Advanced Platform Technology Center
Wireless Implantable Bladder Pressure Monitor for Continence and Urinary Health
Numerous neurological conditions result in an overactive bladder and uncontrolled leakage of urine. This control of urine leakage is of major importance as spinal cord injury patients are susceptible to pressure ulcers. These ulcers may become infected from the urine and lead to more serious body infections and potentially death.
Investigators with the APT Center have designed a miniature, implantable, catheter-free, wireless, rechargeable pressure monitor to provide long- term information about the state of the bladder. This new tool should enable physicians and researchers to obtain data related to bladder pressures without the inconvenience and infection risk of chronically indwelling catheters, or need for repeated catheterizations. The wireless pressure monitor will be inserted into the bladder cystoscopically, using a standard clinical urological procedure, and will reside long term behind the urothelial lining of the bladder, potentially reducing the risk of urinary stone formation. In the future, this device could enable conditional electrical stimulation to reduce unwanted bladder activity, an improvement over the continuous open-loop stimulation methods currently available. Testing of the wireless implantable pressure monitor in animals is currently underway while first human trials are being planned.
Principal Investigator: Margot Damaser, Ph.D.
Clinical Collaborators: Donna Hansel, M.D. • Hui Zhu, M.D.
Funding Agency: Veterans' Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development
Photo: The unpackaged wireless pressure monitor prototype is shown to demonstrate the size of the device and the on-board circuitry that was designed to reduce power consumption and increase efficiency.