Penn State chemical engineers are working on a temporary, implantable biochemical sensor that can be monitored remotely:
The military is interested in monitoring glucose, pyruvate, lactate and oxygen for an overall metabolic picture, so four separate sets of sensors would be necessary, each individually addressable. Personnel in a distant base camp could monitor the soldiers’ health and relay information into the field. These metabolic readings would also help medics decide who to treat first and assess the severity of injuries.
Individual sensors also have their place. The researchers are working with the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation on glucose sensors. Exercise physiologists would like to be able to monitor lactate as a measure of how hard muscles are working. Pediatricians would also like to be able to monitor the functions of the tiniest of newborns.
Because these sensors would be implantable and temporary, one day, marathon runners might need not only to pin on their numbers, but also to receive their implantable metabolic sensor array before approaching the starting line.
More from Penn State’s Pishko Lab Group…