A Personal Blood-Testing Laboratory Under Your Skin

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<ul><li><p>7/29/2019 A Personal Blood-Testing Laboratory Under Your Skin</p><p> 1/3</p><p>A Personal Blood-testing Laboratory</p><p>under Your Skin</p><p>Written by Alexia Severson | Published on 20 March 2013</p><p>European scientists have developed an implant that can monitor a patient's blood</p><p>levels of glucose, lactate, and more for six weeks at a time.</p><p>Frequent trips to the doctor for blood tests can be annoying and time-consuming. But</p><p>the growing trend toward personalized, at-home healthcare might make it possible to</p><p>perform these tests outside the doctors office.</p><p>In a new study presented at Europes largest electronics conference, DATE 13,</p><p>scientists demonstrate that a tiny, portable, and personal blood-testing laboratory</p><p>implanted just beneath the skin can analyze the concentration of certain substances</p><p>in the blood and then transmit the results directly to a doctors computer or</p><p>smartphone.</p><p>According to the study press release, this method allows for a much more</p><p>personalized level of care than traditional blood tests, and also helps health care</p><p>providers keep a close eye on patients with chronic illness and those undergoing</p><p>chemotherapy. While the prototype is still in the experimental stages, scientists</p><p>have successfully demonstrated the devices ability to detect up to five proteins and</p><p>organic acids in the blood simultaneously.</p><p>This device enables telemedicine as well as personalized medicine, which are two</p><p>of the major trends in healthcare, said lead researcher Giovanni De Micheli of the</p><p>EPFL in an interview with Healthline. Doctors and hospitals will have a continuous</p><p>updates on a computer screen of the status. Any alarming record will trigger a</p><p>corrective action. Some routine visits will be eliminated.</p><p>Inside the Laboratory</p>http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-implant-can-test-patients-blood-six-weeks-at-a-time-032013http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-implant-can-test-patients-blood-six-weeks-at-a-time-032013http://www.epfl.ch/http://www.epfl.ch/http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-implant-can-test-patients-blood-six-weeks-at-a-time-032013http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-implant-can-test-patients-blood-six-weeks-at-a-time-032013http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-implant-can-test-patients-blood-six-weeks-at-a-time-032013http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-implant-can-test-patients-blood-six-weeks-at-a-time-032013http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-implant-can-test-patients-blood-six-weeks-at-a-time-032013http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-implant-can-test-patients-blood-six-weeks-at-a-time-032013http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-implant-can-test-patients-blood-six-weeks-at-a-time-032013http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-implant-can-test-patients-blood-six-weeks-at-a-time-032013http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-implant-can-test-patients-blood-six-weeks-at-a-time-032013http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-implant-can-test-patients-blood-six-weeks-at-a-time-032013http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-implant-can-test-patients-blood-six-weeks-at-a-time-032013http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-implant-can-test-patients-blood-six-weeks-at-a-time-032013http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-implant-can-test-patients-blood-six-weeks-at-a-time-032013http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-implant-can-test-patients-blood-six-weeks-at-a-time-032013http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-implant-can-test-patients-blood-six-weeks-at-a-time-032013</li><li><p>7/29/2019 A Personal Blood-Testing Laboratory Under Your Skin</p><p> 2/3</p><p>The cylindrical implant measures about 14 millimeters long and contains</p><p>five sensors, a coil for wireless power, and miniaturized electronics for radio</p><p>communication. A battery patch outside the body continuously provides a tenth of a</p><p>watt of power through the patient's skin.</p><p>A patient will go to a healthcare provider where the chip will be inserted with a</p><p>syringe. This is a [common] practice, De Micheli said. The patient will put a smart</p><p>patch over the skin and a telephone in their pocket. The patch will automatically</p><p>receive data from the implant and transmit it to the telephone.</p><p>In other words, the patch collects and sends data to the doctor over an existing</p><p>cellular network. Testing can be done continuously, without the need to visit a clinic,</p><p>De Micheli said.</p><p>There is no need to remember to do a test, he said. The test is done on a</p><p>scheduled time and transmitted to the M.D.</p><p>According to De Micheli, one of the challenges his team faced was to develop</p><p>sensors that would last long enough to effectively capture targeted substances in</p><p>the body, such as lactate, glucose, or ATP. To do this, each sensors surface was</p><p>covered with an enzyme, a complex protein that causes a specific chemical change</p><p>in all parts of the body, according to MedlinePlus.</p><p>"Potentially, we could detect just about anything," De Micheli said in a press</p><p>release. "But the enzymes have a limited lifespan, and we have to design them to</p><p>last as long as possible." As of now, the enzymes last for about a month and a half,</p><p>which is an adequate amount of time for many blood monitoring tests.</p><p>The Future of Personalized Medicine</p><p>An implant that functions as a personal blood-testing lab could provide customized</p><p>healthcare based on an individuals specific needs.</p><p>Currently, oncologists use occasional blood tests to determine how well cancer</p><p>patients are responding to particular chemotherapy treatments. However, this</p><p>method makes it difficult to determine the optimal dose for a particular patient. A</p><p>personal blood-testing implant would allow direct and continuous monitoring based</p><p>on a patient's individual tolerance, and not on age and weight charts or weekly blood</p>http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002353.htmhttp://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002353.htm</li><li><p>7/29/2019 A Personal Blood-Testing Laboratory Under Your Skin</p><p> 3/3</p><p>tests, said De Micheli.</p><p>Researchers hope their ingenious device will be commercially available within four</p><p>years.</p><p>As these devices get smaller, mass-produced, and cheaper, we will see the use</p><p>for many different pathologies, De Micheli said. They will also be used to monitor</p><p>healthy elderly [patients] living alone and in remote places. Sportspeople will use</p><p>them to monitor fitness and to control nutrition to be in the best shape.</p><p>Learn More:</p><p> Hand-held "Tricorders" Will Revolutionize Home Healthcare</p><p> Dystextia: A handy new tool detects signs of stroke</p><p> The Hand-held Diagnostic Revolution Reaches HIV Clinics</p>http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tricorders-will-revolutionize-home-healthcare-011413http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-garbled-text-messages-may-indicate-stroke-031913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/hand-held-HIV-testing-device-012913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/hand-held-HIV-testing-device-012913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/hand-held-HIV-testing-device-012913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/hand-held-HIV-testing-device-012913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/hand-held-HIV-testing-device-012913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/hand-held-HIV-testing-device-012913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/hand-held-HIV-testing-device-012913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/hand-held-HIV-testing-device-012913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/hand-held-HIV-testing-device-012913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/hand-held-HIV-testing-device-012913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/hand-held-HIV-testing-device-012913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/hand-held-HIV-testing-device-012913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/hand-held-HIV-testing-device-012913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/hand-held-HIV-testing-device-012913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/hand-held-HIV-testing-device-012913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/hand-held-HIV-testing-device-012913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-garbled-text-messages-may-indicate-stroke-031913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-garbled-text-messages-may-indicate-stroke-031913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-garbled-text-messages-may-indicate-stroke-031913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-garbled-text-messages-may-indicate-stroke-031913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-garbled-text-messages-may-indicate-stroke-031913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-garbled-text-messages-may-indicate-stroke-031913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-garbled-text-messages-may-indicate-stroke-031913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-garbled-text-messages-may-indicate-stroke-031913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-garbled-text-messages-may-indicate-stroke-031913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-garbled-text-messages-may-indicate-stroke-031913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-garbled-text-messages-may-indicate-stroke-031913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-garbled-text-messages-may-indicate-stroke-031913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-garbled-text-messages-may-indicate-stroke-031913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-garbled-text-messages-may-indicate-stroke-031913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-garbled-text-messages-may-indicate-stroke-031913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-garbled-text-messages-may-indicate-stroke-031913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-garbled-text-messages-may-indicate-stroke-031913http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tricorders-will-revolutionize-home-healthcare-011413http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tricorders-will-revolutionize-home-healthcare-011413http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tricorders-will-revolutionize-home-healthcare-011413http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tricorders-will-revolutionize-home-healthcare-011413http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tricorders-will-revolutionize-home-healthcare-011413http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tricorders-will-revolutionize-home-healthcare-011413http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tricorders-will-revolutionize-home-healthcare-011413http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tricorders-will-revolutionize-home-healthcare-011413http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tricorders-will-revolutionize-home-healthcare-011413http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tricorders-will-revolutionize-home-healthcare-011413http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tricorders-will-revolutionize-home-healthcare-011413http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tricorders-will-revolutionize-home-healthcare-011413http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tricorders-will-revolutionize-home-healthcare-011413</li></ul>