HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Implanting Biochips

United Press International reports on a new initiative by the Department of Defense:

The U.S. Department of Defense awarded Clemson University a $1.6 million contract for implantable biochip research.  The award given the university's Center for Bioelectronics, Biosensors and Biochips is for an implantable biochip that can relay vital health information if a soldier is wounded in battle or a civilian is hurt in an accident.

The biochip, about the size of a grain of rice, is to be designed to measure and relay such information as blood lactate and glucose levels in the event of a major hemorrhage.  Professor Anthony Guiseppi-Elie, the center's director, said the biochip device has other potential applications, such as monitoring astronauts' vital signs during space flights.

"We now lose a large percentage of patients to bleeding and getting vital information such as how much oxygen is in the tissue back to ER physicians and medical personnel can often mean the difference between life and death," he said. "Our goal is to improve the quality and expediency of care for fallen soldiers and civilian trauma victims." The biochip also might be injected as a precautionary measure in anticipation of future traumas, he said.

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