An Universal packaging technique for low-drift implantable pressure sensors

Albert Kim, Charles Powell, Babak Ziaie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Monitoring bodily pressures provide valuable diagnostic and prognostic information. In particular, long-term measurement through implantable sensors is highly desirable in situations where percutaneous access can be complicated or dangerous (e.g., intracranial pressure in hydrocephalic patients). In spite of decades of progress in the fabrication of miniature solid-state pressure sensors, sensor drift has so far severely limited their application in implantable systems. In this paper, we report on a universal packaging technique for reducing the sensor drift. The described method isolates the pressure sensor from a major source of drift, i.e., contact with the aqueous surrounding environment, by encasing the sensor in a silicone-filled medical-grade polyurethane balloon. In-vitro soak tests for 100 days using commercial micromachined piezoresistive pressure sensors demonstrate a stable operation with the output remaining within 1.8 cmH2O (1.3 mmHg) of a reference pressure transducer. Under similar test conditions, a non-isolated sensor fluctuates between 10 and 20 cmH2O (7.4–14.7 mmHg) of the reference, without ever settling to a stable operation regime. Implantation in Ossabow pigs demonstrate the robustness of the package and its in-vivo efficacy in reducing the baseline drift.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number32
JournalBiomedical Microdevices
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Baseline drift
  • Implantable sensors
  • Pressure sensor
  • Sensor packaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology

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