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Biomedical Engineering

Non-invasive optical sensors for the monitoring of cerebral oxygenation and detection of Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy (HIE) in neonates

Project Details

Principal Investigator:  Prof P A Kyriacou

Co-Investigators:  Professor A Petros (Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children)

Researcher:  Dr J May

Funding:  EPSRC DTA

Project Description

There is a need for a more reliable, non-invasive and alternative measurement site for the monitoring of arterial blood oxygen saturation in critically ill neonates when there is the risk of cerebral hypoxia (lack of oxygen reaching the brain). When babies suffer from Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy (HIE), a condition in which the brain does not receive enough oxygen, there is no readily available technology to detect such deficiency of oxygen in the brain. HIE can be fatal, within as little as five minutes of oxygen deprivation, brain cells can begin dying. The disease can also cause long-term damage, including intellectual disability, delayed development, seizures, and cerebral palsy. To overcome the above limitations, the anterior fontanelle (AF) is proposed as a potential measurement site on the hypothesis that blood circulation may well be better preserved at this central site. New novel optical non-invasive sensors have been custom made for this anatomical part and are currently investigated in clinical trials.