Microneedle Biosensors for Real-time Monitoring Of Body Chemistry

Scientists from North Carolina State University, Sandia National Laboratories, and the University of California, San Diego have developed new technology that enables doctors to detect real-time chemical changes in the body and to do so continuously for an extended period of time.

Scanning electron micrograph of a microneedle

Microneedles are very small needles in which at least one dimension –- such as length –- is less than one millimeter. Existing technology depends on taking samples and testing them; microneedle biosensors instead allow for continuous monitoring in real time.

Dr. Roger Narayan, professor in the joint biomedical engineering department of NC State’s College of Engineering and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, explains:

We’ve loaded the hollow channels within microneedles with electrochemical sensors that can be used to detect specific molecules or pH levels. The idea is that customized microneedle sensor arrays could be developed and incorporated into wearable devices, such as something like a wristwatch, to help answer specific medical or research questions. For example, it could monitor glucose levels in a diabetic patient

The sensors are currently designed to detect glucose, pH levels and lactate. The research was recently published online in the journal Talanta.

Study: Multiplexed Microneedle-based Biosensor Array for Characterization of Metabolic Acidosis

Source: North Carolina State University News

EZ Vein Receives Quick FDA Approval

EZ Vein is designed to ease the sometimes tricky job of inserting an intravenous catheter. The noninvasive device includes an inflation cuff that goes over the arm to redirect blood from deep tissue to the target vein near the skin’s surface to make more visible and accessible to a needle.

EZ Vein

The medical device was invented by Dr. Robert Perry, a resident at Oklahoma University Medical Center. EZ Vein is so practical that federal regulators approved it in just 17 days.

According to Perry:

It was kind of a surprise. I wasn’t anticipating getting anything back until January, and I got it in October.

Source: NewsOK

(HT: Medgadget)

Qualcomm Life Focuses on Wireless Medical Device Connectivity

Mobile technology company Qualcomm announced today the formation of a new subsidiary, Qualcomm Life. The subsidiary will run the company’s former Wireless Health business. Qualcomm Life was unveiled today at the mHealth Summit in Washington D.C. As part of the launch, Qualcomm presented the 2net hub, a mobile device designed to plug into a wall socket and provide connectivity for a wide range of medical devices. The 2net platform allows for the wireless transmission of health data from medical devices to various locations, such as a hospital or doctor’s office.

Qualcomm Life

Over 40 medical device manufacturers, application developers, health care services companies and payors are either integrating with or considering the 2net ecosystem.

Qualcomm Life will also establish a $100 million fund, managed by Qualcomm’s venture arm, to invest in wireless technology adoption in the healthcare industry. Desired developments include biosensors, medication compliance, wellness, remote diagnosis or monitoring and analytics.

According to Rick Valencia, vice president and general manager of Qualcomm Life:

Qualcomm Life was founded, in part, to assist medical device manufacturers who approached Qualcomm for help when their own wireless connectivity attempts became untenable due to technology selection errors, unscalable deployment models and prohibitively high operational support costs. Our services, including integration on the 2net platform, remove the burden for medical device manufacturers of a large technical development effort, providing integration with mobile carriers and solving the operational complexities of supporting wireless medical device data in the field.

Source: Qualcomm Life