A portable "lab on a chip" with the ability to analyse blood samples has been developed by researchers in Europe.
The Nemoslab project has created the chip, which uses an optical technique to recognise the presence of certain biological components in the blood.
Light passes down a silicon nitride waveguide which is coated in a probe molecule that can recognise target molecules, such as antibodies or stands of DNA, by binding with them.
"The question was whether we could combine silicon or other semiconductor technologies with the bioassay techniques and the diagnostic technologies," commented project co-ordinator Dr Konstantinos Misiakos.
Currently the chip is being used to measure fertility hormones and detect the genes associated with certain types of cancer, although the researchers say further work is needed before it can be commercialised.
European researchers also recently developed a groundbreaking middleware platform that uses embedded sensors to allow cars to communicate with one another.