Telemetric Sensing of Blood Flow Rates by Passive Infrared Temperature Sensing


Invention Summary

The invention relates to the field of telemetric monitoring of blood flow sensing, particularly with the use of low energy consumption devices. It is a method that determines the rate of flow of a bodily fluid through a vessel in a live patient. The external positioning of two passive infrared sensor (PIR) detectors at a fixed distance, and longitudinally on a blood vessel, will detect small temperature fluctuations within the flow stream. Analysis of phase shifts of these small temperature fluctuations would allow for the precise determination of flow within the vessel.


Market Opportunity

Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in Americans today. Stroke alone afflicts nearly 800,000 Americans per year and results in approximately 145,000 deaths. Estimated annual costs for the treatment of the consequences of stroke are approximately $40.9 billion. Despite the tremendous human and financial cost, current research models have been unable to lead to the development of a definitive therapy for the treatment of stroke. The majority of strokes involve impaired blood flow. It is believed that an inability to readily determine blood flow rate in unrestrained animals or for extended periods of time has hampered efforts at therapeutic developments. Previous efforts to apply blood flow sensors to telemetry have been largely unsuccessful due to the inherent power consumption of the sensors. Most efforts have relied on reducing the power utilization of pre-existing technologies; few efforts have focused on new sensor development.


Features & Benefits

• This sensor is readily adaptable to wireless telemetric solutions and allows long term measurement of blood flow without the confounding effects of anesthesia, physical restraint, tethering or stress induced by individually housing social animals like rats.

• The system is innovative, yet relies on an underlying proven technology that has been exploited for years by the home security industry. Commercially available passive infrared (PIR) motion sensors rely on the detection of miniscule changes in temperature or heat. Certain crystalline materials have the property to generate a surface electric charge when exposed to thermal infrared radiation—a phenomenon known as pyroelectricity. The passive infrared sensor module works on the same principle.

• The PIR-based motion sensor module has an instrumentation circuit on board that amplifies the signal to appropriate voltage level to indicate the detection of motion. Although effective at detecting heat changes at distances of over 30 m, these sensors are passive in nature. No significant power needs to be supplied to the sensor.

• The system gives a precise determination of flow.


Intellectual Property        Published Patent: US-2014-0005554-A1


Patent Information:
Life Sciences
For Information, Contact:
John Minnick
Business Development Officer
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Biswajit (bj) Das
Frank Van Breukelen
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