A revolutionary new wearable sensor, which tracks tumors in real time, could provide invaluable insights into how cancer cells respond to treatments. The new device can report in real time how a tumor is growing or shrinking. The results are sent wirelessly to a smartphone for analysis, enabling physicians to more closely monitor patients' progress. So far, the device has been used and proven itself in animal studies. “Our technology is the first bioelectronic device to monitor tumor regression, and the first technology to monitor tumors in real time,” said Alex Abramson, PhD, assistant professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech and a co-author of a new study focusing the device. At present, the most common ways to measure tumors are calipers or bioluminescence imaging (BLI). While these methods are useful and, indeed, accurate, they are only typically performed every few days or weeks. With the new wearable sensor, tumor information is captured every 5 minutes, allowing changes to be recorded in a more timely fashion. Furthermore, the new sensor can also detect extremely small changes that calipers and BLI can’t. Our sensor will allow us to better understand the short-term effects of drugs on tumors and allow scientists and health care professionals a more streamlined method to screen drugs that could become therapies in the future,” Abramson added. *Image by Darko Stojanovic from Pixabay
The global wearable fitness tracker market is expected to be worth a staggering $138.7 billion by 2028, testimony to the enormous popularity of these devices. Now, new research shows that fitness trackers really do help motivate people to exercise more each day. According to the large-scale review published in The Lancet by researchers from the University of South Australia (UniSA), wearable fitness trackers promote positive health changes. They spur individuals to move more and lose a modest amount of weight as a result. “Since activity trackers are becoming so widely used in society, research into their effectiveness has grown rapidly,” said lead researcher and UniSA PhD candidate Ty Ferguson. “We realized now was a great time to pull all this knowledge together and see if there is an overall message on their utility as health tools.” For its research, the UniSA team reviewed nearly 400 studies involving around 164,000 participants worldwide who use wearable fitness trackers to monitor their physical activity levels. The team found that wearable fitness trackers motivate people to walk up to 40 minutes more each day, equivalent to roughly 1,800 more steps. This resulted in an average weight loss of 1kg (2.2 lbs) over a 5-month period. “What was a nice surprise is just how helpful they were for such a wide variety of people, including all ages, healthy people, and those living with a variety of chronic conditions,” said Ferguson. *Image by Phi Nguyễn from Pixabay
Scientists have developed an ultra-thin electronic skin that can monitor a person's oxygen levels when it is stuck on their body. Researchers in Japan say that the new "e-skin" could be developed further to monitor how much oxygen individual organs have during surgery. The device itself contains micro-electronic components, which illuminate light-emitting diodes on the person's body in red, blue or green depending on the blood oxygen level and heart rate. However, the scientists behind the innovation at the University of Tokyo are hoping to adapt this going forward, so that numbers and letters can be displayed on the e-skin too. Just 2 micrometres thick, the e-skin is constructed from alternating layers of silicon oxynitrite and parylene. According to the researchers, special electrodes placed between the layers allow the polymer light-emitting diodes and organic photodetectors to be attached to the skin. Medical research is pinning a lot on the future of wearable technology, and the e-skin is proof that serious advances are being made. "The device unobtrusively measures the oxygen concentration of blood when laminated on a finger," said lead researcher Tomoyuki Yokota and colleagues. He added: "Ultimately, flexible organic optical sensors may be directly laminated on organs to monitor the blood oxygen level during and after surgery." For more information about this staggering innovation, read the full paper in the journal Science Advances.