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Open AccessArticle

Optical and Electrical Characterization of Biocompatible Polymeric Lines for Hemodialysis Applications

Department of Electrical, Electronic and Information Engineering “Guglielmo Marconi”, University of Bologna, 47521 Cesena, Italy
Health Sciences and Technologies-Interdepartmental Center for Industrial Research, University of Bologna, 47521 Cesena, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2018, 11(3), 438;
Received: 26 January 2018 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 16 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Medical Applications)
During hemodialysis (HD), blood is circulated through an extracorporeal tubing system (bloodline) made of medical-grade polymeric material. Sensors of various types that do not come into contact with blood (optical, electromagnetic, etc.) are applied directly across the bloodline for clinical purposes and for therapy customization. Thus, a detailed knowledge of the bloodline’s physical properties is useful for the development of next-generation HD sensors. In this work, we performed a novel comparative analysis of the materials used by the manufacturers of the bloodlines. We focused on signals and characterization techniques matching those of the abovementioned sensors; consequently, this is an application-specific study of the optical and electrical characterization of bloodline material. Such properties are analyzed and compared for bloodlines from seven different manufacturers by optical absorbance spectroscopy and electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Absorbance spectrum measurements are carried out in the VIS-NIR range. Absorbance spectra are pre-processed and data from both types of analyses are normalized with respect to sample thickness. Optical analysis shows that all bloodlines except one have similarly shaped spectra with slight quantitative differences. In all optical spectra, we find a decreasing trend of specific absorption from 0.14 mm−1 at 400 nm to 0.06 mm−1 at 1000 nm, with an absorption peak at 915 nm. In one case, a large absorption peak centered at ≃600 nm is found. Electrical analysis shows that all bloodlines have the electrical properties of a constant-phase element (CPE), with statistically significant differences in parameters’ values. Estimation of electrical CPE parameters for all bloodline returns a range of 0.942–0.957 for parameter n and a range of 12.41–16.64 for parameter Q0’. In conclusion, we find that, although some statistically significant differences are present, bloodlines from a representative group of manufacturers share similar electrical and optical properties. Therefore, contactless sensing devices developed for HD will work on different bloodlines if a simple recalibration is performed. View Full-Text
Keywords: hemodialysis; biopolymer; bloodline; electrical impedance; optical absorbance hemodialysis; biopolymer; bloodline; electrical impedance; optical absorbance
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Ravagli, E.; Severi, S. Optical and Electrical Characterization of Biocompatible Polymeric Lines for Hemodialysis Applications. Materials 2018, 11, 438.

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