Nanomedicine: promises and pitfalls 2

Published on September 30, 2015   37 min

Other Talks in the Series: Nanomedicine

Now, the next part of the slides I wanted to talk about are sensors, and I think this is another very promising avenue for nanomedicine.
Whenever somebody has a hip implant, or any medical device for that matter, you have to go into a hospital. You have to go into a surgical suite. You have to get an X-ray, get a bone scan to determine how your implant is performing. And many times, the information you get, it's too late to do anything about it. These measurement techniques are not sensitive enough. They're not precise enough to determine small amounts of bacteria that might be present, whether bone growth is not occurring, if scar tissue is starting. They're not sensitive enough to determine those events. And many times they only show up on these X-rays or bone scans when the problem is too big.
We're thinking of implantable sensors that you can put on implants or other parts of the body to determine events, cellular events. So we have a sensor component that I'll describe. This is a component that will detect what's happening surrounding your implant. We have a responder. So of course, you want to be able to do something about it if bacteria are present around your implant. So we have something that can respond to an external iPhone application, for example, to release a drug to kill those bacteria. And then, of course, the last circle here is the processor. So we have to process all this information from the sensor, from the responder, to allow for a human interface.