Weekly Wireless Roundup: Nanotattoo monitors blood glucose

Nanotattoo monitors blood glucose, looks cool: Millions of people suffering from diabetes are forced to endure multiple finger pricks daily — an unpleasant practice that may impede compliance and which relies on its operator for consistency. Now, Drs. Paul Barone and Michael Strano at the MIT Dept. of Chemical Engineering are developing a new approach to glucose monitoring. Building on work they previously published in ACS Nano, the new technology employs a nanoparticle "tattoo" as a glucose sensor, which can then be continuously monitored by a device on the surface of the body.

A nose for your cellphone to sniff out airborne toxins: Cellphones may soon be able to detect carbon monoxide and other dangerous toxins found in gasoline and chemical warfare agents using a tiny silicon chip sensing system developed by researchers at UCSD and Rhevision Inc. Embedded within the silicon sensor are hundreds of separate spots that can change color in response to specific chemicals. By capturing the pattern of color changes using a new kind of supermacro lens, researchers at UCSD plan to create a versatile sensor small enough to fit into a cellphone that can recognize a wide variety of chemical hazards.

Biomagnetics Diagnostics Corp. introduces optical biosensor: Orangevale, Calif.-based Biomagnetics Diagnostics Corp. announced a licensing agreement with Los Alamos National Security LLC in which Biomagnetics will receive the Los Alamos developed Integrated Optical Biosensor. Unlike traditional diagnostic biosensors, the IOBS tests samples optically rather than chemically and can provide results in 15 minutes. In addition to reducing the time required to provide test results, the IOBS does not require samples to be sent to a lab, thereby eliminating the chance of sample contamination during transport.

Games for Health 2010: Two years of competitively folding proteins with "foldit": At Games for Health 2010, one of the foldit concept designers presented a retrospective on how the game has fared over the past couple of years. The program is a game that allows you to manipulate a protein, awarding more points the more "correct" your protein's 3D structure is. The game then shares your results with other players so they can try and improve your protein structure and earn points themselves. When looking at the demographics of the user base, a large percentage of players had either no biochemistry training or just a class in high school. Surprisingly, many users are in the business and financial sectors.

A weekly roundup of new developments in medical technology, by