Researchers at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) recently announced they have pioneered a nano-chip that could change how we find out if we’re sick.
The device, a carbon nanotube-based chip designed by Prof. Reginald Farrow, Prof. Alokik Kanwal and their team, will allow medical personnel to measure a cell’s electrical property on a micron scale – about one hundredth of a human hair. A cell’s electrical charge is an important sign post because it changes when a cell becomes sick.
The scientists say this lays the foundation for an inner-body “lab-on-a-chip” that could monitor for the presence of foreign cells belonging to bacteria and viruses. Prof. Kanwal believes these sensors could be made to report information, like the presence of disease, to a wrist watch.
“So, imagine you wake up in the morning and you have a sore throat,” said Prof. Kanwal, “Normally we just go to the doctor. But we’d like for you to tap your watch instead. It could tell you ‘You have this bacteria,’ so you should probably stay home from work.”
Prof. Farrow stressed that we are still years away from seeing such a powerful tool on our wrists.
“Although we are not the only people by any means doing this kind of work, what we think is unique is how we measure the electrical properties or patterns of cells and how those properties differ between cell types,” he stated in a NJIT press release.
Watch the video above this article to see just how these two scientists could change the way we learn about our health..