The Future of Medical Sampling

I find this device, a wearable medical sensor, fascinating:

The device features nine sampling needles, each only 800 millionths of a meter (microns) in height, and beneath them, a fluidic channel that can draw interstitial fluid over nine gold disk electrodes. Each disk can be tailored to detect a different analyte. The microneedles are so tiny that they don’t traumatize nerves when pressed into the skin. It also samples only interstitial fluid, the liquid between skin cells, so, it could be used for long-term, noninvasive use, they said.

The aspects I find interesting are not just its size but a) it doesn’t sample blood but the liquid between the skin cells; and b) it’s suitable for continuous sampling, something pretty hard to do with blood.

I can’t help but wonder if these long-term, real-time measuring devices won’t represent a completely new horizon in medical research.

2 comments… add one

  • Jimbino

    It’s deceptive to label a 0.8 mm probe as “800 microns” in length. The average Amerikan hasn’t a clue what a millimeter signifies, much less a micron. Maybe he could imagine what 1/30th of an inch would amount to?

  • michael reynolds

    We’ll see a lot more of this. Wearable and implantable devices that can record and transmit data, thus improving care, avoiding some emergencies, reducing the need for in-person doctor visits, even potentially help to reduce any shortfall in doctors, though of course the much-predicted doctor shortage has (surprise!) failed to materialize.

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