Can you imagine implanting an RFID chip into a cell?

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A new study found that electronic chips that are small enough to fit into cells can help scientists track and monitor the behavior of individual cells in real time. Researchers say these separate devices can help us analyze diseases that originate from individual cells.

So far, RFID tags have been used in key cards, toll passes, library books and many other items. Ordinary RFID tags range in size from millimeters to centimeters, and these newly developed RFID tags are only 22 microns in size, about one-fifth the average diameter of human hair. According to research, this is the smallest known RFID tag.

Essentially, a miniature radio frequency identification (RFID) tag is a bar code that can be identified from a distance. RFID tags typically contain a microchip and an antenna attached thereto. There will be a reader near it that emits electromagnetic signals, and the RFID tag can respond to the reader based on its stored data, such as its identity, date of manufacture, location, and storage processing. . Many RFID tags do not have a built-in battery, and they rely primarily on the energy in the signal emitted by the reader to transmit information.

Traditional RFID readers use only one antenna to communicate with tags. On the newly developed RFID reader, the researchers used two antennas, each about twice the diameter of the new RFID tag. This increases the signal amplitude on the label by more than 10 times, and on the test could distinguishes between “a tagged cell that moves in a complex biological environment” and “a cell that loses connection to the reader a few microns away”.

Hu Xiaolin said that although new RFID tags are still larger than many cells, they can be “applied to many interesting cells.” For example, melanoma cells in mice, melanoma cells in humans, breast cancer cells, colon cancer cells, and healthy connective tissue cells are all “interesting cells” discovered by researchers.

The incorporation of electronic devices into cells helps researchers understand and manipulate the behavior of cells. Hu Xiaolin explained, “The process of most diseases originates from the level of one to several cells, but now we have no technology to detect individual cells in the human body. If we can track and monitor individual cells, we may be able to detect the disease at an early stage, so Start treatment as soon as possible to make treatment more effective.” Research can also explore the development of smaller labels and ways to keep track of them in the future.

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