This centimeter-long lump of silicon could soon be inserted under your skin to measure the chemical make-up of your blood—then send the results straight to your phone.
The new device has been created by a team of researchers from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. As well as measuring the pH and temperature of blood, it can also sense molecules like glucose, lactate and cholesterol, as well as the presence of some drugs.
The device, which can be inserted just beneath the skin, contains a circuit with six sensors, a control unit that analyses sensed signals, and a Bluetooth transmitter. It also contains an induction loop, which allows it to be powered by a battery pack held in place outside the body—meaning it can operate for long periods of time.
It’s already been tested in mice, where it was used to constantly measure glucose and paracetamol levels—providing real-time monitoring without any cords, wires or invasive blood tests. Now, the researchers hope to try the device out in humans in the coming years.