Skip the main content if you do not want to read it as the next section.
Blood pressure news
Is this the end for blood pressure cuffs?
Scientists in Germany have created a tiny chip that measures blood pressure without the need for an external blood pressure cuff.
The sensor is so small - it is only one milimeter thick and only a few milimeters long - it can be put inside a person's femoral artery (at the top of the leg). Once it is in place, the minature blood pressure chip measures the internal blood pressure 30 times a second.
The tiny blood pressure sensor then sends these readings along a micro-cable to a small transmitter that is inserted just under the skin in the groin. From here, the blood pressure readings are sent to an external reading device that is worn on a belt like a mobile phone. These results can then be viewed by a doctor to allow a person's blood pressure to be analysed by the minute, hour, day, week or month.
The sensor's inventors hope that it will do away with the need to wear bulky and difficult-to-use 24-hour blood pressure monitors. These monitors use a cuff that is wrapped around the upper arm and is inflated by a walkman-sized machine worn on a belt.
However, this new technology will need to be tested in clinical trials to fully assess its safety, accuracy and reliability. It could be many years before it is available for use in the UK.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Research News 01-2009-Topic 4. Sensor in artery measures blood pressure.