Purdue University innovators are working on inventions to use micro-chip technology in implantable devices and other wearable products such as smart watches to improve biomedical devices, including those used to monitor people with glaucoma and heart disease.

The Purdue team developed a fully implantable radio-frequency transmitter chip for wireless sensor nodes and biomedical devices. The transmitter chip consumes the lowest amount of energy per digital bit published to date.

The transmitter works in a fashion similar to the communication technology in mobile phones and smart watches, but the Purdue transmitter has an unprecedented level of miniaturization and low-energy consumption so that it can be implanted into an eye to monitor pressure for a glaucoma patient or into another part of the body to measure data related to heart functions.

“A transmitter is an integral part of these kinds of devices,” said Hansraj Bhamra, a research and development scientist who created the technology while he was a graduate student at Purdue. “It facilitates a wireless communication between the sensor node or biomedical device and a smart phone application. The user can simply operate the device through a smart phone application and receive the biophysiological data in real time. The transmitter, in this case, enables a 24-hour intraocular pressure monitoring for glaucoma patients”