In an attempt to eliminate the need for a blood-draw, or even a trip to a lab, hospital, or doctor’s office for lab work, researchers from the University of New Mexico and Sandia National Laboratories are developing a wearable device that can perform clinical pathological analyses from anywhere.
The bracelet-sized contraption, as future prototypes will be devised, will hold an array of micro-needles that need only make contact with the dermal layer in order to gather samples for analysis. The micro-needles do not penetrate blood vessels, nor do they come into contact with nerves. Instead, the needles gather the fluid that surrounds the penetrated skin cells.
The future of this technology could also include the ability to have drug delivery systems built in, effectively mimicking the goal of an artificial pancreas for diabetics, or an opioid-cessation tool for patients suffering from addiction.
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