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Scientists Create Underwear That Could Save Lives

Scientists Create Underwear That Could Save Lives

Tracie McDaniel

June 14, 2010

Big Brother could soon be monitoring the unlikeliest of places.  Researchers in California are working on creating “smarty pants”  for U.S. troops. The “smart”, durable biosensor briefs have been designed to monitor the bodily systems of American soldiers and may eventually help save lives.  

According to Reuters, the technology was developed at the University of California San Diego by nano-engineering professor Joseph Wang and his team.

“This specific project involves monitoring the injury of soldiers during battlefield surgery and the goal is to develop minimally invasive sensors that can locate, in the field, and identify the type of injury,” said Wang.

Since the biosensor can be printed directly onto clothing, UCSD scientists screen-printed an electronic biosensor onto the underwear’s waistband.  The ink contains carbon electrodes. 

The bio-sensor waistband is designed to measure vital signs like the heart rate and blood pressure of the wearer.  It is facilitated by direct contact with the skin.  The process is enhanced by the addition of hydrogen peroxide and the enzyme NADH.

In the future, the biosensor would not only detect the injury, but also treat the wound, relieve pain and release drugs as well.

Wang said that the technology’s range of application goes beyond the military.  It could ultimately be used as a method for home-based health care management.

“We envision all the trend of personalized medicine for remote monitoring of the elderly at home, monitoring a wide range of biomedical markers, like cardiac markers, alerting for any potential stroke, diabetic changes and other changes related to other biomedical scenario.”

The University of California findings were published in the Royal Society Of Chemistry journal. 

Scientists are making great strides in medical research across the board. A new report by Chronix Biomedical shows that serum DNA blood tests detect cancer with 100% specificity.  According to Duke University researchers, the newest idea in logic chips revolves around DNA and the University of Michigan is developing research that recycles energy to help restore impaired ankle function.

_© 2009, DailyTech.

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