Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT) is an emerging imaging modality in which electrodes applied to the skin send current into the body and detect the resulting potentials, creating a unique look at the insides. So far the technique has been slow to come into commercial realization because of physical limitations, but new research may change that.
Pascal Olivier Gaggero and his team from Swiss company CSEM and the University of Neuchâtel has developed a new electrode belt with which they’re monitoring lung function.
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EIT calculates an image of the spatial distribution of electrical conductivity inside the body based on electrical stimulations and voltage measurements performed on its surface. The EIT technique is very attractive because it enables the acquisition of tomographic images without having to resort to ionizing radiation, such as X-rays, which is a known health hazard.
Currently, the main potential application for EIT in the medical domain consists of monitoring the respiratory and cardiac functions of patients – the aim being to optimize the therapy for artificial ventilation. Although this technique has been known for quite some time, it has never been used in clinical practice on a large scale, mainly due to a lack of proper instrumentation adapted to the hospital environment.
The thesis to be presented aims at developing an EIT device in order to – commercialize it on a large scale, explore the physical limits of the EIT technique, and to study the potential optimization of hardware and software. The use of active electrodes enables a greater integration of the device and an improved quality of the acquired signals, thus promoting the development and use of EIT.
Press release: Innovation in inexpensive medical imaging techniques…