In medicine, a catheter is a thin tube made from medical grade materials serving a broad range of functions. Catheters are medical devices that can be inserted in the body to treat diseases or perform a surgical procedure. By modifying the material or adjusting the way catheters are manufactured, it is possible to tailor catheters for cardiovascular, urological, gastrointestinal, neurovascular, and ophthalmic applications.
Catheters can be inserted into a bodily organ, cavity, duct, or vessel. Functionally, they allow drainage, administration of fluids or gases, access by surgical instruments, and also perform a wide variety of other tasks depending on the type of catheter. For example, a uretic catheter allows draining urine from the urinary bladder. Other types of catheters perform draining of urine from the kidney, draining of fluids from an abnormal abscess, and intravenous administration of fluids, etc.
In peritoneal dialysis for a patient with severe chronic kidney disease, a peritoneal dialysis catheter is placed surgically in the peritoneal cavity of the patient’s abdomen. A sterile peritoneal dialysis solution called dialysate is introduced into the peritoneal cavity through the catheter. With the peritoneal membrane as a natural filter, the peritoneal dialysis solution removes the patient body’s wastes, extra salt and water. After the filtering process is finished, the spent peritoneal dialysis solution is drained from the peritoneal cavity through the catheter.
It is an object of this invention to provide a device for in vivo detecting and quantifying concentration of an analyte in the peritoneal fluid in the peritoneal cavity of a subject, preferably in a peritoneal dialysis setting.
In vivo Real time measurement of urea levels in peritoneal dialysis fluid will significantly enhance physicians’ capabilities to understand the peritoneal membrane characteristics. Development of such catheters will open a new way to study mechanisms which may potentially modify membrane characteristics.