New hope for cancer sufferers
The 14 millimetre-long device is packed with miniaturised electronics including five sensors and a WiFi transmitter.
Power is delivered through the skin by a battery patch which also relays test data via Bluetooth.
Results can be displayed on a doctor’s mobile phone or laptop.
The sensors target proteins, sugar and organic acids in the blood that provide vital health information.
For patients with chronic illnesses, such as cancer or diabetes, the device could provide continuous monitoring and sound an alert before symptoms emerge.
Currently doctors rely on occasional blood tests to assess a cancer patient’s tolerance of a particular treatment dosage. The implant opens up the possibility of much more finely tuned and effective treatment.
Professor Giovanni de Micheli said: “It will allow direct and continuous monitoring based on a patient’s individual tolerance, and not on age and weight charts, or weekly blood tests.”