Highly accurate thermal flow microsensor for continuous and quantitative measurement of cerebral blood flow
Cerebral blood flow (CBF) plays a critical role in the exchange of nutrients and metabolites at the capillary level and is tightly regulated to meet the metabolic demands of the brain. After major brain injuries, CBF normally decreases and supporting the injured brain with adequate CBF is a mainstay of therapy after traumatic brain injury. Quantitative and localized measurement of CBF is therefore critically important for evaluation of treatment efficacy and also for understanding of cerebral pathophysiology. We present here an improved thermal flow microsensor and its operation which provides higher accuracy compared to existing devices. The flow microsensor consists of three components, two stacked-up thin film resistive elements serving as composite heater/temperature sensor and one remote resistive element for environmental temperature compensation. It operates in constant-temperature mode (~2 degrees C above the medium temperature) providing 20 ms temporal resolution. Compared to previous thermal flow microsensor based on self-heating and self-sensing design, the sensor presented provides at least two-fold improvement in accuracy in the range from 0 to 200 ml/100 g/min. This is mainly achieved by using the stacked-up structure, where the heating and sensing are separated to improve the temperature measurement accuracy by minimization of errors introduced by self-heating.
Faculty, Northwell Researcher, Northwell Resident
School of Medicine; Northwell Health