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A silver nanowire-based flexible pressure sensor to measure the non-nutritive sucking power of neonates

A silver nanowire-based flexible pressure sensor to measure the non-nutritive sucking power of neonates
de Oliveira, Jean G.Muhammad, TausifKim, Sohee
DGIST Authors
de Oliveira, Jean G.; Muhammad, Tausif; Kim, Sohee
Issue Date
Micro and Nano Systems Letters, 8(1), 18
Article Type
Author Keywords
Flexible sensorNon-nutritive suckingPremature infantPressure sensorSilver nanowires
Preterm infants are prone to have higher risks of morbidity, disability and developmental delay compared to term infants. The primitive reflexes, inborn behaviors found in early life development, are shown to be a good tool to assess the integrity of the central nervous system of infants and to predict potential malfunctions. Among these reflexes, the non-nutritive sucking reflex plays an important role in indicating congenital abnormalities in brain development and feeding readiness, especially for premature infants. Conventionally, pediatricians evaluate the oral sucking power qualitatively based on their experiences, by using a gloved finger put inside the infant’s mouth. Thus, more quantitative solutions to assess the sucking power of preterm infants are necessary to support healthcare professionals in their evaluation procedures. Here, we developed a silver nanowire (AgNW)-based flexible pressure sensor to measure the non-nutritive sucking power of infants. The flexible sensor was fabricated using silver nanowires deposited on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) in a sandwich-like structure. The sensor based on the principle of strain gauge was attached to a ring-shaped connecting module, and then to a pacifier. The negative sucking pressure exerted by the infant deformed the sensor membrane, causing its electrical resistance to change without any contact between the infant’s mouth and the sensing element. The fabricated sensor was characterized and optimized to achieve both the suitable sensitivity and stability. Thanks to the excellent long-term electro-mechanical stability and high sensitivity, the developed sensor is expected to provide the means to quantitatively assess the non-nutritive sucking of infants, with a portable, low-cost, non-invasive and light-weight solution. © 2020, The Author(s).
Related Researcher
  • Author Kim, Sohee Neural Interfaces & MicroSystems Lab
  • Research Interests Neural interface; Brain interface; Bio MEMS; Soft MEMS; Stretchable electronics; Zebrafish electrophysiology
Department of Robotics EngineeringNeural Interfaces & MicroSystems Lab1. Journal Articles

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