EPFL sensor chip

Imagine a diabetic who never had to do another finger prick to monitor blood glucose levels. Imagine being able to constantly monitor cholesterol levels in your blood. Researchers from EPFL in Switzerland have developed a chip with biosensors that can be embedded under a patient’s skin to provide continuous feedback about important biomarkers, including glucose, lactate, and cholesterol.

The centimeter-square chip is powered wirelessly from a battery that is taped on the skin of the patient.The six sensors can send their data to a smartphone or other device using a Bluetooth connection. The device has already been tested on mice, where it was used to measure glucose levels. The wireless design meant that the animals were able to move about freely without any tether wires. The implant goes right under the skin, making it a minimally invasive procedure.

The device should be ready for human trials within three to five years. This system has the potential to track exactly how medications are metabolized, as well as provide more detailed data about the levels of important biomarkers.