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Remote Blood Testing

April 3, 2013

Researchers have developed an implantable blood testing sensor that can monitor blood glucose levels and chemotherapy drugs, among other things.



Remote blood testing.  I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Scientists have invented a tiny, implantable device that analyzes the concentration of chemicals in the blood. It transmits data wirelessly, and could one day be used by doctors to monitor a variety of medical conditions. This according to Sandro Carrara of the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland.

SANDRO CARRARA (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne):

The idea of this device is to develop a general platform in order to monitor the human metabolism. There are five molecular sensors that can measure different metabolites.


These could monitor blood glucose concentrations in diabetes patients, for example. Or keep track of how individual cancer patients respond to chemotherapy drugs. The device is just over half an inch long and can be easily injected under the skin. It’s currently being tested in mice, but could become commercially available for humans within four years. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Watch a video of how the sensor works.

This implant measures about 14mm and comprises five sensors, a coil for wireless power as well a miniaturized electronics for radio communication. (EPFL)