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Underwater current leakage between encapsulated NiChrome tracks: Implications for strain-gauges and other implantable devices

Vanhoestenberghe, A; Bickerton, S; Taylor, SJG; Donaldson, NDN; (2014) Underwater current leakage between encapsulated NiChrome tracks: Implications for strain-gauges and other implantable devices. Sensors and Actuators A: Physical , 212 1 - 11. 10.1016/j.sna.2014.01.034. Green open access

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Abstract

We present the results of experiments aimed at identifying a suitable polymer for the encapsulation of thin-film strain gauges for underwater applications (with a view of using it in an instrumented bone fusion nail). The leakage currents across grooves cut (using a laser) in thin films of NiChrome over borosilicate glass were studied for encapsulated samples, immersed in water at 37 °C. The selected encapsulants were five silicone rubbers (of both medical and engineering grades), produced by Nusil (MED-6015, MED4-4220, MED3-4013, CV14-2500 and EPM-2420) and Elast-Eon™2A, a co-polymer developed by Aortech. The effect of a primer, as well as that of a black dye mixed with the rubber, was also investigated. 13% of samples exhibited slow current increases, peaking at 1–4 nA, and 9% exhibited brief peaks up to 30 nA (only one sample exhibited both). These were due to corrosion of the NiCr following ionic contamination. For the remaining 80%, the leakage current remained remarkably low (<1 nA). Silicone rubber encapsulation appears as a realistic low-cost alternative to the hermetic packaging of thin-film strain-gauges. However, this is conditional to achieving a suitable degree of cleanliness of all surfaces prior to encapsulation. Cleaning and rinsing procedures should therefore be evaluated before opting for this method.

Type: Article
Title: Underwater current leakage between encapsulated NiChrome tracks: Implications for strain-gauges and other implantable devices
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.sna.2014.01.034
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sna.2014.01.034
Language: English
Additional information: © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Com-mons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works License, which permitsnon-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided theoriginal author and source are credited.
Keywords: Intelligent prostheses, Strain-gauges, Silicone rubber encapsulation, Long-term implantation
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci > Department of Ortho and MSK Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Med Phys and Biomedical Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1427701
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