Automated Continuous Post-surgical Monitoring of Vascularized Grafts using an Electrochemical Metabolite Detector


Project Outline

Flap transfers are used to surgically reconstruct a patient’s body after trauma or cancerous tissue removal, using his/her own skin and muscle. However, post-surgical complications like vessel thrombosis and ischemia can cause flap failures, requiring urgent surgical re-intervention within an 8 hour window, when the flap may still be salvaged. It is therefore essential to detect flap failures early. The current gold standard for monitoring flap transfers is manual observation, where junior surgeons or nurses inspect the flap hourly for the first 48 hours post-operatively, then every 4 hours for the rest of the patient’s stay. This is labour-intensive and subjective.

The team is developing an automated continuous monitoring system to allow early detection of flap failure. The device seeks to accurately predict flap viability and provide early signalling for detection of a vascular thrombosis in a flap within minutes.

Project Deliverables

An automated metabolite biosensor system and an accompanying bedside display, which has been validated in vivo for safety and accuracy. The device will do continuous monitoring in vivo, for a predefined time-period, at a low production cost.


Principal Investigator: Dr TAN Ngian Chye

Institution: National Cancer Centre Singapore

NHIC Ref: NHIC-I2D-1409019