Connector sensors for permittivity-based thrombus monitoring in extracorporeal life support


Extracorporeal circulation is vital in cardiovascular surgery, but thrombus formation at connector interface is a major threat. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is presently used to monitor thrombogenesis at connectors, but it is expensive to install and complex to use. This study fabricated and evaluated a connector sensor for real-time permittivity-based thrombus monitoring at tube–connector interface. Computational simulations were initially done to pre-evaluate the applicability of connector sensor. The sensor was fabricated by incorporating two stainless steel electrodes on acrylic tube for measuring permittivity changes at the tube–connector interface. OCT images were also taken from the interface at intervals for comparisons. Results show that the sensor was able to detect thrombus formation at the interface in form of sudden rise in permittivity after time t = 9 min. The permittivity changes were confirmed by OCT images which showed thrombus formation after time t = 14 min implying that permittivity changes were due to regional aggregation of red blood cells. The connector sensor is therefore envisioned as an affordable alternative to OCT for real-time permittivity-based monitoring of thrombogenesis at tube–connector interface.

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We acknowledge Dr. Jianping Li of the Institute of Precision Machinery, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua 321004, China, for his advice during experiments.

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Correspondence to Achyut Sapkota.

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Sifuna, M.W., Koishi, M., Uemura, T. et al. Connector sensors for permittivity-based thrombus monitoring in extracorporeal life support. J Artif Organs 24, 15–21 (2021).

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  • Connector sensor
  • Connector–tube interface
  • Extracorporeal circulation
  • Thrombus monitoring