Diagnostic medical lab on a patch

Fri, 08/31/2007 - 8:00pm

ElectroNeedle Biomedical Sensor Array2007 R&D 100 Winner

A critical need exists for techniques that can measure a wide range of biomedical analytes at the point of care, generating an instant, comprehensive picture of a patient’s health for a rapid, accurate diagnosis. Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, N.M., have addressed this need with the development of the ElectroNeedle Biomedical Sensor Array, a device that, when pressed against the skin, can make rapid, multiplexed diagnostic measurements in a point-of-care setting.

The ElectroNeedle contains arrays of microfabricated electrochemical probes, functionalized with antibodies, enzymes, and other biological receptors immobilized on the probe tip, for use as minimally invasive diagnostic sensors. By combining electrochemical techniques with welldefined recognition chemistries and an easy-to-use sensor, a range of biologically important species, including carbohydrates, electrolytes, lipids, enzymes, toxins, proteins, viruses, and bacteria can be detected in a patient’s blood or interstitial cellular fluid. This provides a painless and rapid measurement of biologically relevant molecules without having to extract fluids for later analysis.

When pressed against a patient’s skin, an ElectroNeedle patch can detect and identify biological markers just beneath the skin’s surface. Because the electrochemical analysis is accomplished in situ, the need to withdraw body fluid is eliminated. The height of the needles, adjustable during microfabrication, allows the biological recognition layer to be placed in intimate contact with the appropriate tissue beneath the skin’s surface.

Biomedical sensor array

Sandia National Laboratories

Originally published in R&D Magazine, September, 2007

Award Year



Sandia National Laboratories (U.S. Dept. of Energy)


Christopher Apblett (Primary)
Colin Buckley (Primary)
Stephen Casalnuovo (Primary)
Jeb Flemming (Primary)
David Ingersoll (Primary)
Stanley Kravitz (Primary)
Carrie Schmidt (Primary)



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