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Pressure monitoring in the Tympanic cavity using Resorbable Organic Sensors (PITROS)"Logo PITROS", Figure from ERCD licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Pressure monitoring in the Tympanic cavity using Resorbable Organic Sensors (PITROS)

PITROS applies the highly promising, novel technology of resorbable organic sensors to the pressing medical issue of hearing disorders due to unregulated pressure in the middle ear. Currently the pressure in the tympanic cavity is routinely measured only indirectly via the intact eardrum. A direct and continuous measurement of the middle ear pressure would be enormously valuable for postoperative monitoring and for a new generation of middle ear implants.

The Else Kröner-Fresenius-Center for Digital Healths (EKFZ) funds PITROS part of the Interdisciplinary Innovation Projects. In collaboration with the Institute of Applied Physics - Klara Mosshammer (high tech talent), Professor Dr. Karl Leo (PI high tech specialist)-, the ERCD - Dr. Theresa Lakner (clinician scientist), Professor Dr. Zahnert (PI clinician) - will develop an organic electronic sensor for direct pressure monitoring in the tympanic cavity. Such sensors are applied to flexible substrates to ensure ideal adaptability in the middle ear. In this way, pressure monitoring can take place in a critical postoperative phase. Follow-up operations due to unclear postoperative hearing disorders could be avoided. This minimizes patient trauma and the workload of medical staff.

In addition, the use of bio-compatible, resorbable substrates is investigated. The sensor degrades by itself, so that a second operation to remove the sensor is not necessary. The sensor signal is amplified at the source using an organic transistor as an on-chip amplifier. A wireless communication circuit made from organic electronics is developed for a simple and non-invasive read-out.