Unlike wearable alcohol monitors, the latest alcohol biosensor chip developed by researchers at the University of California San Diego is meant to be directly injected into the body. Designed for long-term monitoring, this chip measures just one cubic millimeter in size and can easily be injected under the skin with interstitial fluid—the fluid that surrounds the body's cells. Once inside, the sensor can transmit data to an associated device, with communication being handled by radio signals.
To read a person's blood alcohol content, the alcohol biosensor chip employs three different sensors. The first is coated in alcohol oxidase, which reacts with alcohol to create an electrochemically detectable byproduct. The second sensor measures background signals, while the third detects pH levels. The final two levels of the biosensor chip do not measure alcohol but instead make the initial reading more accurate.
Image Credit: University of California San Diego