Uniaxially-aligned PVDF nanofibers as a sensor and transmitter for biotelemetry†
Biotelemetry has become an important part of medical research for patient care by remotely monitoring continuing biological processes and physiological functions. However, current biotelemetry systems are complex requiring multiple electronic components to function: a battery, a sensor, and a transmitter, and a receiver. Another paramount concern of biotelemetry is the coupling of its in vivo portion to external supporting equipment. Here we report a novel biotelemetry device made primarily of a coiled bundle of uniaxially-aligned biocompatible polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) nanofibers of ∼200 nm in diameter and with piezoelectric properties that can serve concurrently as a power source, sensor, and transmitter. We tested this device on a cantilever beam that was periodically deflected at its free end. Without a power supply the coil of a nanofiber bundle is shown to generate and transmit an electrical signal wirelessly in response to the beam deflection which was received by an external receiver. The coil of a nanofiber bundle was encapsulated in a thin biocompatible polymer shell for device integrity and moisture isolation. Our results suggest that the device can potentially serve as a mechanical sensor and biotelemeter for various in vitro and in vivo biomedical applications.