July 31, 2007

Federal sensors

According to a news release adopted for publication in yesterday’s ScienceDaily, the Department of Defense has awarded a grant to a group headed by The Center for Bioelectronics, Biosensors and Biochips (C3B) at South Carolina’s Clemson University to develop an implantable biochip, “the size of a grain of rice,” that will relay health information from a wounded soldier (or a civilian hurt in an accident). C3B’s director explains, “…first responders to the trauma scene could inject the biochip into the wounded victim and gather data almost immediately. The device has other long-term potential applications, such as monitoring astronauts’ vital signs during long-duration space flights and reading blood-sugar levels for diabetics…We now lose a large percentage of patients to bleeding, and getting vital information such as how much oxygen is in the tissue back to ER physicians and medical personnel can often mean the difference between life and death.

The biochip is estimated to be five years away from human trials. For more information on this potentially revolutionary technology, of which C3B’s in vivo biosensors work is just one example, see the US Department of Energy’s Virtual Poster Presensation on Biosensors and Biochips.

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