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Carbon nanotube sensors could aid diabetic patients

Carbon nanotube sensors could aid diabetic patients | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

The sensors could survive for a year in the human body, which is longer than any previous sensor.

 

Science has produced a range of nanomaterials in recent years with abilities that are highly useful to human health, including screening for toxins and monitoring levels of vital chemicals. But before the materials can be useful, it has to be possible to insert them into the body without the immune system attacking and destroying them.

 

 

MIT researchers published a paper (subscription required) this week describingsensors they created that could last in the human body for up to a year. The nanosensors are the first to have the ability to survive for such a long time.

 

The sensors are made from carbon nanotubes—minute tubes of rolled-up sheets of carbon atoms measuring just an atom thick. Carbon sheets are good at capturing individual molecules , which makes them excellent sensors. The researchers found that when they combined the nanotubes with different molecules, they could detect specific chemicals implicated in human health.

 

The first sensor the researchers built detects nitric oxide, which may play a role in cancer development. Using nanotubes to detect it could provide more information on the role NO plays in healthy vs. cancerous cells. The researchers are also interested in developing a sensor that detects glucose levels, which could be implanted in a diabetic patient’s body and provide a finger-prick-free system to monitor glucose and insulin levels.

 

So far, the researchers have tested the sensor under mice’s skin, where it worked for 400 days. While the body generally rejects foreign objects by pushing them out through the skin, the sensor was wrapped in an algae-based plastic gel that protected it from the body’s immune system.

 

Eventually, the researchers think similar sensors could be used to monitor inflammation and pick up on a person’s body rejecting an implanted device.

 Original: http://gigaom.com/2013/11/04/carbon-nanotube-sensors-could-aid-diabetic-patients/
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Big Data in Your Blood

Big Data in Your Blood | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Sensors of your heart, blood, and brain are coming to market. These may a boon to science and personal health. For the companies involved, they may be goldmines of intimate real-time data on millions of subjects.


Later this year, a Boston-based company called MC10 will offer the first of several “stretchable electronics” products that can be put on things like shirts and shoes, worn as temporary tattoos or installed in the body. These will be capable of measuring not just heart rate, the company says, but brain activity, body temperature and hydration levels. Another company, called Proteus, will begin a pilot program in Britain for a “Digital Health Feedback System” that combines both wearable technologies and microchips the size of a sand grain that ride a pill right through you. Powered by your stomach fluids, it emits a signal picked up by an external sensor, capturing vital data. Another firm, Sano Intelligence, is looking at micro needle sensors on skin patches as a way of deriving continuous information about the bloodstream.


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How X Prize Contestants Will Hunt Down The Health Sensors Of The Future

How X Prize Contestants Will Hunt Down The Health Sensors Of The Future | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it
From smartphone-based stress tests to wearable devices that could revolutionize urological diagnosis sensors to gauge health conditions are advancing...

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eMedToday's curator insight, August 25, 2013 8:13 PM

interesting approach

 

The $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize asks entrants to perform an incredibly difficult feat: accurately diagnose 15 diseases in 30 patients in three days using only a mobile platform. To do that, competing teams need to have access to sophisticated sensors and related software.

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Disruptor of the Day: Joshua Smith – A Researcher on The Cutting Edge of Sensor Technology [Q&A]

Disruptor of the Day: Joshua Smith – A Researcher on The Cutting Edge of Sensor Technology [Q&A] | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care | Scoop.it

Sensors are everywhere around us from smartphone touchscreens to elevator buttons to thermostats. These sensor devices, which receive and respond to a signal, are a linchpin of the so-called “Internet of Things.” As they become smaller, cheaper and require less power they are being deployed in more places that we encounter every day — whether we are aware of it or not.

 

Nice interview w/ MIT researcher Joshua Smith.


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