The NIH is funding a study to adapt a “non-invasive radiometric-sensing device” from Meridian Medical Systems of Woolwich, ME, in order to measure the temperature of newborns’ brains that have to undergo a brain cooling technique which prevents damage in cases of low oxygen levels.
A neonatologist at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters (CHKD) is leading the clinical trials of a $750,000 study funded Friday, Aug. 31, to develop a device to measure the precise temperature of a newborn’s brain.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant stems from recent studies showing that cooling of the brain of oxygen-starved newborns dramatically reduces the incidence of Cerebral Palsy, other neurological damage, and death.
While recent studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of the brain-cooling regimen, doctors don’t yet have a precise way to measure the brain’s temperature. The NIH grant will allow researchers to adapt a non-invasive radiometric-sensing device — developed by Meridian Medical Systems of Woolwich, ME — to provide precise temperatures of brain tissue beneath the skull…
Under the NIH grant, Bass, Meridian and a team of EVMS research scientists will exploit the fact that all human tissue emits energy at microwave frequencies. Those emissions can travel through tissue, but only for a few millimeters, depending on the frequency. As the tissue’s temperature rises, emissions increase.
By tabulating the frequency and strength of electromagnetic emissions emanating from the body, Meridian has developed a device that can measure the temperature of tissue a given distance below the skin’s surface, even through a baby’s skull.
The research team hopes to use this technology to develop a small, lightweight device that can be affixed to an infant’s head to detect electromagnetic emissions generated 15 millimeters below the surface, giving doctors the exact temperature of the child’s brain.