Imec, Medtronic, Ghent University and their project partners have launched the CARDIS project for the development of an early-stage cardio vascular disease detection platform using integrated silicon photonics. Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, it will be the first primary care instrument for screening a large population, which could lead earlier diagnoses and more effective management of the disease.
Early identification of individuals at risk for cardio vascular disease (CVD) allows early intervention for halting or reversing the pathological process, which is what has driven the CARDIS project team to demonstrate a mobile, low-cost, non-invasive, point-of-care screening device for CVD.
The device will be based on a silicon photonics integrated laser Doppler vibrometer, and will be used for the screening of arterial stiffness, detection of stenosis − narrowing in a blood vessel − and heart failure in a clinical setting.
It will assess arterial stiffness by measuring the aortic pulse wave velocity (aPWV) to predict a person’s risk of developing CVD. To date, 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.
The CARDIS research activities 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; and the investigation and development of the biomechanical model for translating optical signals related to skin-level vibrations into underlying CVD physiological events.
Over the next three and a half years, CARDIS will be managed by imec, through imec’s associated laboratory located at Ghent University, whereas the Medtronic Bakken Research Center in The Netherlands will be responsible for the scientific and technical coordination of the project.