Balloon catheters with integrated stretchable electronics for electrical stimulation, ablation and blood flow monitoring

Lauren Klinker, Stephen Lee, John Work, John Wright, Yinji Ma, Leon Ptaszek, Richard C. Webb, Cliff Liu, Nirav Sheth, Moussa Mansour, John A. Rogers, Yonggang Huang, Hang Chen*, Roozbeh Ghaffari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Balloon catheter-based techniques that apply mechanical force to blood vessel walls have dramatically advanced the standard of care for patients with vascular disease. But balloons are limited in their therapeutic potential because they rely on mechanics alone and lack electronically active materials. Recent advances in balloon catheters with integrated electrodes have offered additional treatment capabilities through the application of both mechanical contact force and radio frequency electromotive force. However, these smart balloons remain limited in their mechanics and their ability to provide diagnostic information about local vessel hemodynamics and tissue health near treatment zones. Here, we demonstrate a novel instrumented balloon catheter system that contains stretchable electrodes and thermal-based blood flow sensors, providing hemodynamic information, electrical stimulation, and ablation therapy on a single device. This system accommodates high inflation pressure (~2 atm) and twisting and bending over a broad range of vascular diameters and geometries. Finite element and analytical modeling capture the anisotropic mechanical and thermal properties of the device during cycles of inflation and deflation in a simulated biological environment. Bench-top ablation and in vivo blood flow measurements highlight the utility of this technology for clinical application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-54
Number of pages10
JournalExtreme Mechanics Letters
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Ablation
  • Angioplasty
  • Balloon catheters
  • Hemodynamics
  • Mechanics
  • Stretchable electronics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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