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A Teeny Lab Under the Skin

Scientists at Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne, Switzerland, have developed a tiny, portable personal blood testing lab—a minuscule device implanted just under the skin—that provides an immediate analysis of substances in the body.

implant A radio module transmits the results to a physician over the cellular phone network.

The implant has many potential applications, including monitoring patients undergoing chemotherapy.

The device, which for now is a prototype, can detect up to five proteins and organic acids simultaneously, and then transmit the results directly to a physician’s computer.

It is only a few cubic millimeters in volume but includes five sensors, a radio transmitter, and a power delivery system. Outside the body, a battery patch provides 1/10 watt of power, through the patient’s skin.

The patch transmits data via Bluetooth to a mobile phone, which transmits the information to a physician via a cellular network.

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[Source: Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne]