A temporary under-the-skin sensor could monitor a variety of health indicators for soldiers, athletes, diabetics, infants, and critically ill patients without wires and at a distance, according to a team of Penn State chemical engineers.
"We were asked to develop micro sensors for metabolic monitoring of troops," says Dr. Michael Pishko, professor of chemical engineering and materials science and engineering. "These implantable sensors are intended to monitor the physiology of troops in the field."
By monitoring glucose, oxygen, lactose and pyruvate, the U.S. Army hopes to be able to assess the metabolic health of troops in the field and improve the response to the injured.
The researchers, who include Pishko, Dr. Amos M. Mugweru, postdoctoral researcher, and Becky Clark, graduate student in chemical engineering, designed an implantable glucose sensor of glucose oxidase molecules – the enzyme that reacts to glucose – immobilized in photopolymerized and microlithographically patterned film. The polymer exchanges electrons with the glucose oxide to produce a current, which is the signal that can be monitored from afar.
"We cannot make the sensors too small, because they need to be big enough to handle and sturdy enough to be inserted without bending or breaking," says Pishko. "We do want to have two to four sensors per indicator so that the signal is verifiable and viable even if one sensor fails."
Sensors could be bundled in groups depending on the metabolite to be monitored.
"The enzymes entrapped in these polymer films and containing biocompatible hydrogels show good stability and sensitivity," the researchers told attendees today (Aug. 31) at the 230th American Chemical Society National Meeting in Washington, D.C.
The military is interested in monitoring glucose, pyruvate, lactate and oxygen for an overall metabolic picture, so four separate sets of sensors would be necessary, each individually addressable. Personnel in a distant base camp could monitor the soldiers’ health and relay information into the field. These metabolic readings would also help medics decide who to treat first and assess the severity of injuries.
Individual sensors also have their place. The researchers are working with the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation on glucose sensors. Exercise physiologists would like to be able to monitor lactate as a measure of how hard muscles are working. Pediatricians would also like to be able to monitor the functions of the tiniest of newborns.
Because these sensors would be implantable and temporary, one day, marathon runners might need not only to pin on their numbers, but also to receive their implantable metabolic sensor array before approaching the starting line.
"The body is hostile to this kind of implant and the sensors will eventually wear out," says Pishko. "For these applications, the sensors only need to work for a short period of time. Even for the soldiers, 24 to 72 hours is sufficient."
A’ndrea Elyse Messer | EurekAlert!
Artificial intelligence may help diagnose tuberculosis in remote areas
25.04.2017 | Radiological Society of North America
Pharmacoscpy: Next-Generation Microscopy
25.04.2017 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences