Small implantable ultrasound chip for physiological monitoring


Researchers at Columbia University have developed an implantable microscopic chip for physiological control. It has a total volume of less than 0.1 mm3. To put it in perspective, the chip is as small as a mite and can only be seen with a microscope. The goal of this research was to create devices that could be injected using a standard hypodermic needle, and then transmit their readings wirelessly to external displays such as patient monitors and smartphones. The Columbia team used an ultrasound applied externally using a conventional ultrasound scanner to feed and communicate with their implant.

Medical implants offer huge benefits in terms of patient follow-up. Researchers are developing a large number of these devices to monitor various biological parameters, from vital signs to glucose levels. However, as with other electronic devices, technological progress is often combined with miniaturization, and in the field of medical implants, smaller ones are not only more elegant, but also help to facilitate implantation and minimize the effects. secondary.

“We wanted to see to what extent we could exceed the size limits of a chip that worked,” Ken Shepard, a researcher involved in the study, said in a press release. “This is a new idea of ​​’chip as a system’: it is a chip that alone, without anything else, is a fully functional electronic system. This should be revolutionary for the development of miniaturized implantable medical devices and wireless that can detect different things, that can be used in clinical applications, and that are finally approved for human use. “

Researchers report that they have created the world’s smallest chip system. The device uses ultrasound as a power source and to communicate with an external device. The team chose this mode because the wavelength of electromagnetic waves is too large to work with such a small device, while the wavelength for ultrasound is much shorter at a given frequency.

“This is a good example of‘ more than Moore ’technology: we have introduced new materials into standard complementary metal oxide semiconductors to provide a new function,” Shepard said. “In this case, we have added piezoelectric materials directly to the integrated circuit to transduce acoustic energy into electrical energy.”

The current iteration of the device measures body temperature, but the technology has the potential to control various biological parameters. To date, researchers have shown that implants can control body temperature in mice and hope to develop the technology to the point that it could be used in human patients.

Study a Scientific advances: Application of an implantable mold of sub-0.1 mm3 for the detection of wireless temperature in vivo in real time

Via: Columbia University

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