Researchers Develop Microscopic RFID Chip to Embed in Human Cells

The smallest chip the team has developed so far measures 22 microns—about a fifth the thickness of a human hair—which they plan to test reading with a specialized RFID interrogator.

markbeast

Aug 30, 2017

One physical limitation that RFID technology has faced as it has been adopted in most vertical markets is chip size. Although chips have become smaller (they can now be inserted into a tag the size of a grain of rice, for instance), that is still too large for some applications.

Researchers at Stanford University are now several phases into a development project to create a passive, 60 GHz RFID transponder that is small enough to be inserted into a human body’s cell. Thus far, the group has been able to scale the chip and antenna down to about 22 microns (0.0009 inch) wide—one fifth the diameter of an average human hair—which is small enough that it could be inserted inside a cell, and thus be readthroughout a person’s body. The chip, in fact, has been inserted into a mouse melanoma cell. RFID could also be placed within a mass of cells, such as a tumor.

The group has designed a specialized RFID reader to transmit to—and receive responses from—a tag that small. Researchers call this miniaturized tag and associated specialized reader a promising step toward continuous, real-time monitoring of activities at cellular levels. (Click to Site)

 

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