Choosing A Transducer Interface For Strain Gauge Sensors

There are generally several uses for intracranial catheter tip transducers; however, their main purpose is served in situations in which a patient has suffered a catastrophic head injury or illness of the brain or spinal column, or, as well, in the case of tumor removal. It is in these instances when monitoring the pressure in the brain becomes of paramount importance. If identified, the high intracranial pressure may then be treated by the drainage of cerebral spinal fluid through the catheter. It may also be improved by a manipulations of a patient's respirations. Often, the variance for a normal intracranial pressure measures from 1 to 20 mm Hg. The mm referencing millimeters of mercury.

Catheter Tip Transducers

There are a variety of intacranial catheter tip transducers, and some of these transducers allow for both accurate and very specified measurements due to their sensitive mechanisms. There is also part of the mechanism known as a "strange gauge sensor," which is basically a small device with an insulated, flexible backing that has a foil pattern etched on it. The strange gauge senses pressure equally, thereby making it as if there was no pressure applied.

In the case of how the device itself works, there is what is often referred to as a "balloon" that encases the diaphragm of the device. There are then two connectors that connect each side of the diaphragm. When approximately 0.2 to 0.3 ml of air are introduced into the transducer's tip, the pressure in the tip will then be more than the intracranial pressure being monitored.

Intracranial Catheter Tip Transducers

In the technical aspects of intracranial catheter tip transducers there are some technical properties that are of great importance. Such as, a titanium sensor housing, a "zero drift," which is equal to less than one mmHg in twenty four hours, rending it nearly motionless. As well, aspects such as a catheter that is 50 mm of silicone rubber with 2.4mm &Oslash;. Temperature coefficient of sensitivity in the range of < 0.05%FS/C&deg;, as well as maximum balloon inflation and other factors will allow for a transducer tip that will aid in the maximum vigilance in monitoring, not to mention contributing to the life saving measures, of a patient who may have suffered an otherwise life threatening head trauma.

How Pressure Transducers Are Made

There is a flat silicone rubber membrane, or balloon, covering the pressure sensing diaphragm. Two internal tubes connect the two sides of the diaphragm to a female luer fitting on the connector shell. By introducing approximately 0.2 to 0.3ml of air, the pressure in these tubes will be greater than the ICP being measured.

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