Miniature chip allows you to monitor the level of alcohol in the blood

Published on April 22, 2018

Miniature chip allows you to monitor the level of alcohol in the blood



    Alcoholic beverages - the usual companions of a person throughout his life. In principle, there is nothing bad if you know when to stop. But for someone to follow the rate of alcohol consumption - a difficult task. And this is necessary, for example, for drivers or for those people who plan to stop drinking altogether.

    Researchers at the University of California at San Diego have developed a miniature implant sensor that allows you to monitor the blood alcohol level automatically. And all this does not require any effort on the part of the media. The sensor is really small, its volume is cubic millimeter. It can be implanted under the skin, and such an operation will not require surgery.

    When a person drinks an alcoholic drink, the sensor with the help of a special enzyme "understands" that alcohol appeared in the blood. The system measures its concentration and sends data over a wireless network - for example, to a device like a smart watch. The sensor receives energy "through the air" from the same device. Specialized software monitors changes in the level of alcohol in the blood and keeps a “log”.

    The developers have already tested their device in the laboratory, placing the sensor in the skin of a pig. Further planned tests on animals. If all goes well, clinical trials in humans will follow. Perhaps the sensor can be modified to determine the level of concentration of other substances.

    “The main objective of our project is to develop a detector that, without disturbing a person, can measure the level of alcohol in the blood,” says the head of the development team, Drew Hall.



    Currently, different kinds of alcohol detectors in the breath, temporary tattoos are used to solve the same problem, or blood is simply taken for analysis. According to the developers of the miniature sensor, their system has a number of advantages over all the listed options.

    In principle, it is difficult to disagree with this, because indeed, having placed such a sensor under the skin, a person and his doctor (if there is one) will be able to monitor the blood alcohol level without problems. Maybe all this will allow people who are planning to stop drinking, more effectively deal with their addiction.

    Of course, the sensor needs to be implanted under the skin, and some of us may not like it. But, on the other hand, its size is only about a millimeter, so it is almost impossible to notice it, moreover, the sensor will not be felt. The developers have not yet reported how difficult or easy it will be to get rid of the sensor if necessary.