The Development of a Wireless Implantable Blood Flow Monitor

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Summary:Microvascular anastomotic failure remains an uncommon but devastating problem. Although the implantable Doppler probe is helpful in flap monitoring, the devices are cumbersome, easily dislodged, and plagued by false-positive results. The authors have developed an implantable wireless Doppler monitor prototype from off-the-shelf components and tested it in a swine model. The wireless probe successfully distinguished between femoral vein flow, occlusion, and reflow, and wirelessly reported the different signals reliably. This is the first description of a wireless implantable blood flow sensor for flap monitoring. Future iterations will incorporate an integrated microchip-based Doppler system that will decrease the size to 1 mm2, small enough to fit onto an anastomotic coupler.

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