Researchers at the University of Southern California in the US have developed a microelectromechanical system (MEMS) thermal sensor that can identify atherosclerosis in its early stages.
The MEMS thermal sensor, which can be deployed by an angiogram catheter, uses convective heat transfer to detect pre-atherosclerotic regions of arteries.
In a study involving rabbit models, the sensor was able to sensitively detect pre-atherosclerotic regions that otherwise showed no clinical signs of atherosclerosis.
The sensor was developed by depositing titanium and platinum on a flexible polymer membrane and patterning them to form the sensing elements.
According to the researchers, the MEMS sensor is a minimally invasive and sensitive technology, and has the potential for widespread and rapid application during diagnostic angiograms.