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Novel blood-powered chip offers real-time health monitoring

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center are proposing a new device that uses blood to generate electricity and measure its conductivity, opening doors to medical care in any location.

Metabolic disorders, like diabetes and osteoporosis, are burgeoning throughout the world, especially in developing countries.

The diagnosis for these disorders is typically a blood test, but because the existing health care infrastructure in remote areas is unable to support these tests, most individuals go undiagnosed and without treatment. Conventional methods also involve labor-intensive and invasive processes which tend to be time-consuming and make real-time monitoring unfeasible, particularly in real life settings and in country-side populations.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center are proposing a new device that uses blood to generate electricity and measure its conductivity, opening doors to medical care in any location. Their paper, “Millifluidic Nanogenerator Lab-on-a-Chip Device for Blood Electrical Conductivity Monitoring at Low Frequency,” was published in Advanced Materials.

“As the fields of nanotechnology and microfluidics continue to advance, there is a growing opportunity to develop lab-on-a-chip devices capable of surrounding the constraints of modern medical care,” said Amir Alavi, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering.

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