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Ultrathin microchip can monitor health by placing ‘computer on bone’

(Beautiful pictures)

TUCSON, Ariz. – (StudyFinds.orgA microchip that attaches to the bones in your body could be the future of preventing osteoporosis. Scientists from the University of Arizona have developed an ultrathin computer that they hope will one day monitor a patient’s bone health from within their own bodies.

Microchips, as thin as a sheet of paper and about the size of a dime, use wireless technology to monitor bone health and healing after injury or fracture.

“As a surgeon, I am excited about using measurements collected with flat surface electronics to one day provide my patients with personalized chiropractic care. — with the goal of accelerating recovery and maximizing function after injury,” said study co-author Dr David Margolis, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at UA Arizona College of Medicine, in a study university release.

Bone health is a major concern for the aging population

The study authors note that fracture due to fragility and conditions like osteoporosis that require more hospital stays than heart attacks, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.

While their new fitness tracker isn’t ready for human testing yet, the team believes these chips could one day improve the standard of care for brittle bones and other complications caused by brittle bones. old.

“Can monitor the health of musculoskeletal system is vitally important,” said co-senior author Philipp Gutruf, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and Craig M. Berge lecturer in the College of Engineering. “With this interface, you basically have a computer on the bone. This technology platform allows us to create investigative tools for scientists to explore how the musculoskeletal system works and to use the information gathered for recovery and beneficial treatment.”

Battery is not included

microchip coin
The device is as thin as a sheet of paper and almost the size of a coin. (Courtesy of Gutruf Lab)

When it came to attaching a tiny chip to your bones, scientists had to create a computer thin enough that it will not irritate the muscles surrounding the bone. Gutruf adds that muscle movement can also pull a larger microchip away from bone.

“The device’s thin structure, almost as thick as a sheet of paper, means it can conform to the curvature of the bone, forming a tight interface,” said co-first author Alex Burton, a graduate student. on biomedical engineering, report. “They don’t need batteries either. This is made possible using a communication and source transfer method known as near-field communication, or NFC, which is also used in smartphones for contactless payments. ”

Another obstacle the UA Arizona team had to overcome was the natural ability of bones to shed aging cells. Like your skin, bones also renew their outer layer, which means traditional “glue” won’t work to attach. microchip.

Researcher John Szivek – professor of orthopedic surgery and biomedical engineering – has developed an adhesive containing calcium particles similar to normal bone cells.

“Basically, the bone thinks the device is part of it and develops itself into a sensor,” adds Gutruf. “This allows it to form a permanent bond with the bone and take measurements over long periods of time.”

How will doctors use osseosurface electronics in the future?

The team believes that doctors will be able to attach these microchips to broken or broken bones during surgery, which will monitor the healing process later on. This will be key for patients with osteoporosis, who often experience refraction after a major trauma, the study authors say.

In real time knowing how bone heals could help future doctors find out choose the right treatment after surgery. It can also inform your doctor about when to remove the discs and screws that normally hold bones together after a fracture.

The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.

https://kfor.com/news/ultra-thin-microchip-can-monitor-health-by-placing-a-computer-on-the-bone/ Ultrathin microchip can monitor health by placing ‘computer on bone’

JACLYN DIAZ

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