Thursday, May 28, 2015

New biosensor allows real-time medical monitoring

Kurzweil reports: [edited]

A one-centimeter-square) biosensor chip developed at EPFL is implanted under your skin to continuously monitor concentrations of pH, temperature, and metabolism-related molecules like glucose, lactate and cholesterol, as well as some drugs.

The chip would replace blood work, which may take hours — or even days — for analysis and is a limited snapshot of conditions at the moment the blood is drawn.

The biochip contains three main components: a circuit with six sensors, a control unit that analyses incoming signals, and a Bluetooth module for sending the results immediately to a mobile phone. It has an induction coil that wirelessly draws power from an external battery attached to the skin by a patch.

The chip was successfully tested in vivo on mice at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) in Bellinzona, where researchers were able to constantly monitor glucose and paracetamol levels without a wire tracker getting in the way of the animals’ daily activities.

The results were promising, so clinical tests on humans could take place in three to five years — especially since the procedure is minimally invasive, the researchers say.

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