Silicon photonics set to enable early stage cardiovascular disease detection

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Imec, Medtronic, Ghent University and their project partners are to work under the banner of the CARDIS project to develop and validate an early stage cardiovascular disease detection platform using integrated silicon photonics.

The project – supported by the EU's Horizon 2020 Framework Programme – aims to investigate and demonstrate a mobile, low cost device for the screening of arterial stiffness, detection of stenosis and heart failure in a clinical setting. To date, say the partners, there are no tools available to screen a large population set at primary care level on these parameters, and individuals that are considered to be at low or moderate risk too often go undiagnosed.

CARDIS research activities will include:
* The investigation, design and fabrication op the optical subsystems and components.
* The integration of the subsystems and building of a multi-array laser interferometer system.
* The development of a process flow scalable to high volumes for all subsystems and their integration steps.
* The investigation and development of the biomechanical model for translating optical signals related to skin-level vibrations into underlying CVD physiological events.
* The validation of the system in a clinical setting.

CARDIS, which will be managed by imec, is scheduled to run for 3½ years. Work will be undertaken at imec's associated laboratory at Ghent University, while the Medtronic Bakken Research Center in the Netherlands will be the scientific and technical coordinator. Other partners will include SIOS Messtechnik, University College Cork Tyndall, INSERM, Queen Mary University, Universiteit Maastricht, Ghent University and Fundico.