EPFL has developed a miniaturized microfluidic device that will allow medical staff to monitor in real time levels of glucose, lactate a.s.o. and react more quickly
No larger than a pack of chewing gum, the prototype developed by EPFL's Integrated Systems Laboratory (LSI) is deceptively simple in appearance. But this little black case with two thin tubes sticking out contains some real miniaturized high-tech wonders.
"We embedded biosensors in it to measure several different substances in the blood or blood serum along with an array of electronics to transmit the results in real time to a tablet via Bluetooth," said Sandro Carrara, an LSI scientist.
Capable of being connected to a drainage tube that's already in place, the new system is much less invasive than the many monitoring devices that it's designed to replace.
It keeps constant tabs on the blood levels of five substances: metabolites (glucose, lactate and bilirubin) and ions (calcium and potassium), all of which indicate changes in the condition of intensive-care patients.
"Nowadays, several of these levels are measured periodically. But in some cases, any change in level calls for an immediate response, something that is not possible with the existing systems," said Dr. Carrara.
Building on this principle, up to 40 molecules could be monitored in real time. This advance will drastically reduce the number of machines cluttered around patients - an obvious practical advantage for the medical staff, not to mention the psychological boon for loved ones.
The prototype, which was made with a 3D printer, has been successfully tested on rodents. Discussions are now under way for tests to be carried out at the University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV). And a number of manufacturers have already expressed serious interest in developing this device. "We could hit the market in two to three years," said Dr. Carrara.
This progress towards more precise and effective medicine was achieved under the Nano-Tera initiative, which is financed by the Swiss government. The device was unveiled on October 22nd in Atlanta at the 2015 BioCAS Conference.
Sandro Carrara | EurekAlert!
How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine
Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine
19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy