Sci/Tech

World’s Tiniest Injectable Chip Can Monitor Medical Conditions And Treat Diseases

It's the same size as a dust mite.

  • A new technology being developed by Colombia University engineers is being touted as a potential game-changer in the world of medicine.
  • The injectable chip is the same size as a dust mite and can monitor blood pressure, glucose, temperature, and more.
  • “This should be revolutionary for developing wireless, miniaturized implantable medical devices that can sense different things,” said study leader Ken Shepard.

A team of engineers from Colombia University in New York has just created an implantable chip that could potentially change medicine as we know it.

Currently being touted as the world’s smallest implantable chip, the new tech can reportedly make monitoring people’s medical conditions much easier. Additionally, the innovative chip can support physiological functions and even help treat illnesses.

The chip can monitor a person’s blood pressure, glucose, temperature, and others.

Interestingly, the tiny chip can only be seen using a microscope because it has a volume of less than than 0.1 mm3 – so its just as small as a dust mite.

In a press release, study leader Ken Shepard shared:

“We wanted to see how far we could push the limits on how small a functioning chip we could make. This is a new idea of ‘chip as system’—this is a chip that alone, with nothing else, is a complete functioning electronic system.

“This should be revolutionary for developing wireless, miniaturized implantable medical devices that can sense different things, be used in clinical applications, and eventually approved for human use.”

The amazing chip was originally designed by doctoral student Chen Shi.

We further read:

“Shi’s design is unique in its volumetric efficiency, the amount of function that is contained in a given amount of volume. Traditional RF communications links are not possible for a device this small because the wavelength of the electromagnetic wave is too large relative to the size of the device. Because the wavelengths for ultrasound are much smaller at a given frequency because the speed of sound is so much less than the speed of light, the team used ultrasound to both power and communicate with the device wirelessly.”

At the moment, the team is hoping to make the chips injectable using a hypodermic needle and eventually communicate with it through ultrasound technology.

“Ultrasound is continuing to grow in clinical importance as new tools and techniques become available. This work continues this trend,” said team member Elisa Konofagou.

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