MIT Technology Review is reporting that scientists from Northeastern University presented a new system at the BioMethods Boston conference to detect a number of compounds in the body. The technology relies on special nanoparticles that fluoresce when bound to a target molecule. This fluorescence is then detected using an iPhone modified with extra lights, light filter, and lens.
Currently the technology has been adapted to spot glucose and sodium molecules, but researchers believe it can be translated to detect a wide range of compounds.
A snippet from Tech Review:
The tattoo developed by Clark’s team contains 120-nanometer-wide polymer nanodroplets consisting of a fluorescent dye, specialized sensor molecules designed to bind to specific chemicals, and a charge-neutralizing molecule.
Once in the skin, the sensor molecules attract their target because they have the opposite charge. Once the target chemical is taken up, the sensor is forced to release ions in order to maintain an overall neutral charge, and this changes the fluorescence of the tattoo when it is hit by light. The more target molecules there are in the patient’s body, the more the molecules will bind to the sensors, and the more the fluorescence changes.
Read on at Tech Review: Tattoo Tracks Sodium and Glucose via an iPhone…