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Cardiac Output Monitoring with Pulmonary Arterial Sensors

Cardiac insufficiency is a considerable clinical and health-economical problem. In Europe, the number of patients with cardiac insufficiency is valued at 10 Million cases. About 1.8 Million patients are in Germany alone, with the sum increasing yearly by one to two thousand cases.

This project will ensure the exact and continuous evaluation  of a patient’s cardiovascular state via the monitoring of pulmonary arterial pressure, to optimize medicinal therapy. Until now, continuous hemodynamic monitoring is only possible in the intensive care unit, because of the requirement for catheters and vascular-sheaths, which need intensive care monitoring and nursing (e. g. pulmonary artery catheter).
This approach leads to an increased complication risk relating to infection or bleeding, and is therefore less suitable for permanent monitoring.

Fig. 1: Scheme of the COMPASS-System


The aim of this project is the development of an implantable sensor (pressure and temperature) to assist the cardiovascular therapy of patients with heart disease.

As a result, permanent patient-monitoring would be possible at home, to enable a fast reaction to a changing health condition. Furthermore, important cardiovascular research discoveries are expected with the new implant e. g. in studying the effects of medicaments.

The sensor will be implanted in the pulmonary artery to retrieve pressure information. This data will also be used to estimate cardiac output. The measured data will be transmitted automatically to an external device via a subcutaneous implanted radio frequency transponder which is connected with the sensor by an electrode, and then subsequently to a service centre and attending doctor.

In this project, our workgroup is developing a strategy for implantation (application technique, mechanism of fixation), and will assess these via in vitro and in vivo tests.

For the in vitro testing of the developed application technique and the ideas of fixation, a human silicon model of the pulmonary arteries based on CT data is used. Now it is possible to test implantation techniques under realistic circumstances.

Additionally, in vivo tests make it possible to research the system in animal studies under physiological conditions, to get results for biocompatibility and sensor behaviour.


Dipl.-Ing. (FH)

Michael Pfennig

Tel: +49 241 80 89356



(Kopie 1)

This project is sponsored by


Support code: 16SV3694, Supporting programme micro systems 2004-2009, Thematic focus: "Intelligent Implants"

Project Partners:

Research Institutions

Industrial Partners