The rise of the diseases today has been attributed to unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle and habits such as smoking, high alcohol and carbonated drink consumption, and heavy consumption of junk food that are extremely high in cholesterol and sugar content. The onset of the diseases is usually being unaware and left striking silent until red flag symptoms are recognized, it is usually too late. Fortunately, today's remarkable advancements in medical technique has enabled deployment of MEMS (or Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) for diagnosis, drug delivery and surgery. MEMS is the ultimate enabling technology where electromechanical machines from the macro-world are crafted into a tiny chip via semiconductor fabrication process.
Why MEMS for medication ? Many materials used in MEMS are biocompatible such as silicon, silicon dioxide(glass, silica and quartz) , gold and titanium. These elements are less interfere with human tissues. Besides, the compatible size with human cells and ease of electronics integration enable nano-scaled and sophisticated capabilities. BioMEMS is a bio-nano-electro-mechanical system that can sense and identify bio-agents and DNA sequence , ion and molecules; measure blood pressure and serve as micro-pumps, fluids controller, digital camera, microscopic needles, injectors, heaters, abraders and scalpels during endoscopy, surgery and drug delivery. BioMEMS nanotechnology has improved medical diagnostic and therapies by reducing device size and cost while increasing capabilities, efficiency and accuracy with minimal or non invasive and pain-free surgery.
Now, BioMEMS has enabled robotic surgery. A nano robot is implanted into the bloodstream which will swim through the human circulatory system using its tails for in-situ navigation and measurement. The infected area are detected through its biosensor probe. Its CMOS digital camera coupled with wireless telemetry system allows real time remote monitoring. It can also provide a dose of medication through its nanoneedles or perform surgery such as removal of fatty material that deposited on the arterial walls which cause artery blockage and removal of cancerous tumour via nanoblades. The debris of tumours can be sucked out by its suction pumps.
Very soon, electronic monitoring and measurement systems of biological processes such as blood pressure, heart beat rate, body temperature; blood test, DNA analysis, drug delivery and surgery systems will all be synergistically united into a single piece of chip called Doctor MEMS (Dr. MEMS) whereby blood can be sucked out from the body for "on chip" analysis whilst nano robot and drug can be released from the chip and injected into the body for endoscopy and treatment through nanotubes. As organic electronics allow for fabrication of array of sensing circuits on flexible plastic substrates using low-cost and printing-compatible procedures, the possibility of developing inexpensive,disposable and stretchable test strips that encompassing Dr. MEMS for rapid preventative and rehabilitative electronic treatments can become reality. One day, we will able to take charge of our well-being and keep close watch on our health status by just applying a patch of stretchable Dr. MEMS on the skin in the privacy of own home.