there is a 'settling time' which can be five minutes or even longer, before the

electrode and galvanometer equilibrate to a new reading; so that timing of the reading is critical in order to find the most accurate 'window' after the response has settled, but before it has drifted appreciably. B. pH Sensor Sweat analysis can provide a valuable insight into a persons well-being. Here we present wearable textile-based sensors that can provide real-time information regarding sweat activity. A pH sensitive dye incorporated into a fabric fluidic system is used to determine sweat pH. To detect the onset of sweat activity a sweat rate sensor is incorporated into a textile substrate. The sensors are integrated into a waistband and controlled by a central unit with wireless connectivity. The use of such sensors for sweat analysis may provide valuable physiological information for applications in sports performance and also in healthcare. A small and wearable pH sensor is presented in the following figure. It aims at being used for monitoring the pH of sweat, which depends on the activity (e.g. sportsmen) and metabolic state of the subject (e.g. obesity, diabetes).

Figure 2. pH sensor C. Immunosensors Hydrogels are used in the development of a reversible pH biosensor which target application is the monitoring of wound healing. The optical detection principle is illustrated in the following figure: a wavelength shift of the incident light is detected by a portable spectrometer. The detection of the concentrations of relevant proteins, such as growth factors


and C-reactive protein, are also targeted. These Immunosensors will then be integrated into wound dressings or bandages.

Figure 3. Immunosensor D. Reflective oximetry sensor The following picture shows plastic optical fibers (POF) integrated into textile used for oximetry monitoring. Using a cluster of POF allows a large surface of the thorax to be illuminated and improves the collection of the reflected red and infrared light used for the oximetry sensor.


The measurements is performed on the thorax, which makes it more comfortable than at the finger or less disgraceful than at the earlobe, at the price of a weaker signals, partially compensated by the fiber cluster and partially by signal processing. E. Piezoresistive Sensor Breathing rate and breathing amplitude have been successfully been measured using the textile sensor illustrated in the following figure, which has been developed by Smartex in the frame of the MyHeart project .


References [1] BIOTEX website: www.biotex-eu.com [2] R. Paradiso R., Wearable Heath Care System, International Conference on Information Technology Applications in Biomedicine, Birmingham, UK. [3] Wikipedia [4] EMFIT website: www.emfit.com/ [5] My Heart project website: www.hitech-projects.com/euprojects/myheart/ [6] P. Bonato, Advances in wearable technology and applications in physical medicine and rehabilitation