Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a miniature, ultra-low power injectable biosensor that could be used for continuous, long-term alcohol monitoring. The chip is small enough to be implanted in the body just beneath the surface of the skin and is powered wirelessly by a wearable device, such as a smartwatch or patch.
“The ultimate goal of this work is to develop a routine, unobtrusive alcohol and drug monitoring device for patients in substance abuse treatment programs,” said Drew Hall, an electrical engineering professor at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering who led the project. Hall is also affiliated with the Center for Wireless Communicationsand the Center for Wearable Sensors, both at UC San Diego. Hall’s team presented this work at the 2018 IEEE Custom Integrated Circuits Conference (CICC) on Apr. 10 in San Diego.
One of the challenges for patients in treatment programs is the lack of convenient tools for routine monitoring. Breathalyzers, currently the most common way to estimate blood alcohol levels, are clunky devices that require patient initiation and are not that accurate, Hall noted. A blood test is the most accurate method, but it needs to be performed by a trained technician. Tattoo-based alcohol sensors that can be worn on the skin are a promising new alternative, but they can be easily removed and are only single-use.
“A tiny injectable sensor—that can be administered in a clinic without surgery—could make it easier for patients to follow a prescribed course of monitoring for extended periods of time,” Hall said.
The biosensor chip measures roughly one cubic millimeter in size and can be injected under the skin in interstitial fluid—the fluid that surrounds the body’s cells. It contains a sensor that is coated with alcohol oxidase, an enzyme that selectively interacts with alcohol to generate a byproduct that can be electrochemically detected. The electrical signals are transmitted wirelessly to a nearby wearable device such as a smartwatch, which also wirelessly powers the chip. Two additional sensors on the chip measure background signals and pH levels. These get canceled out to make the alcohol reading more accurate.
The researchers designed the chip to consume as little power as possible—970 nanowatts total, which is roughly one million times less power than a smartphone consumes when making a phone call. “We don’t want the chip to have a significant impact on the battery life of the wearable device. And since we’re implanting this, we don’t want a lot of heat being locally generated inside the body or a battery that is potentially toxic,” Hall said.
One of the ways the chip operates on such ultra-low power is by transmitting data via a technique called backscattering. This occurs when a nearby device like a smartwatch sends radio frequency signals to the chip, and the chip sends data by modifying and reflecting those signals back to the smartwatch. The researchers also designed ultra-low power sensor readout circuits for the chip and minimized its measurement time to just three seconds, resulting in less power consumption.
The researchers tested the chip in vitro with a setup that mimicked an implanted environment. This involved mixtures of ethanol in diluted human serum underneath layers of pig skin.
For future studies, the researchers are planning to test the chip in live animals. Hall’s group is working with CARI Therapeutics, a startup based in the Qualcomm Institute Innovation Space at UC San Diego, and Dr. Carla Marienfeld, an addiction psychiatrist at UC San Diego who specializes in treating individuals with substance abuse disorders, to optimize the chip for next generation rehab monitoring. Hall’s group is developing versions of this chip that can monitor other molecules and drugs in the body.
“This is a proof-of-concept platform technology. We’ve shown that this chip can work for alcohol, but we envision creating others that can detect different substances of abuse and injecting a customized cocktail of them into a patient to provide long-term, personalized medical monitoring,” Hall said.
The Latest on: Injectable biosensor
via Google News
The Latest on: Injectable biosensor
- The Promise of Nanomedicine for Ocular Diseaseon August 7, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Third, the eye is a small organ that offers easy accessibility for application of a nano-treatment, either as a topical drop or as an injection ... NPs may also act as biosensors in the ...
- Targeting HIV Env immunogens to B cell follicles in nonhuman primates through immune complex or protein nanoparticle formulationson August 5, 2020 at 2:03 am
The loaded biosensors were dipped into kinetics buffer for 1 min ... At 1, 3, or 7 days after antigen injection, animals were sacrificed and the inguinal LNs were removed and fixed for imaging by ...
- The top medical plastics news and trends of 2017on July 30, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Wang and his fellow researchers at UC Riverside are exploring the potential applications, which include self-healing robots and biosensors. Number 1: BD wants to take injection molding to the next ...
- Accelerating thrombolysis using a precision and clot-penetrating drug delivery strategy by nanoparticle-shelled microbubbleson July 29, 2020 at 8:08 pm
1 Key Laboratory for Organic Electronics and Information Displays and Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Biosensors, Institute of Advanced ... thrombus decreased by 67.5% when compared to conventional ...
- Piramal Critical Care Announces Strategic Partnership with US-based Pharmaceutical Outsourcing Facility - Medivant Healthcareon July 22, 2020 at 5:00 pm
This partnership aims to provide US hospitals with some of the much needed single-dose injectable drugs that have fallen into dangerous shortage amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Piramal Critical Care ...
- QU hosts webinar on key role of material science during pandemicon July 20, 2020 at 6:18 pm
microfluidic biosensors for viral and serological testing’; Dr Zach Ballard from University of California, Los Angeles/CEO of Hana Diagnostics, who spoke on the topic ‘Computational sensing ...
- Plant tour: Single-machine shop sets standards in micro sphereon July 18, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Today, MiniFAB’s Class 10,000 cleanroom-based injection press is molding around a million components annually from a variety of resins for use in commercial products such as disposable diagnostic ...
- Injectable Mesh Offers Less-Invasive Method of Brain Studyon July 13, 2020 at 5:00 pm
A silk mesh seeded with nanoscale electrodes and transistors curls up into a 100-micrometer-diameter needle with a phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) solution for easy injection. Then, using a mouse ...
- The First 3D Printer for Microfluidic Devices Allows One-Step Prototypingon July 7, 2020 at 5:00 pm
biosensors, and biochemical assay development. Some chemical synthesis applications also require microfluidics for sample handling, treatment, or readout. Traditional methods of creating microfluidic ...
via Bing News