When housed in medical implants, battery-free, wireless sensing technology allows healthcare professionals to monitor various parameters in a non-invasive way, bringing clinical and commercial benefits.
Cost, long-term operation, size and weight all make battery-free wireless sensing an attractive proposition. The technology becomes even more desirable where the device can be embedded in a hermetically sealed package such as titanium. This is exactly what we did for Smith & Nephew: embed our smart sensor in a titanium orthopaedic nail to record strain data so that the bone growth can be monitored.
This battery-free smart sensor operates with an external antenna that allows both the collection of data and the external inductive powering of the smart sensor.
Capable of meeting the tough conditions of operating through the human body and a titanium case, the technology represents a breakthrough in medical implants and offers similar gains in a variety of sensing applications.
Working prototypes were developed in under four months.
Being able to draw power and transmit data through the hermetic seal of a titanium case.
Achieving a sensor design small enough to retain the integrity of the titanium nail.
Creating an encapsulation method appropriate for both sterilisation and long term implantation.