Wireless Sensing Medical Sutures for Post-Surgery Monitoring
Sensing technology is changing the way healthcare is delivered, with varied applications from wearable devices to remote healthcare monitoring networks. Globally, the wireless sensor market was worth US$3 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach US$11.2 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 20% between 2019 and 2025.
There is room in this market for the application of sensing technology to be extended to surgical therapy in the form of surgical sutures. As stitches that hold a surgical wound together, surgical sutures are an ideal platform to integrate sensing capabilities that can monitor the surgical site simply due to their proximity to the site. Various attempts have been made to incorporate therapeutic and monitoring capabilities to surgical sutures but with limited success to date. These attempts tend to be complex in fabrication and operation, and heavily compromise the inherent mechanical and functional properties of medical grade sutures.
This invention relates to a non-invasive wireless sensing (WISE) device that can communicate information from remote regions like a surgical site to an external device through the integration of a highly-miniaturised transponder that utilises harmonic backscattering technology. Using this method, WISE surgical sutures can be fabricated such that they possess electrical conductivity without changing the quality or functionality of medical grade sutures. They are able to sense and monitor bleeding, infections and any post-surgical complication in real time, supporting healthcare professionals in enhancing patient care and optimising surgical outcomes.