3D-printed, remote-controlled lab on chip for quicker, more accurate monitoring

Imperial College’s Martyn  Boutelle has developed a 3D printed, remote-controlled Lab on a Chip for real-time monitoring with improved personal care.

Previous ‘Lab on a Chip’ devices have required large external support systems. Sensor deterioration over time inhibited their clinical effectiveness.

The device can monitor chemical fluctuations, giving quicker and more accurate results, and potentially gather data that was previously not possible.

Boutelle said that the “research has shown that these sensors are capable of successfully monitoring patients who are in incredibly unstable conditions and provide their healthcare team with reliable information as soon as they need it, as well as a means of alerting them when critical clinical changes occur.”

In a study, intensive care unit TBI patients were monitored. A sampling probe was implanted in the brain, and paired with an external device to continuously monitor the levels of multiple substances , including glucose and pyruvate.

The brain requires a continuous supply of glucose to function, but too much of it can be detrimental. Declining pyruvate levels could indicate a lack of oxygen  to the brain.  Providing earlier access to this data can save lives, and has not been possible before.

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