'Under the skin' blood-testing device developed

micro implant developed by EPFL The device sits under the skin and takes multiple readings

Related Stories

Scientists say they have developed a tiny blood-testing device that sits under the skin and gives instant results via a mobile phone.

The Swiss team say the wireless prototype - half an inch (14mm) long - can simultaneously check for up to five different substances in the blood.

The data is sent to the doctor using radiowaves and Bluetooth technology.

The device's developers hope it will be available to patients within four years.

It is designed to be inserted, using a needle, into the interstitial tissue just beneath the skin of the abdomen, legs or arms. And it could remain there for months before needing to be replaced or removed.

Micro-monitoring

Other researchers have been working on similar implantable monitoring devices, but Prof Giovanni de Micheli and lead scientist Sandro Carrara say their under-the-skin test is unique because it can measure many different markers at the same time.

They say it will be particularly useful for monitoring chronic conditions such as high cholesterol and diabetes as well as tracking the impact of drug treatments such as chemotherapy.

Prof De Micheli, of Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, said: "It will allow direct and continuous monitoring based on a patient's individual tolerance, and not on age and weight charts or weekly blood tests."

device sitting on a person's finger The implant measures 14mm by 2mm

So far, the researchers have tested their device in the lab and on animals and say it can reliably detect both cholesterol and glucose in blood as well as some other common substances doctors look for.

They hope to begin testing the device on intensive care patients - patients who require a great deal of close monitoring, including repeated blood tests.

The research results will be published and presented at the Design, Automation, and Test in Europe (Date) electronics conference.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Health stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Martin Gardner as a young manThink hard

    Was this man the world's greatest puzzle master?


  • Carved pumpkinTrick or treat

    What did a riot at a pumpkin festival show about race in US?


  • A woman puts on a surgical mask during hospital Ebola training in Alabama.'Dark continent'

    Is prejudice fuelling Ebola outbreak hysteria in the US?


  • Oscar de la Renta and Oprah WinfreyIn pictures

    The life and work of Oscar de la Renta


BBC Future

(Getty Images)

‘Why I want to die at 75’

The folly of aiming for ever-longer life Read more...

Programmes

  • Smart glassesClick Watch

    Smart spectacles go into battle – the prototypes looking to take on Google Glass

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.