Discrete Symptom Prediction System
Implantable symptom onset prediction biosensor for individuals living with Graves' Disease
Graves' Disease is an autoimmune condition of the thyroid, causing the secretion of excessive levels of thyroid hormones in the body, that affects 20-50 people per 10,000 annually. This results in the development of symptoms such as cardiac irregularities, heat intolerance, and fatigue, and these symptoms can manifest at any given time
Living with Graves' Disease can prove to be extremely difficult and has been shown to greatly decrease a person's quality of life. There are currently no systems in place to help these individuals take back control of their lives and effectively manage their condition
The DSP device is an implantable biosensor capable of informing users when Graves' related symptoms are likely to manifest, allowing users to better plan their day, feel more in control, and live a fuller life. It does this by detecting the presence of Thyroid Stimulating Immunoglobulins (TSI), the antibody responsible for the disease (Full details available on desktop version)
The casing of the device is responsible for housing all the components and will be in contact with the main blood flow. The case is made out of radiopaque polyethylene, a biocompatible material, which allows it to be monitored in the body via X-ray. A stainless steel wire mesh is fixed over the inlet of the device to prevent unwanted element entering the device
Responsible for the transport of throughout the device, the microfluidic chip is a secondary housing for the sensing components. The chip can hold up to 3 electrodes at any given time and has been moulded out of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)
Interdigitaed electrodes (IDEs) are responsible for collecting and responding to the presence of the target analyte (TSI). These electrodes will sit inside the microfluidic chip and come into direct contact with the blood supply
The potentiostat is responsible for operating and controlling the electrodes. Each potentiostat operates one electrode and will respond to changes in the current generated by the electrode, highlighting the presence of the target analyte. The potentiostat also has a built-in Bluetooth module which will relay results to the users mobile device
The device will be implanted in the Basilic vein located in the upper arm. This vein is not only one of the largest in this region, but it is also superficial, meaning it is close to the surface of the skin. This makes it a suitable choice as minimal surgery will be required to place the device
The DSP device will alert users when the levels of TSI are increasing in their bloodstream, signalling a high probability that symptoms will develop. This will allow the user to decide how the best want to deal with the situation and ensures they are not caught by surprise in a unfavourable situation.
In addition, users can opt to share their collected data with relevant healthcare professionals. This would allow more frequent and accurate readings to be collected and reduce the number of checkup hospital appointments required.