11 December 2008

"Hospital" on a chip can increase survival on the battlefield

Evgeny Birger, Nanonews Network

Several groups of researchers in the United States are developing an implantable biochip that will be able to diagnose the condition of a wounded soldier and manage the supply of medicines in real time. The survival rate of the wounded directly on the battlefield often depends on the ability to help them in the first 30 minutes after injury. First aid to wounded soldiers provided before the arrival of a medic can significantly increase their chances of survival.

A tandem of scientists has achieved great success in this direction - Evgeny Katz from Clarkson University (Potsdam, New York) and Joseph Wang from the University of California (San Diego, California), who received a grant from the US Office of Naval Research) in the amount of 1 million 600 thousand dollars for a period of four years. The grant was allocated for research and creation of a high-tech miniature field hospital.

The compact control system being developed must continuously monitor the composition of blood, lacrimation products and sweat secretions of the soldier. The measurement results will be sent for comparison with biomarkers for this individual. In case of serious changes in the chemical composition of the studied liquids, which signal typical combat wounds (for example, trauma, shock, brain damage or contusion), an automatic device must control the supply of the appropriate medication.

Evgeny Katz, one of the two leading researchers in the project, will lead a group of scientists engaged in the development of enzymes responsible for measuring biomarkers and providing logic for determining and filtering a limited set of diagnoses based on several biological parameters. According to the head of the program, scientists have already developed bioelectrodes and biofuel cells (for converting the energy of chemical reactions into electrical energy) that respond to multiple biochemical signals quite systematically and logically. Scientists suggest that in the future we can expect similar implantable devices controlled by physiological signals, which will allow us to respond to various needs of the human body.

Joseph Wang, who is the project leader, will lead the Nanotechnology group at the University of California, San Diego. The task of this group is to develop an implantable system with the minimum possible amount of insertion into the body of a serviceman. At the same time, the system should work out information from biomarkers, make a diagnosis and start managing the appropriate medications.

The developers hope that the resulting sensitive system with enzyme diagnostic logic will be able to revolutionize the monitoring and treatment of wounded soldiers and lead to an exceptional increase in their survival.

Portal "Eternal youth" www.vechnayamolodost.ru11.12.2008

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