Turkey’s Bilkent University National Nanotechnology Research Center highlights “next-gen” health tech

In Turkey, Bilkent University National Nanotechnology Research Center (UNAM) has highlighted the value of its optical fibre preform production infrastructure and fibre drawing tower in enabling “next-generation” health technologies.

The fibre-based “piezoelectric and triboelectric nanogenerators” used in UNAM’s research are currently being used to measure health parameters including heart rate, blood pressure, cardiovascular aging and vascular elasticity, “without the need for intravascular access”.

UNAN project coordinator Dr Mustafa Ordu is said to have developed this technology, with UNAM stating that it may be “particularly advantageous” in areas such as intensive care units and advanced surgical operations.

Dr Ordu explains that the technology, which weighs less than one gram, “is self-powered and requires no additional energy, ensuring practical usability. The fiber sensor system, with the ability to transmit data wirelessly, excels in real-time non-invasive patient monitoring. Additionally, these fiber sensors find applications in diverse fields such as renewable energy, the defense industry, aviation, and more.”

A project coordinated by Dr Ordu which focuses on developing systems which can analyse walking patterns using fibre sensors has also been awarded a grant from the TÜBİTAK BİGG startup programme.

He adds: “The capability to simultaneously measure vital indicators like heart rate, systolic-diastolic blood pressure, cardiovascular aging, and vascular elasticity broadens the spectrum of applications for this technology in the healthcare sector.”

Also in news on wearables and sensors, in the US, a new trial will explore the potential of a wearable device to record, transmit and interpret paediatric breath sounds, with the aim of exploring whether it can enable earlier treatment and prevent hospitalisations in children with asthma.

From research, a new partnership in France has been announced between global advisory and clinical research firm Alira Health and Sancare, a company specialising in harnessing the potential of hospital data through AI. The partnership will focus on the launch of a platform of “deep hospital electronic medical record data linked with claims from an expanding federated network of French hospitals, augmented with AI”.