Without a Needle, A Blood Test is Available at The Touch of a Button.

One of the most popular medical lab tests used to determine a person’s health status is the blood test. However, the test necessitates drawing blood with a needle, which can only be done by qualified medical personnel before the sample is sent to a lab for examination.

Researchers have now created a novel technique to assess blood composition following a single finger touch (which is good news for the high number of people who fear needles).

Researchers from Stanford University and the University of California, Los Angeles created a hydrogel-coated chemical biosensor that gathers chemicals on a person’s skin that are released through perspiration with support from the National Science Foundation. The biosensor can identify hormones, nutrients, drugs, and metabolites in a person’s blood by examining these molecules.

In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers describe their system as “a cryptographic bio-human machine interface” that also measures blood oxygen levels and heart rate.

The system can also encrypt the information it gathers at the moment of contact to safeguard privacy, using the user’s fingerprint as the key, similar to how some smartphones utilise fingerprints to unlock them.

One day, this technology might be used to check someone’s medication levels or keep an eye on their blood sugar. It might also be used for drug testing or to take the place of a breathalyser to prevent drunk driving.

Keyless automobiles with inbuilt biosensors could detect the presence of other substances and measure blood alcohol levels to prevent anyone under the influence from operating the vehicle.

Sam Emaminejad, PhD, one of the UCLA experts, said, “This combines the comfort of a fingerprint scan with our advancements in noninvasive diagnostics that can detect trace compounds circulating in our body that have historically been gathered in samples of blood, saliva, and other fluids.”

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