If a patient’s body is rejecting a transplanted organ, doctors could stop the process through medication. But the important thing is early detection. Implanted electronic sensors could be the best available solution at the moment.
Of course silicon semiconductors in most electronic devices function differently when inside the human body. The silicon absorbs electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. So the readings coming from these sensors may not be accurate. We can use other semiconductor materials, but most of those are difficult to work with when compared to silicon, and are more expensive as well.
A new research done by Prof. Paul Berger of Ohio State University has revealed that coating the silicon semiconductors with aluminum oxide stops them from having contact with electrolytes. He coated a silicon circuit with the material and immersed it in a solution which replicated human body chemistry. The sensors were found to be intact and fully functional even after 24 hours of submersion.
In the future, these sensors could be inserted into a patient’s body near a transplanted organ. From there, the sensors could detect early signs of organ rejection. Berger says that electrolyte-proof electronics could even be used as replacement for damaged nerves.
What are your thoughts on these sensors that could help early detection of organ rejection? They could be very useful when using bio printed organs as well.