LabPatch is executed in the form of a chip-on-a-Band-Aid, powered by a coin battery. It operates on the principle that interstitial fluid (ISF) carries most of the same biomarkers that are in blood plasma. Like an implanted biomedical chip, this unique device can monitor critical health parameters – but without implantation surgery or the issue of biofouling. LabPatch will typically be worn under the upper arm. Its performance is imperceptible to the wearer, and there is no skin evidence of the fluid access.
The patented aspect of Clinitech’s technology is the ability to access interstitial fluid transdermally, by electronically ablating temporary micropores. Hydrostatic pressure then transmits this fluid to the assay component of the chip, which performs the detection and measurement. This component can be either electrochemical (glucose oxidase) or nanowires – for high-accuracy monitoring of biomarkers for which electrochemical means are not relevant.
In step 1 on the right hand side, we see the micro-heating element gently and selectively ablating a micropore in the stratum corneum. In step 2, the interstitial fluid from below the stratum corneum enters the transport capillary where it is wicked upwards carrying the target biomarkers to the detector interface. In step 3, the biomarkers interact with the sensor nanowires stimulating a change in conductance. This change in conductance indicates the presence of the target biomarkers and is used to determine biomarker concentration (for example blood sugar levels in mg/dL).