Evan Haning, wtop.com
WASHINGTON – Nanotechnology is providing easier, safer and less expensive medical treatments for a variety of illnesses.
The Glucowizzard is the size of a grain of rice. Inject it in a diabetic’s wrist and it will monitor blood sugar all day, sounding “pings” if levels get too high.
Clinical trials for the Glucowizzard sensor are expected to start within two years, and sale of the device will begin by 2017, Popular Science reports.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology also is developing an implantable cancer tracker that bypasses biopsies and monitors the progress of chemotherapy.
First reported in Technology Review in 2009, the device looks like a tiny plastic bottle cap that — because of its 5-millimeter (0.2 of an inch) size — can be injected into a patient with a needle during a biopsy.
The device is filled with proteins that bind to “molecules of interest” — hormones that doctors track to see if chemotherapy is working or whether a cancer is about to metastasize.
Technicians read this “lab report” with an MRI.
MIT researchers also believe they may be able to simplify the procedure even further.
If they can develop a magnetic wand that can supply readings when waved over the implant, researchers may be able to eliminate the MRI, New Scientist reports.