Researchers Develop ‘Bio-patch’ to Monitor Post-surgical Success of Breast Reconstruction

Researchers Develop ‘Bio-patch’ to Monitor Post-surgical Success of Breast Reconstruction
An international team of researchers has developed a wireless device that can detect early problems after a patient undergoes breast reconstruction surgery. The work, led by Imperial College London in the U.K., and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), was part of the Smart Sensing for Surgery project. Breast reconstruction surgery following a mastectomy generally involves the transfer of the patient’s own tissue to help rebuild the breast. While the success rate of this procedure is high, early detection of potential problems could help to reduce post-surgical complications and prevent surgery failure. “Poor blood supply or failure of breast reconstruction surgery can have a major impact on a breast cancer patient’s recovery, prognosis and mental wellbeing,” Guang-Zhong Yang, PhD, the lead researcher of the Smart Sensing for Surgery project, said in a press release. “Clinical signs of failure often occur late and patients may be returned to the operating room on clinical suspicion." To solve these problems, researchers have developed a wireless electronic device, a 1.8-by-1.1-cm bio-patch made of sensors encased in fully biocompatible materials, to monitor the levels of oxygen saturation in the transferred tissue, which is a reliable indicator of whether there is a risk of reconstruction failure. Oxygen saturation levels are m
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