Consumer Technology

Universal Biosensor With Real-Time Tracking Emerges as Life-Saving Tool

Universal Biosensor With Real-Time Tracking Emerges as Life-Saving Tool
PHOTOGRAPH: Steve Fisch/Stanford Medicine | New research from Stanford shows fitness monitors and other wearable sensors can tell when you are getting sick.
This is the age of wearable technologies that track calories burned and steps made, measure heart rate, monitor sleep, and more. The past year has seen the arrival in the market of wearable devices capable of monitoring both biochemical and electric signals in the human body.
Now comes the Biosensor device that can measure chemicals including insulin and drugs in a person’s bloodstream — in real-time.  Developed by a research team from Stanford University led by electrical engineer Dr. Hyongsok Tom Soh, the universal biosensor system can not only track but also control the concentration of drugs in the bloodstreams of live animals.
Dr. Soh said the innovation offers several “pretty cool applications.” The biosensor can measure a wide variety of molecules, including various drugs and potentially even proteins.

Pioneering Work in Biosensors

Dr. Soh tucked a degree from Cornell University,  completing a B.S. with a double major in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science with Distinction. He acquired his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.
He was a faculty member at University of California, Santa Barbara UCSB before joining Stanford in 2015. His current research interests include analytical biotechnology, particularly high-throughout screening, directed evolution, and integrated biosensors. He is renowned for his pioneering work in biosensors and directed evolution of synthetic molecules.

Future of Wearable Tech    

In other news, next-generation trackers that eliminate analyzing blood samples have been developed. Among these is the K’Track Athlete from PKvitality that lets users take lactic acid readings at the push-of-a-button or in continuous mode with the Athlete K’apsul built into the base of the device.
Its readings are displayed in real-time on the K’Track screen and can be synced to its dedicated app.  The wearable device is handy during the times when your body’s oxygen level might drop, such as when engaging in intense exercise, or when you have an infection or disease.
Another sensitive biosensor that shows much promise for developing simple point-of-care diagnosis of cancer and other diseases was developed by researchers at Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore. Chemical engineer Mi Kyoung Park, principal investigator, said she and her team were inspired to develop a simple and efficient point-of-care device for detecting microRNAs, that can take the place of outdated methods.
Indeed, the time for non-invasive health-monitoring devices is now.  Stanford Medicine and other institutions’ focus on precision health point to quicker, safer and more convenient ways of anticipating and preventing diseases in the healthy and accurate diagnosis and treatment of disease.

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