An implantable batteryless wireless impedance sensor for gastroesophageal reflux diagnosis
ABSTRACT A new method for long term monitoring of gastroesophageal reflux is presented. The impedance of the reflux in the esophagus can be determined remotely without the need of a battery in the sensor implant. The implant includes an energy harvesting circuit, sensing electrodes, an antenna and an impedance to frequency converter. An external reader provides power to the implant and measures the impedance values simultaneously. A prototype with an overall size of 0.5 × 1 × 3.1 cm3 was made with a printed circuit board and discrete components, and packaged in polydimethylsiloxane. In vivo experiments were conducted in pig cadavers. The results show good correlation between impedance and pH values of the acid solutions flushed into the esophagus, and good signal-to-noise ratios with the transducer inside the body. The impedance sensor can detect nonacid materials due to the frequency shift differences between air and solutions. The batteryless wireless impedance sensor is able to detect every reflux episode, either acid or non-acid, which provides more accurate diagnosis for the gastroesophageal reflux disease.