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Google Proposes 'Needle-less' System For Drawing Blood ( 91

An anonymous reader writes: Google has published a patent for a needle-free blood draw technology which could be incorporated into a wrist wearable or hand-held device. The patent filing explained that the system releases a pulse of gas into a barrel or 'hollow cylinder', containing a 'micro-particle' which can break through the skin and draw a small sample of blood. According to Google, once the drop of blood forms it is drawn up into the negative pressure barrel. This technique is a quicker and less invasive alternative to using needles, or other blood measures which administer pin pricks to the finger to release the blood. The patent, which is still pending, suggests that the mechanism could also provide a replacement for glucose testers used by diabetics.
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Google Proposes 'Needle-less' System For Drawing Blood

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  • DNA (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Excellent, now when we browse the net, random websites can track us with our DNA.

  • As a diabetic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jimmybuffet ( 4052193 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @10:47AM (#51067183)
    As a diabetic I have to say this sounds pretty cool. Pricking fingers 3-4 times per day sucks. I would be happier if they found a way to restore insulin production to my pancreas, but I'll take what i can get.
    • by xeoron ( 639412 )
      I once saw in Popular Science back in 2002, I think, that a university had developed a tattoo that changes color so that a diabetic would know when they had a low blood sugar, therefore not needing to take blood samples all the time. It is a shame that it never became a option for people.
      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        I am kind of surprised that I remembered this: []

      • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

        So you would save several small needle sticks a day to get pretty accurate results for thousands, if not tens of thousands of small needle sticks in the matter of a few minutes that I'd imagine aren't any more accurate.

        They already have devices that can give instant readings and alert if blood sugar is too low. They're called continuous glucose monitors. Unfortunately though they still require a stick.

      • by Andy Dodd ( 701 )

        CGM's such as Dexcom's G4 are pretty close to this. The main disadvantage is you need to insert the sensor under your skin once every 7 days... But then fingersticks are only needed for calibration purposes after that.

        Well technically you're not supposed to make treatment decisions without a confirmation fingerstick, but... Most diabetics including myself will go for the carbs if there's any possibility the CGM is correct when it says 55.

      • by RH434 ( 3637461 )
        It is probably sitting in some finger prick companies warehouse of patents, with all of the other better ideas they don't want to come to market.
    • It doesn't matter if you use a spear or, in this case, a bullet, either way you end up with a hole in you.
    • Fascinating article re: Diabeetus type 2: []

    • by Andy Dodd ( 701 )

      As a diabetic, I'm actually not too impressed. Remember needleless injectors? Yeah, they do exist and are still in use in cases where people want to give mass vaccinations in an assembly-line fashion, but they're actually much more painful than needles. This patent sounds a LOT like a needleless injector. All of that mechanical complexity is going to make it significantly larger (and hence less convenient) than a traditional lancing device.

      Its benefit is minimal since fingersticks are on their way to be

    • Pricking fingers 3-4 times per day sucks.

      And shooting a ball (or other projectile) is going to be much better? Caveat - I'm not a diabetic, yet. But with both parents now insulin-dependent, and one of two siblings too ... I'm not in doubt about which way things are going to go for me.

  • ...the system releases a pulse of gas into a barrel or 'hollow cylinder', containing a 'micro-particle' which can break through the skin...

    So it's a freakin' gun? What happens to these micro-particles? You'll be filling your bloodstream with micro-bullets?

    I'd still choose the needle, thank you very much.

    • by rastos1 ( 601318 )
      The micro-particles can be water droplets. Harmless int he bloodstream.
      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        In all seriousness, it kind of makes more sense to embed a device in the body, somewhere in the blood flow, based around Rfid style technology. Device stays inactive until a query is transmitted, then uses that energy to carry out a test cycle and respond. You eliminate every thing from the device beyond the energy conversion circuit, the testing circuit and the transmitter. It also only works when you want it to work, being passive the rest of the time. This would enable more device to be inserted to test

        • by Andy Dodd ( 701 )

          You just (mostly) described the Dexcom G4.

          Sensor wire that effectively acts as a fuel cell powered by glucose is embedded under the skin for 7 days. (measures interstitial fluid glucose concentration instead of measuring blood directly). On top of the sensor wire is a small clip that a transmitter clips into. This periodically samples data and transmits it with a very low-power RF transmitter (TI proprietary protocol) every 5 minutes. 6 months battery life for the transmitter.

          The new G5 system uses BLE,

      • by Ihlosi ( 895663 )
        The micro-particles can be water droplets. Harmless int he bloodstream.

        Right. But the jet of gas necessary to propel a droplet of water with enough force to pierce skin isn't. There's a name for resulting type of injury: []

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This sounds like an engineering project in search of an application. Using a micro-particle in this fashion is relatively clever, but it doesn't solve anything useful as far as I can tell. It's basically using a micro-particle fired at high velocity into your skin with a negative pressure behind it, so once it punctures the skin the negative pressure in the tube draws up blood. Most people I know who do not enjoy the invasiveness of regular blood tests like diabetics are not so much concerned with needle

  • So this is their way of fulfilling that promise of No Evil?

    Back on topic, yes this might be a nice solution to these single drop only analyses.
    Why it should be Google?
    I hope there will be safeguards against them including our body's make-up in their already scary data base.
  • by ControlsGeek ( 156589 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @01:08PM (#51067785)

    My guess is the 'Micro particle' is a RFID chip with a tracking code broadcast from it.

  • A thin, hollow cylinder breaks the skin, then uses negative pressure to draw blood up into it? Don't we have those?

    Oh, yeah. It's called a syringe

  • From all the comments the sticks in the mud probably still believe America has the best health care system in the world. The way these Neanderthals are still going today it is a wonder anyone makes it out alive. The first thing they do for a hospital stay is start sticking you like a pincushion with IV needles because you "have to have them". This is so invasive and damaging to the muscle and nerve cells that they even have to change locations because that entrance can become plugged. My brother still h
    • I am sorry about your losses and the things your brother went through, but taking the blood out of your body to mix it with oxygen and then reintroducing it back is really an immense risk added to the patient. Look up the risks associated with extracorporeal circulation, look up acquired von Willebrand deficit, look up venous thrombosis.

      You can say whatever you feel like, however it doesn't change the fact that external ventilation (look up NIV as well) is still the best way to get oxygen in the body who ne

  • What about spring-loaded lancets? They use a similar principle - a thin metallic spike is launched by a spring, pierces the skin and then it's retracted by the spring back into its sheaf. It's nearly painless and much less scary than a regular lancet. See here for a demonstration: []
    • by Andy Dodd ( 701 )

      Huh, that IS a regular lancet device...

      Well, at least as someone who has been a Type I diabetic for over 20 years, that's what I consider "regular"...

  • So puncturing the body with a foreign object can be called "needle-less" if the needle^H^H^H^H^H^Hforeign object remains in the body instead of being removed at the end of the procedure?

    Um okay.

    I don't know if I want to repeatedly shoot myself with micro-particles. Especially since injuries caused by injecting high-pressure gas under the skin aren't pretty.

  • The little critters can draw (small amounts of) blood fairly painlessly, if it wasn't for the reaction to their saliva.
  • How many 'micro-particles' are required to self-assemble into the permanent tracker.
  • It's called taxes.

  • I'm a search engine, not a doctor!

Due to lack of disk space, this fortune database has been discontinued.