Development of a Dental Implantable Temperature Sensor for Real-Time Diagnosis of Infectious Disease
American Dental Association Science & Research Institute, American Dental Association, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, USA
Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Naval Postgraduate Dental School, US Navy, Bethesda, MD 20899, USA.
Sensors 2020, 20(14), 3953; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20143953
Received: 10 June 2020 / Revised: 8 July 2020 / Accepted: 14 July 2020 / Published: 16 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Biomedical Sensors)
Implantable sensors capable of real-time measurements are powerful tools to diagnose disease and maintain health by providing continuous or regular biometric monitoring. In this paper, we present a dental implantable temperature sensor that can send early warning signals in real time before the implant fails. Using a microfabrication process on a flexible polyimide film, we successfully fabricated a multi-channel temperature sensor that can be wrapped around a dental implant abutment wing. In addition, the feasibility, durability, and implantability of the sensor were investigated. First, high linearity and repeatability between electrical resistance and temperature confirmed the feasibility of the sensor with a temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) value of 3.33 × 10–3/°C between 20 and 100 °C. Second, constant TCR values and robust optical images without damage validated sufficient thermal, chemical, and mechanical durability in the sensor’s performance and structures. Lastly, the elastic response of the sensor’s flexible substrate film to thermal and humidity variations, simulating in the oral environment, suggested its successful long-term implantability. Based on these findings, we have successfully developed a polymer-based flexible temperature sensor for dental implant systems.