The discovery of Soft Sensors to Monitor Cardiac Cells

For the first time, researchers have demonstrated an electronic device to monitor carefully the heartbeat without affecting the form and function. A collaboration between the University of Tokyo Women's Medical University, Tokyo, and Japan's RIKEN produces functional heart cell samples with sensor nanomesh touching software directly to the network. This tool can help study the cells, organs, and other medications. It also paved the way for the medical devices ' embedded ' in the future.

Inside each one of us beats a heart that sustain life. Unfortunately, this organ is not always perfect and sometimes wrong. One way or another at the heart of research are fundamentally important for all of us. So when Sunghoon Lee, a researcher in the Group of Professor Takao Someya of the University of Tokyo, came up with the idea for the ultrasoft electronic sensors can monitor the functioning of the cells, the team uses these sensors to study cells the heart, or kardiomiosit as they beat.

The discovery of Soft Sensors to Monitor Cardiac Cells


 "When researchers studied kardiomiosit in action, they membiakkannya in the petri dish and attaching a rigid sensor probe. This hinders the natural tendency of the cells to move when the sample beats, so that the observations do not reflect reality,  "said Lee.

 "Nanomesh Sensors we liberate researchers to study the kardiomiosit and other cell culture in a way that is more faithful to how they were in nature. The key is to use the sensor in conjunction with the flexible substrate, or the base, so that the cells can grow,  "he added.

For this research, collaborator of the Tokyo Women's Medical University supply kardiomiosit healthy stem cells that come from human beings. Base for it is a very soft material called fibrin gel. Lee put the sensor on top of the nanomesh cell culture in a complex process, which involves the removal and addition of liquid medium at the right time. It is important to direct the nanomesh sensor properly.



Nanomesh devices to monitor dynamically pulsating kardiomiosit are distinguished from hiPSC. a, Optical Image device nanomesh. Scale bar, 2 mm. b, Scanning electron microscope image of nanomeshes. Scale bar, 200 μ m. c a schematic, illustration of the nanomesh. Schematic illustration d, kardiomiosit on rigid material (left) and kardiomiosit inherent nanomesh on soft material (right).

 "Is hard to mesh fine Sensor is placed perfectly. This reflects the subtle touch needed to make it in the first place,  "continued Lee, " polyurethane Strands underlying the entire sensor nets 10 times thinner than a human hair. It takes a lot of practice and push my patience to its limit, but finally I made some prototype work.  "

To make the first sensor, a process called electro-spinning polyurethane ultrafine string mengekstrusi into flat sheet, similar to the workings of several 3D printers. The sheet like Spider is then coated parylene, a type of plastic, to strengthen it. Parylene on certain parts of the mesh is removed with a dry etching process with stencils. The gold is then applied to this area to create a sensor probe and cable communications. Parylene additional isolating probe so that their signals do not interfere with each other.

With three probes, sensors read voltage there at three locations. The reading seem familiar to anyone who watched the drama of the hospital because basically it was the kardiogram. Thanks to some of the probe, investigators can see the signal propagation, resulting from and trigger the cell to beat. These signals known as action or the potential field and is very important when assessing drug effects on the heart.

 "Sample medications need to be up to the sample cell and dense sensor will distribute drugs with bad or prevent it from reaching the sample at all. So the nature of the sensor porous nanomesh deliberate and the driving force behind the whole idea,  "said Lee.  "Does it to research drugs, heart monitors or to reduce animal testing, I can't wait to see this device is manufactured and used in the field. I am still getting a strong feeling when I saw a close-up image of the gold thread. "

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