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MEMS thermal sensor detects pre-atherosclerotic lesions
Date:3/7/2011

hich convective heat transfer was measured as a function of the voltage signals. In the regions of atherosclerotic lesions, blood flow is disturbed. This causes changes in convective heat transfer from the sensing element to the flow field, and thus, changes in voltage signals. The sensor measured a high voltage upstream from the part of the blood vessel that harbored the atherosclerotic plaque, and a low voltage downstream.

The scientists concluded that the MEMS thermal sensor method could sensitively detect pre-atherosclerotic regions that otherwise showed no clinical signs of atherosclerosis. The authors integrated mathematical simulations, fluoroscopic images, and dissection of the aortas to verify their results.

Once the MEMS thermal sensors have identified the atherosclerotic lesion, doctors can identify whether this lesion is a vulnerable or stable plaque. A vulnerable plaque could rupture, which blocks the arteries and causes heart attacks and strokes. Doctors perform angioplasty and implant stents to prevent blockage of vessels. However, lifestyle changes and medication can manage stable plaque.

According to Dr. Hsiai, "Despite imaging modalities, we have yet to develop a means to differentiate vulnerable from stable plaque. If we can differentiate vulnerable from stable plaque during a diagnostic angiogram, we can avoid unnecessary complications from angioplasty and stenting, and deliver an enhanced risk-to-benefit profile for our patients. It could also reduce health costs by eliminating unnecessary procedures and for treating procedure-related complications."


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Contact: Joan Robinson
joan.robinson@springer.com
49-622-148-78130
Springer
Source:Eurekalert

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