Pentagon creates microchip that senses COVID-19 in the body
The microchip, which reportedly does not track movements, is carried in a tissue-like gel and is designed to test the patient’s blood.
April 13, 2021 / 10:43 AM IST
File image of the Pentagon
Scientists at the Pentagon have created a microchip that, once inserted under the skin, can detect if the patient develops COVID-19, according to a report by The Independent.
The Pentagon, the headquarters of the United States Department of Defence, has also developed a filter that can remove the novel coronavirus from a patient’s blood through a dialysis machine.
According to the report, researchers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have said that they worked for years on ways to prevent infections and end pandemics. Their work was revealed on the ‘60 Minutes’ show on US television channel CBS on April 11.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the news reports.
The idea mooted after 1,271 sailors were infected onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier in 2020.
The microchip, which reportedly does not track movements, is carried in a tissue-like gel and is designed to test the patient’s blood. “You put it underneath your skin and what that tells you is that there are chemical reactions going on inside the body, and that signal means you are going to have symptoms tomorrow,” explained Retired Colonel Matt Hepburn, an army infectious disease physician leading DARPA’s pandemic response.
“Sailors would get the signal, then self-administer a blood draw and test themselves on site,” the news report quoted Retired Colonel Hepburn as saying. “We can have that information in three to five minutes. As you truncate that time, as you diagnose and treat, what you do is you stop the infection in its tracks.”
Hepburn also reportedly said on the show that his team had invented a filter, which is placed on a dialysis machine, that would remove the virus from the blood. The treatment has now been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use and has been reportedly used to treat almost 300 patients.Follow Moneycontrol’s full coverage of IPL 2021 here