Tag: Microchip

Micro-Chip Technology Resurrects Tattoo Identification + Medical Surveillance

“The tattoo-esque technology, described today in the journal Science Translational Medicine, is still in the early stages of development, and hasn’t yet been tested in humans. But the team’s experiments in rats suggest that these medical marks are both safe and long-lasting, and can be administered alongside vaccines without compromising efficacy.”

Wu goes on to report that “though somewhat comparable to tattoos, the marks are delivered by a microneedle patch—a four-by-four grid of tiny, 1.5-millimeter-long spikes made up of nanoparticles that are undetectable in visible light, glowing only when viewed in infrared.  Within two minutes, the nanoparticles diffuse into a layer of the skin”.

 

Biocompatible near-infrared quantum dots delivered to the skin by microneedle patches record vaccination

Vaccines prevent disease and save lives; however, lack of standardized immunization recordkeeping makes it challenging to track vaccine coverage across the world. McHugh et al. developed dissolvable microneedles that deliver patterns of near-infrared light-emitting microparticles to the skin. Particle patterns are invisible to the eye but can be imaged using modified smartphones. By codelivering a vaccine, the pattern of particles in the skin could serve as an on-person vaccination record. Patterns were detected 9 months after intradermal delivery of microparticles in rats, and codelivery of inactivated poliovirus led to protective antibody production. Discrete microneedle-delivered microparticle patterns in porcine and pigmented human skin were identifiable using semiautomated machine learning. These results demonstrate proof of concept for intradermal on-person vaccination recordkeeping.

 

A Contraceptive Implant with Remote Control

The hunt for a perfect contraceptive has gone on for millennia. A new candidate is now on the horizon: a wireless implant that can be turned on and off with a remote control and that is designed to last up to 16 years. If it passes safety and efficacy tests, the device would be more convenient for many women because, unlike existing contraceptive implants, it can be deactivated without a trip to the clinic and an outpatient procedure, and it would last nearly half their reproductive life.

The idea for the device originated two years ago in a visit by Bill Gates and his colleagues to Robert Langer’s MIT lab. Gates and his colleagues asked Langer if it were feasible to create birth control that a woman could turn on and off and use for many years. Langer thought the controlled release microchip technology he invented with colleagues Michael Cima and John Santini in the 1990s and licensed to MicroCHIPS might offer a solution.