February 27, 2024

Bedside portable device offers real-time monitoring for pancreatic fistulas, other conditions

Editor's Note

Researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and the University Hospital Dresden (UKD) have developed a portable, droplet-based millifluidic device that can monitor patients for postoperative pancreatic fistula in the critical first days after surgery. The same technology might also be expanded to analyze other body fluids and diseases.

A February 21 EurekAlert! report on the study, which was originally published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics, notes that pancreatic fistula affects as many as 30 percent of patients undergoing partial resection of the pancreas. The result of pancreatic enzymes leaking into the abdominal cavity, this dangerous condition is normally diagnosed by analyzing concentrations of the pancreatic enzyme alpha-amylase in drainage secretions on the firs and third postoperative day, and test results can take as long as six hours.

Real-time, bedside monitoring via a portable device shortens the alpha-amylase determination period from six hours to approximately two minutes, researchers report. Additionally, capability to analyze other fluids and conditions could lead this technology to become “part of the future standard of care in post-operative patient monitoring.” 

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