If you’re ever unlucky enough to suffer from a cerebral aneurysm, a potentially deadly condition in which the weakened wall of an artery in the brain begins to bulge and balloon out, doctors typically will insert a “plug” made of microscopic coils of platinum to prevent blood flow to the weakened area. However, to determine if the embolization device is even working properly, a CT scan must be performed, meaning subjecting your thinker to high doses of radiation, or an angiogram, meaning probing your arteries with catheters and dyes and more radiation.
However, researchers from the University of British Columbia have discovered an interesting property of the platinum embolism implant – it can act as a fairly accurate sensor and antenna. The reason is simply that the implant’s coiled shape causes its material properties, namely its resonance frequency, to vary depending on the blood flow through it. A simple handheld RF reader is all that would be required to monitor the status of the embolization-coil sensor.
For aneurysms, early detection is crucial, as a rupture that leads to a stroke is fatal for nearly 60 percent of its victims. Such a monitoring setup would be very easy to utilize even for home use and could quickly and accurately detect blood levels through the artery, as well as possible implant failure.
Abstract from Biosensors and Bioelectronics: Radio aneurysm coils for noninvasive detection of cerebral embolization failures: A preliminary study