People who are not ill and do not show any symptoms typically do not visit the doctor. And while most people know that preventive medical checkups for cancer, for example, are important, they still avoid them. They tend to be very hesitant because the doctor might detect a serious illness. In the future, a new type of implant could make it easier to go to a screening test or even eliminate the need for it entirely.
In this MEDICA-tradefair.com interview, Prof. Martin Fussenegger talks about an implantable tattoo that is designed to warn about diseases at a very early stage and explains why this type of early detection approach is especially beneficial for health care systems.
Prof. Fussenegger, we are talking about an implant that is designed to facilitate the early detection of cancer. How can we picture this implant?
Prof. Martin Fussenegger: Our implant, which we also refer to as a tattoo, consists of human cells, which we have modified to fulfill two functions. First, they continuously measure the level of calcium in the blood. Second, if this level stays elevated over an extended period, the cells produce an enzyme that converts the amino acid tyrosine into melanin, the natural pigment that also causes the tanning of skin by exposure to sunlight.
These cells are encapsulated in alginate/gelatin. The capsules measure about half a millimeter in diameter and are injected into a subcutaneous skin layer. Fibroblasts, which coat the gelatin capsule on the outside, connect to the bloodstream.
Read the complete interview at MEDICA-tradefair.com!