Rot am See, Germany – Wurth Electronik and the Fraunhofer Institute have developed a flexible PU-based circuit board that can be used to monitor the vital signs of new-born babies.
Flexible PU circuit board monitors new born's vitals
The circuit boards can be mass produced. They are being used by Swisstom, a Swiss firm in a measuring belt, which is placed on the baby's skin. The belt allows doctors to see dynamic images of how a baby's heart and lungs are functioning. Wurth said there is no need for medical intervention or radiology.
The belt is designed to work with electrical impedance tomography. This is a non-invasive process that, unlike conventional monitoring methods, does not need the patient to breathe through a sensor. It can also be applied for several days continuously.
Wurth and the Fraunhoffer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration in Berlin started developing flexible polyurethane circuit boards four years ago.
The material has a number of advantages over traditional epoxy-based boards, Wurht said. Epoxy boards are rigid and brittle; polyurethane is flexible, washable and can be folded.