The newly developed electronic skin patch uses lasers to track biomolecules in deep tissue. This photoacoustic sensor can help detect signs of cancer.
A newly developed electronic skin patch uses lasers to track biomolecules in deep tissue. This photoacoustic sensor can help detect signs of cancer.
Can Track Biomolecules in Deep Tissues
A team of engineers from the University of California San Diego has developed an electronic patch patch that can monitor biomolecules in deep tissues, including hemoglobin. This will give medical professionals access to important information that can help detect life-threatening conditions such as malignant tumors, organ dysfunction, brain or intestinal bleeding.
“The amount and location of hemoglobin in the body provides critical information regarding blood perfusion or local accumulation,” said Sheng Xu, professor of nanoengineering. Our device shows great potential for close monitoring of high-risk groups. In emergencies, timely intervention is ensured.” says.
Being able to monitor blood perfusion (flow of blood through tissue) throughout the body provides early warning of problems ranging from heart attacks to malignant tumor growth, but continuous monitoring at the deep tissue level is difficult. Conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and X-ray computed tomography scans are expensive and require heavy equipment. Therefore, continuous follow-up of patients cannot be ensured.
The newly developed skin patch consists of laser diodes and piezoelectric transducer arrays embedded in a soft silicon matrix. The pulsating laser light is applied to the tissues, which is then absorbed by the target biomolecules, creating a sound picked up by the transducer. Low-power laser applications are said to be much safer than X-ray techniques with ionizing radiation. It is added that existing technologies are only capable of skin surface detection.