by Staff Writers
Lausanne, Switzerland (SPX) Jun 03, 2015
The future of medicine lies in ever greater precision, not only when it comes to diagnosis but also drug dosage. The blood work that medical staff rely on is generally a snapshot indicative of the moment the blood is drawn before it undergoes hours - or even days - of analysis.
Several EPFL laboratories are working on devices allowing constant analysis over as long a period as possible. The latest development is the biosensor chip, created by researchers in the Integrated Systems Laboratory working together with the Radio Frequency Integrated Circuit Group. Sandro Carrara unveiled it at the International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS) in Lisbon.
This one-centimetre square device contains three main components: a circuit with six sensors, a control unit that analyses incoming signals, and a radio transmission module. It also has an induction coil that draws power from an external battery attached to the skin by a patch. "A simple plaster holds together the battery, the coil and a Bluetooth module used to send the results immediately to a mobile phone," said Dr Carrara.
Contactless, in vivo monitoring
The results were extremely promising, which means that clinical tests on humans could take place in three to five years - especially since the procedure is only minimally invasive, with the chip being implanted just under the epidermis.
"Knowing the precise and real-time effect of drugs on the metabolism is one of the keys to the type of personalised, precision medicine that we are striving for," said Dr Carrara.
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